Nigerian StartUps have attracted over $4 billion into the economy in terms of investment in the last four years according to Mallam Abdullahi Inuwa, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
A startup is a young company established by one or more entrepreneurs to create unique and irreplaceable products or services.
Abdullahi, who spoke at the Innovation Support Network (ISN) 2023 annual summit organized by Innovation Support Network (ISN), said that said NITDA currently have over 500 startups, that have either gone through its programmess or those ran in partnership with other stakeholders within the ecosystem but based on statistics from Statista.
Statista is a German online platform specialized in data gathering and visualization, which offers statistics and reports, market insights, consumer insights and company insights in German, English, Spanish and French
According to him, Nigeria has over 3000 startups, which is far cry looking at the 200m population of the country.
This year’s Innovation Support Network (ISN) Annual Gathering has the theme, “Unlocking Potential: Collaborating for Growth and Impact’’.
The NITDA boss said that the theme of this gathering is not only appropriate but also underscores the reality that collaboration is a new innovation leading competitive edge across all spheres of socio-economic activities.
In other words, ‘‘collaboration is a necessity for sustainable innovation to happen and grow.’’
He stated that the effort of the Innovation Support Network in sustaining this annual event is highly commendable, noting that its contribution to the growth of the tech innovation ecosystem remains invaluable.
While, congratulating the ISN on the successful launch of The Omniverse – the premier ecosystem platform for tech, innovation, and connected industries on the continent, the DG said the initiative will go a long way in building collaboration, connections, community, and content that drive the entire ecosystem to scale investments and share knowledge for a positive, lasting impact.
‘‘The inauguration of The Omniverse is a testament to your collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders in the ecosystem. This annual gathering of tech innovation ecosystem stakeholders comprising researchers, creators, innovators, investors, regulators, and tech enthusiasts, provides a profitable platform for nurturing ideas into industry-changing products, services, and business processes.
‘‘Stakeholders also have the opportunity to network, connect, and foster new sustainable relationships with their relevant target audience and people.’’
On challenges, he said, ‘’There are quite a lot of them in terms of regulation and policies. The Startup Act aims to address the challenges in the ecosystem, providing funding, capacity building and infrastructure to the Startups.
Continuing, the NITDA boss said, ‘‘The tech industry thrives on collaboration. Research by the MIT Sloan School of Management revealed that collaborative innovation, where different organizations work together on research and development, has been on the rise.
‘‘Over 60% of global innovation now involves some form of cross-organisational collaboration. In addition, a 2020 report by Microsoft indicates that over 95% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Microsoft Cloud services, illustrating how digital collaboration is driving business operations and innovation.
‘‘These statistics are indicative of the fact that the world becoming is increasingly interconnected, interdependent, and collaborative.
Therefore, collaboration is no longer an option, but a necessity for progress and growth.’’
For him, all levels of government, corporations, investors – Venture Capitalists and Angels, the academia, hubs, and entrepreneurs must deepen their collaboration.’’
In her address, Beverly Onyejianya Agbakoba, legal partner to ISN, said ISN by organizing the summit wanted to boast of home grown and organic tech businesses, starting from home and stepping out to the larger world.
Agbakoba, who described ISN as the Hub of hubs in Nigeria said over 200 hubs across Nigeria were gathered at the summit, with capacity building support, skill acquisition to engage other youth in job and wealth creation.
‘‘These hubs done a lot of advocacy training over 7000 girls in the north. We are also here to give guidance to the hubs. For us, future leaders are all in this room and are ready to contribute their quota to the economy.
‘‘We want to boast of home grown and organic tech businesses, starting from here and stepping out to the larger world. The law are not too far away from the industry,’’ she added.
He explained that the cardinal focus of this year’s annual gathering of tech experts was to encourage and strengthen collaboration toward assisting innovators in discovering innovative and efficient solutions to the various problems confronting us in the economic, social, and even political/governance realms.
She said, ‘‘Collaboration thrives when people with diverse knowledge, talents, and skills agree to work together to find solutions to our everyday problems. Innovative thinking that results in the creation of new goods, services, or procedures is the foundation of long-term economic progress and success.’’