• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Nigeria to revive abandoned US property as startup hub

How to know if your startup qualifies for seed funding, tax perks from FG

Nigeria wants to transform an abandoned property in the United States into a startup haven.

Bosun Tijani, the minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, announced this and said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the project during its meeting on Tuesday. The existing property in San Francisco, USA, will be transformed into the Nigerian Digital Technology Exchange Programme Hub (Nigeria Startup House).

The minister noted that the hub is part of the government’s effort to achieve critical elements of its trade and IEC Strategic Blueprint Pillars.

“The Nigerian Startup House will play a critical role in promoting Nigeria’s economic interest, attracting Foreign Direct Investment and improving the visibility and positioning of Nigeria’s Startup Ecosystem to attract funding and expertise from global markets and organisations represented in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond,” Tijani said.

The San Francisco Bay Area, which is close to Silicon Valley, has been recognised as a major source of startup ecosystem funding. In 2023, most of the $1.3 billion funding sourced by Nigerian technology startups came from Venture Capital funds in the Bay Area.

While the Nigeria Startup House will remain owned by the Federal Government, Tijani highlighted that it will be managed by a consortium of Nigerian digital technology companies that will provide non-public funding for its operations.

The house in question has been abandoned by the government for a while, according to Opeyemi Awoyemi, founder and managing partner of Fast Forward Venture Studio and Fund.

He tweeted, “Kudos to @bosuntijani for this seemingly small but significant move. The property in question has been abandoned for close to 30 years. If done well, we will see increased investments in and global emergence of Nigerian startups and talent.”

According to a 2011 report by the San Francisco Examiner, the likely house in question was home to Nigeria’s consulate general and was shut down in 1989. It is a 4,200-square-foot home valued at $2.8 million as of 2011.

After its setup, the Nigerian US startup house will likely house many Nigerian startups already incorporated in Delaware, US.