According to Global telecoms industry body more and more investors and innovators are committed to growing the local startup ecosystem in Africa, and this has seen the number of technology hubs across Africa double in less than a year. The report stated that a total of 314 tech hubs and incubation centers were recorded in July 2016.
This represents an increase from the 117 centers that were recorded by the World Bank in 2015.
Although these tech hubs are found across 93 cities in 42 countries in Africa, most of them are located in only 5 countries – South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco.
From this report, it’s interesting to know that the tech ecosystem is rapidly growing in Nigeria. If you’re thinking of beginning your own tech startups or running one already, great! There are a lot of opportunities available in Nigeria’s tech industry.
One way to be enjoy the benefits available to tech startups is to be part of one of the growing number of tech hubs across Nigeria.
Here are a few benefits you stand to gain from being part of a tech hub:
1. Office space/facilities
One of the most important part of any business is a work space. Many startups find it difficult to grow if they have to spend part of their capital to secure an office space. At the same, a conducive work environment plays its roles in the success of startup.
You might say tech startups can work from anywhere, since most of their business transactions is done mostly online. Being in a standard office makes a lot of difference. You see reasons to get more serious with your business venture than when you’re slouching on a couch in your sitting room with a laptop by your side.
At little or no cost, tech hubs provide startups with open concept office space, along with all of the necessary office facilities, including Internet services, printer, fax, photocopier, secretarial services, phone connection, conference room and many others, to get the businesses up and running.
2. Access to fund
This is one of the top benefits offered by tech hubs. While running your startup alone, it’s a struggle to focus on growing your business and going in search of investors. Some investors may not even trust your words if you’re not affiliated to a tech hub.
But tech hubs are home to angel investors, venture capitalists, and others who are able to mentor entrepreneurs. They have the power to connect you with investors who are looking for great opportunities. A number of them do not only introduce startups to venture capitalists and angel investors, many of them also have their own capital to invest in startup ventures.
3. Access to mentorship and training
A successful entrepreneur never stops learning and a tech hub offers access to learning opportunities. Some incubators host workshops to help entreprneurs learn and grow. Still others provide entry into conferences and workshops that can help answer all the burning questions new startup founders may have.
You also have access to a network of industry leaders and business experts that you may not have access to as a startup founder working alone. These industry leaders may offer one-on-one coaching and mentorship that can prove invaluable to brand new startup founders dealing with the rigors of business startup and ownership for the first time.
4. You get to focus on your business
With business infrastructure, business services and experts in place and available, it allows for startup founders to focus on running their businesses. Startups can then focus their time and energy on creating, evolving and testing their products.
Many also offer tangible resources such as accounting assistance, office space and legal guidance. Having this business infrastructure in place allow startups to focus on what matters most–the core business, and not the mundane, day-to-day administrative responsibilities.
5. PR and Publicity
You know how starting out o your own is – costly and stressful! While trying to budget for office space, looking out for investors, don’t forget you have to market your startup. This is one crucial role tech hubs play.
Being a part of a tech hub helps you gain traction and step into the spotlight. Because what they do is incubate tech startups, they always mention startups that are currently in their hub. This in turn offer opportunity for startups to be get noticed by the media and investors. In addition to this, many tech hub offer expert PR and marketing advice to startups.
6. Opportunity for networking
Being part of a tech hub offers opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs, an opportunity to share ideas and collaborate on similar projects.
You can also get to learn from each others mistakes and triumphs, allowing you to better succeed and creates bonds and friendships that are ever-lasting.
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