Social media giant, Facebook, and West Africa’s largest cable data provider, MainOne is among the top tech companies that will grace the #StartupSouth Startup/Entrepreneurship conference in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria.
Started in 2015, #StartupSouth Conference brings together founders, innovators and investors from across Nigeria and beyond to a city within the South-South and South-East Nigeria annually, to discuss technology and startup trends and challenges facing the growth of startups in the region.
Others companies that will grace the event are financial technology providers, Paga and Riby.
This 5th edition themed: “Unlocking the Next 60 Million” will be held from October 29 to November 2, 2019, and will feature keynotes, ministerial panels, masterclasses and boot camps, while providing invaluable networking opportunities for participants in over 60 sessions by diverse organisations and individuals.
Major highlights of this edition will be the participation of at least four state governors from the region, who will hold a joint session to be streamed live by a partner Television channel. There will also be a pitch session which has seen past winners raise over $400,000 in investment capital over the past four years. The pitch session will also be streamed live.
The key focus will be on deepening broadband penetration and access for the over 60 million residents of the region to boost its economy, which is estimated at over $70 billion.
Speaking about the conference, the founder of #StartupSouth Uche Aniche said: “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. 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 can’t wait to welcome participants to the best edition yet.”
One of the main partners, MainOne described the event as a critical tool for the diversification of the Nigerian economy, especially the region which is over-reliant on crude oil.
Congratulating the organisers of the #StartupSouth5, Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke explained that “MainOne’s support for the start-up business community in the South-South/South-East of Nigeria is predicated on its belief that startups and tech will be the engine for the economic development of Nigeria.”
“Over the years, #StartupSouth conference has displayed an unwavering commitment to this conference specifically designed to help grow and sustain SMEs in the South-South/South-East of Nigeria.
“As MainOne expands the reach of its services beyond our landing point in Lagos, we recognize the potential of new ecosystems such as #StartupSouth in growing the Nigerian economy and creating jobs and are eager to lend support. Our focus is on deploying the infrastructure services that enable startup companies to thrive and this is the reason for our partnership with the #StartupSouth,” Opeke said.
On its part, the financial technology company, Riby which is focused on helping Nigerians achieve financial stability by empowering cooperative banking with the use of efficient technology said it was delighted to partner with #StartupSouth5 as it will help it deepen its footprint in the region.
“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,” Said Riby’s CEO, Abolore Salami.