Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State will be a bee-hive of activities from October 29 to November 2, 2019, as #StartupSouth Conference births in the city for the 5th edition. Over 5000 participants and over 100 speakers are expected at the conference that’s fast becoming the largest tech/entrepreneurship event in the South-South/South-East. Nigeria.
Social media giant, Facebook, West Africa’s largest cable data provider, MainOne, financial technology providers – Paga and Riby are among the top tech companies backing the event this year. Others are, Hotel booking portal – Hotels.NG, HealthTech companies – WellaHealth.
Over 60 Companies including LifeBank and TechCabal will be holding sessions at the conference.
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, startup trends and challenges facing the growth of startups in the region.
This 5th edition themed: “Unlocking the Next 60 Million” will explore the accessibility and affordability of broadband in Nigeria. 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. It will feature keynotes, special public sector panels, masterclasses and business bootcamp. The conference will also provide invaluable networking opportunities for participants from across Nigeria and give founders in the region the opportunity to network with investors.
According to the organisers, a major highlight of the occasion will be the participation of at least four state governors from the region. The Governors are expected to hold a joint session which will be streamed live. There will also be a pitch session which has seen past winners raise over $400,000 in investment capital over the past four years.
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. We are ready to receive guests from across Nigeria..”
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.