Whether Yaba, a cluster of innovation hubs, coders and startups in Lagos, Nigeria remains the tech capital or just a pseudo refuge for the most innovative and newfangled innovation startups, the truth is ‘tech‘ isn’t just a buzz word in the country any longer, it’s spreading like not-so-wild fire and Nigerians, both young and old are taking advantage of the upheaval. Global giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Samsung et al have made formal entires into the growing market and are constantly engaging with the sanguine community, particularly the makers. Many believe the continent’s late arrival to the digital economy comes with certain competitive advantages.
Inspired by Silicon Valley, young entrepreneurs are bringing life-improving innovations to sub-saharan communities.
While population and visibility grows for the largely-untapped communities, the awareness of what information technology can do is very low in Africa and revenue generation is still the biggest problem for more than 90% of the startups. Meanwhile an indigenous digital technology publication – techpoint is documenting the impact and emergence of the next frontier (what statistics say) and making it easy for enthusiasts and the average Nigerians to interact. On the 29th of May, over 3000 people from different parts of the country and representations from the global technology scene gathered in Lagos to talk about the future and scoop out market opportunities for Nigeria.
This year’s edition ‘The Future is Now‘ sparked dialogues between stakeholders and thought leaders on using indigenous languages to make STEM more inclusive, Big Data, Cybersecurity, AI, Financial technology, infrastructural challenges the country’s innovators face, digital policy frameworks and of course, cryptocurrency and blockchain. The conference featured product exhibitions from startups and brands building around VR, AR, AI, robotics and fintech, an elbowroom that made it possible for many attendees to experience these innovations firsthand.
Its important to note the diversity of the audience at #TechPointInspired, from brief engagements, it was effortless to infer that many people had come from far and near to learn more about career options (students) and how to burst into the tech sphere (graduates and enthusiasts); developers, industry leaders, inclusive of a faction of people who are oblivious about the growing importance of technology in Nigeria, likewise the significance and application to everyday life all gathered to make this mind shift movement possible.
Inspired is creating spaces for more people to learn and network with startups leaders and professionals presenting tactics and strategies they use to grow their products and businesses – tips and skills that enable participants go deep in their community and get tangible takeaways.
As long as the buzz prevails, the impact of TechPoint’s Inspired cannot be deflated, as it is exploring real life engagements, intelligent conversations, opportunities, NextGen and the digital disruption we all muse about. However, it is imperative that the event accentuates the discussion around the need for more women in technology and the cohesive culture holding the industry from attracting and developing more female talents.
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