Social media giant, Facebook, and West Africa’s largest cable data provider, MainOne, are among the top tech companies that have partnered with StartupSouth to host the fifth edition of the Uyo entrepreneurship conference.
“Over the past five years, we have worked hard to make the #StartupSouth Conference a driver of conversation that will boost economic growth in the region leveraging technology,” Uche Aniche, founder of StartupSouth, said in a statement made available to BusinessDay.
“This edition promises to see lots of improvements with participation from more diverse stakeholders. The team is excited at the level of support #StartupSouth5 Uyo is receiving from stakeholders across the regions and Nigeria and we cannot wait to welcome participants to the best edition yet,” Aniche said.
He stated that the major highlight of the conference is the participation of at least four governors from the South-South region, adding that there will be a pitch session for start-ups to win grant to scale. He noted that the pitch session has seen past winners raise over $400,000 in investment capital in the last four editions.
He explained that the key focus of the conference will be on deepening broadband penetration and access.
Also, MainOne, one of the major partners of the conference, described the event as a critical tool for the diversification of the Nigerian economy, especially the region which is over-reliant on crude oil.
“MainOne’s support for the start-up business community in the South-South/South-East of Nigeria is predicated on its belief that start-ups and tech will be the engine for the economic development of Nigeria,” Funke Opeke, chief executive officer, MainOne said in the statement.
“As MainOne expands the reach of its services beyond our landing point in Lagos, we recognise the potential of new ecosystems such as #StartupSouth in growing the Nigerian economy and creating jobs and we are eager to lend support,” Opeke said.
“Our focus is on deploying the infrastructure services that enable start-up companies to thrive and this is the reason for our partnership with the #StartupSouth,” she added.
On its part, Abolore Salami, CEO of Riby, another partner of the event, said “Through this partnership with #StartupSouth, we aim to extend our services to co-operatives, potential partners and stakeholders in the South-South zone of Nigeria. Cooperatives are vibrant here and we are excited at the opportunity to introduce our Riby Co-Banking product into the market.”
The fifth edition themed ‘Unlocking the Next 60 Million’ is scheduled to hold between October 29th to November 2nd, 2019 and will feature master-classes, boot camps, keynotes and ministerial panels to deliberate on key issues affecting MSMEs operators in the country.
There will be over 50 sessions by diverse organisations and individuals, the organisers said.