The Nigerian technology industry had a stellar 2017. Last year, Nigerian startups raised $24.2 million in funding according to Weetracker with many startups raising beyond the $1 million mark. Founders, investors, and professionals in the ecosystem wrote a couple of inspiring, instructive, and opinionated article. Here’s a roundup of some of the most thought-provoking articles we enjoyed reading at The Resource.
Swifta Systems’ CEO Victor Asemota, wrote for The Guardian about patterns he noticed in his travels across Technology communities in Africa. In this article, he nudges African technology entrepreneurs to think beyond solving ‘local problems’ as they tend to make companies small and fit one into boxed assumptions and in turn, decisions.
Paystack’s CEO published the entirety of the company’s application to one of the top technology incubators in the world. In it, you will find comments he has added as a guide to prospective applicants. We like that Paystack is open to discussing work culture and processes within the company. You can find more stories on their blog.
Dr. Ola is best known for her work as the founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria – an air ambulance service for West Africa. She also serves on the board of Greentree Investment Company, a tech-focused private equity firm. Contrary to the popular belief that there isn’t enough funding for technology businesses in Africa, Dr. Ola’s experience shows there is a surplus of funding and a lack of profitable companies with a mix of other signals investors are looking for.
In the middle of 2017, Emmanuel Quartey visited the Lagos technology scene and made some very important observations. Some of which are the lack of competent non-engineering talent and a sense of urgency to fix Nigeria’s problems. Emmanuel is Head of Growth at Paystack.
Ade Olabode is founder of Prognostore – a point of sale, inventory and analytics system for small and businesses. Ade shuttles between Nigeria and England. He writes from his perspective and experience as a returnee building a business from Lagos. The lessons he shares are gold for anyone looking to return to Nigeria and start a technology business.
Yemi Johnson is the Head of Growth and Partnerships at Hotels.ng. He began following the Nigerian tech ecosystem in 2012 and has led Hotels.ng to a profitable business. Yemi collates 15 actionable steps to turn your idea into a profitable African business. We interviewed him earlier in the year on customer retention tactics at Hotels.ng. You can read it here.
Bosun Tijani is the Co-founder of one of the biggest drivers of the Nigerian technology movement. Co-creation hub was started in Yaba in 2011 and set the ball rolling for an entire industry. Bosun wrote about Yaba’s growth as Nigeria’s technology cluster and how government, educational institutions, startups and professionals have played diverse roles in keeping Yaba alive. This article came at a point where many companies seemed to outgrow Yaba and move to other parts of Lagos for several reasons. Conversations around this article would eventually lead to The Yaba Manifesto.
Osita Nwoye’s rejoinder to Bosun’s article above, questions the advantages of Yaba over other Nigerian cities. He believes it is completely fine for startups to move beyond Yaba and argues that a physical presence isn’t even necessary to run a modern technology business.
Nigeria has an interesting employment conundrum as job seekers far outweigh the number of jobs available. This has led to employers taking advantage of this situation and responding with harsh employment conditions. Stemming from conversations on Twitter, Lade Tawak put together an important checklist for anyone looking to hire interns. Lade is currently a User Experience researcher at Co-creation Hub.
Ngozi is CEO of Cafe Neo and Director of OneFi. He penned this as a response to a Jumia executive’s “Why is Konga worth “only” $35m and Jumia $1 billion?”. Ngozi tackled this issue spectacularly with public data and a wealth of almost a decade of experience as a Nigerian founder and venture capitalist.