How Akure Is Building A Promising Tech Startup Culture And Community
While Akure may never have appeared on any lists of tech startup hubs in unlikely places around the world, the largest city and capital of Ondo State in the South-Western region of Nigeria is gradually starting a movement to mould a tech startup culture and community.
No, it’s not Governor Mimiko’s administration that is driving this movement.
In case you’ve not heard, Akure wants to grow a cluster of startups through the Akure Startup Drive initiative that could see several cutting edge, digital, innovative tech companies operating in Akure, thus making it a hub for development and investment.
Far from being a state government initiative or any other institutionally-financed initiative, the Akure Startup Drive is “a blend of trainings, events, mentorship and real-life learning by working on real projects,” driven by young tech entrepreneurs who are leading thinkers and doers within the community.
The movement is open to young programmers, designers, marketers, project managers and tech inclined business men, especially those already working on an existing startup or tech-based project.
Already, there are quite a few awesome tech-based and Internet companies coming out of the city with a population of over 400,000 people and home to the Federal University of Technology, popularly known as FUTA. One of such companies is Omnific Labs launched in August 2011 to build several innovative products and services that solve real-life problems.
For example, the company launched OneCrier last August, a service (initially available at FUTA) that connects you to the events you are most interested in attending via SMS on your mobile device. Today, it announced a massive upgrade to the service with a more robust platform and spam-free event alert delivery system, adding new cities such as Lagos, Abuja and Yenagoa.
In addition, Akure has already played host to two TEDx events held last year which attempted to see and think the future as regards human capacity and infrastructural development in virtually all sectors that relates to economic and intellectual growth.
With the likes of FUTArians and software developers such as Ademola Morebise, David Olaniyan, Taiwo Orogbangba, Olusola Amusan and others leading and inspiring a new cadre of tech entrepreneurs in the emerging startup city, I believe that Akure will soon create a haven of tech thinkers and doers.
Most importantly, it would be great to see how the Akure Startup Drive would produce forward-thinking entrepreneurs and professionals who can build cutting edge, digital, innovative tech startups that can actually compete on a global scale.
[Image Credit: Ondo State Ministry of Information official website]