The Abuja tech ecosystem, the second most popular in Nigeria after Lagos, has witnessed steady growth in recent years. The ecosystem now boasts 72 startups and about 20 ecosystem entities, including accelerators, incubators, and hubs.

While this number is a drop in the pool compared to more advanced ecosystems like Lagos, it is a testament to the commitment of some noteworthy individuals who have committed to building and ensuring that it thrives. These are founders who have built remarkable products, as well as investors and other stakeholders, who are providing the framework and community to support founders in growing their scalable ideas. 

This article aims to spotlight some of the people who are playing pivotal roles in shaping the Abuja startup ecosystem. 

Here are some players building in the Abuja tech space that you should pay attention to:

Faiz Bashir

Faiz is the cofounder of FlexiSAF, an edtech that provides schools with software to streamline administrative and operational processes. FlexiSAF serves about 700 secondary schools and 70 tertiary institutions by automating their processes and managing students’ records from enrollment to graduation. 

In 2009, while studying for an MSc in Software Engineering at the University of Technology, Malaysia, Faiz Bashir established the first Google Technology User Group in Africa, laying the foundation for what would eventually become the largest developer network across the continent. Now, there are over 150 Google Developer Groups(GDGs) in 36 countries across Africa.

In the past five years, He has actively participated in mentorship programs for startups and entrepreneurs. He is currently an Entrepreneur In Residence (EiR) at the Founder Institute, Abuja and has mentored many entrepreneurs since then. 

Yemisi Ajeojo-Isidi

Yemisi is the co-founder of Triift Africa, a company that provides financial and advisory support to businesses across Africa, especially women-owned businesses. 

She has partnered with several accelerators and incubators including The Future Females Business School and She Leads Africa Program, where she has been involved in enabling access to over $1m in funding for female founders and other entrepreneurs across 6 African countries. 

Yemisi is passionate about helping young people take advantage of the opportunity that technology provides and is also the founder of Ilorin Digital Summit, a social enterprise that she founded less than a year after moving back to Nigeria in 2017. With the summit, Yemsi helps young business owners leverage digital tools to grow their businesses. 

Cynthia E. Chisom

From organising a Startup Competition in 2016 while at Covenant University, Cynthia is now a founder and startup advisor. In the past ten years, she has worked with organizations like CCHub, Futurize, and Inqumax Incubator, among others, to help early-stage founders strategise and execute their ideas.

Cynthia is passionate about the role of collaboration in fostering growth and is the founder of The Enablers Meetup (Abuja), a community where stakeholders who support founders within the Abuja startup ecosystem can meet to collaborate. 

Cynthia has a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Management from Imperial Business School, London, and is currently the Vice President of Spark Africa HQ, the startup and talent aggregator behind Africa Startup Festival.

Surayyah Ahmad

Surayyah Ahmad is a seasoned entrepreneur and venture capitalist. She founded TechTankLabs, an accelerator that provides early-stage founders, especially in the north, with funding and other resources to build and grow their startups. 

Surayyah has a degree in Economics from the University of London, and another in Business Management from Hertfordshire University. Before TTLabs, Surayyah ran an e-commerce startup YDS in London, where they partnered with various brands including building Miniso’s first online store in 2020.

In November, Surayyah launched Aduna Capital, a $20 million fund that is targeted at early-stage founders across Africa, with a focus on women and northern Nigeria. Surayyah Ahmad believes in the potential of the northern Nigerian tech ecosystem and is passionate about providing founders with the resources to build scalable startups.

Adedeji Owonibi

Adedeji Owonibi is the founder of blockchain solutions company, Convexcity Tech.

One of the company’s products, CHAT is targeted at monitoring palliative distribution and aid disbursement across the country, and so far, the company has partnered with NGOs like the Red Cross and UNICEF, as well as the French Government on this.

Adedeji has an MSc in Forensic Audit and Accounting from the University of South Wales and another in Forensics Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies from Montpellier Business School. He is committed to using blockchain to combat crimes like money laundering, the dark web and terrorism financing. 

Hadiyyah L.

Hadiyyah is a passionate entrepreneur who has a long history of building software for health facilities in Abuja. 

Hadiyyah is a Venture Analyst at PennPromise Ventures, a venture capital company that’s looking to drive growth in middle-market economies in Africa. At PennPromise, Hadiyyah works with several entrepreneurs to ensure that their businesses and startups achieve sustainable growth. 

She is also the co-founder of Path4her, an initiative that provides support for young women looking to pivot into low-code and no-code careers in tech. 

Amal Hassan

Amal Alhassan is the founder of Outsource Global, a contact centre business process outsourcing(BPO) company. In seven years, she has successfully built her company from an IT training centre to one of the largest outsourcing companies in Africa, employing over 1500 people, and establishing Nigeria as a top destination for BPO.

Amal has an MSc in Business Administration from Bayero University, Kano and is passionate about helping people, especially women, become digitally literate and space in the technology boom. Her workforce consists of 50% women.

Farida Kabir

Farida is a growth and policy expert who has worked extensively at the intersection of ICT and policy. She was CEO of OTRAC, a startup which develops enterprise software systems for the Nigerian healthcare sector, where she oversaw the startup’s $200,000 pre-seed raise to expand system operations in Nigeria and South Africa. She proceeded to the World Bank Group where managed the Digital Identity System project.

Farida is now the group head of growth and brand at Sudo Africa, a fast-growing payments startup in Abuja. 

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