Microsoft for Startups meets stakeholders to explore opportunities in Nigerian space
In a friendly and educative discussion, Microsoft for Startups recently met in Lagos with leading players in the Nigeria tech ecosystem and Investors Forum on how to explore mutual opportunities and foster collaborations needed to grow the Nigerian tech and startups space.
According to Startup Advocacy Lead at Microsoft Simona Cotin, Microsoft is excited to deepen its relationships with Africa’s emerging tech scenes, work with root communities and the organisation’s interest “to be heavily invested at the core of African startups operations while collaborating and facilitating the development of products and solutions that will grow the space.”
In his remarks, the Executive Director of TechCircle, Oo Nwoye stated the significance in the purpose and leverage such gatherings create and Microsoft remarkable activities on the continent.
“Microsoft is doubling down on the continent and it’s a great thing that they want to take inputs rather than move with their ideas. They are trying to engage critical stakeholders to find out what interests them, how they could help and TechCircle is delighted to facilitate this maiden meetup for the Microsoft for Startups team,” Nwoye said.
The General Manager for Microsoft Nigeria and Ghana, Akin Banuso, noted that the event was the first of many platforms that Microsoft is deliberately creating to meet with, and understand the startup community, market developments and to see how Microsoft for Startups could support Startups.
“Now is a good time, the market is exploding and we as a company are open and ready. We have the tools, expertise and experience of doing this globally, and we see that Nigeria is a young vibrant space,” Banuso said.
Banuso noted that Microsoft’s mission was to empower every organisation to achieve more, and “we’ve realized that helping the ecosystem to grow will eventually grow the market and the region”.
“The more prosperous people are, the safer the environment is. Obviously, we’ve created superior solutions that startups using our platforms could leverage to scale exponentially,” Banuso said.
Managing Director of the Microsoft African Development Centre West Africa (ADC) Gafar Lawal, also affirmed Microsoft’s intentions to spur the growth of emerging businesses and how the organisation has consolidated its commitment to the scene with the establishment of ADC.
“We’re probably the first company of our size investing in putting engineering centres in Africa and building what we sell right out of it. We’re using local talents and are actually amazed by the level of talents we’re finding locally. Currently, we have centres in West Africa (Lagos) and in East Africa (Nairobi) and plan to cover the rest of Africa while looking for ideas we can support to improve the communities we have operations in,” Lawal said.
Lawal noted that Microsoft is always on the lookout locally, for features or product ideas with potential for global impact. “Such ideas interest us because our goal is to be good global citizens and to help develop potentials from everywhere we can find them. This goes in line with the vision of our founder to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
The event had in attendance 50 renowned startup founders, stakeholders, incubators, industry leaders, investors, policymakers, tech journalists as well as the Microsoft for Startups team.
Leading companies and representatives at the event include MainOne, RelianceHMO, Kuda, TechCabal, Ventures Platform, TechCircle, PiggyVest, smepeaks, UK Embassy, US Embassy, Flutterwave, Techpoint, SEND.NG, Sparkle CoLab, Kaduna and many other highly reputable organisations.
The Microsoft for Startups team will proceed to Kenya from Lagos, to continue its quest in deepening relationship and exploring collaborative options with the startups and players at the core of Africa’s nascent and fast-growing technology scene.