In 2016, we had lots of fun and got some stuff done. Some stats;
- 3850 cups of coffee
- 755 Visitors
- 204 Start-up founders
- 103 Co-workers
- 63 office hour sessions
- 12 Techpreneurship events
- 7 Incubated companies
VP Hybrid-Incubation Program
On June 3rd 2016, Ventures Platform Hub was officially opened by the Honourable Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, with a mission to *“become the most ideal community in Africa for nurturing disruptive and financially sustainable technology ventures that also have a social impact” *— long for “becoming the most awesome start-up Launchpad.”
The incubation team immediately swung to action and opened the applications for the first cohort #VPHub1. Combing through well-over 500 applications from across Africa was interesting. After 2 application stages, including video pitches, final interviews were held in Lagos and Abuja.
- 7 start-ups were selected for Cohort 1: Jalo, Lizzie’s Creations, Mobile Forms Africa, PayConnect, ProTeach, Wesabi, DriversNG.
- The program officially started on the 19th of September 2016. During the program, we provided work & living space, invested in, coached, shared with, challenged and stressed the hell out of the very incredible founders in Cohort1. We also learnt a lot from them to make the program better.
- We were very fortunate to have 20 amazing mentors and 5 advisors be an integral part of the program, sacrificing their scarce time to support the founders. We owe our mentors and advisors everything; they are the true MVPs!
- As of today, all our start-ups have shown healthy traction and are making good revenues. 2 of the 7 startups have gained international recognition, representing Nigeria in SLUSH Global Impact Accelerator in Finland (PayConnect) and at the African Entrepreneurship Awards in Morocco (Wesabi). Together, our start-ups have now cumulatively reached 8,756 new customers and counting.
VP In the ecosystem
Between working with our 7 companies, we also found some time to do good in the ecosystem.
- Working with SLUSH Global Impact Accelerator (Europe’s leading start-up and technology event) was a fantastic experience culminating in one of our incubated companies — Payconnect and Adaeze Sokan of Ventures Platform representing Nigeria in Helsinki, Finland.
- We hosted the Aso Villa Demo Day (AVDD) boot camp. This was an interesting one!
- An august-visitor, Michael Seibel — CEO of Y Combinator, came calling while on his international tour and held office hours at VP for the startup community in Abuja and beyond. Michael was gracious enough to share their experiences at YC.
- We collaborated with the American Embassy in hosting a round table discussion with selected entrepreneurs during the visit of Macon Philips — Coordinator of the United States Department of State, Bureau of International Information. Macon is the former White House Director of New Media and worked on digital strategy for the Obama campaign.
- Techpoint embarked on their Innovation tour engaging with the startup community in North Central Nigeria and made a stop at VPHub for a few days, complete with a super-cool tour bus.
- VP Office Hours was opened for entrepreneurs to get free business advice from our pool of business experts, with over 60 startups getting help in 2016.
- We began working with Microsoft to foster a vibrant developer community in Abuja. We met regularly at the hub to share ideas, opportunities, engage and hang out in an informal setting, tagged: “Developers Hangout.”
We kick-started an Early-stage/ Angel Investor Meet Up series in Abuja/Northcentral Regional and had the pleasure of Mr Adedotun Sulaiman, Mr Kyari Bukar, Lexi Novitske, Yemi Keri and Bankole Oloruntoba at the first edition as speakers.
You made it possible.
Looking back now, one realises that none of the baby steps we took this year would have been possible without the support of so many people like; Micheal Sibel, YCobminator, the SLUSH team, The United States Embassy, Macon Philips, Microsoft, The office of the Vice President of Nigeria — Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, The Honourable Minister of Communications Technology — Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, Starta, MEST, YALI, June, Longe Practice, SLA, OO Nwoye, Danjuma Enebi, Victor Ehikhamenor, Bunmi Okunowo, Afolabi Imoukhuede, Wole Olabanji, Techpoint, Techcabal, Techloy, all our partners, service providers, investors, co-workers, founders, mentors, advisors, friends, family, the EP Team, the VP Team and most importantly You!
Thank you for making 2016 awesome!
2017 & beyond.
In closing, we are happy to announce that we will be hosting our first Demo Day on the 27th of January 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria. Spaces are limited, but if you would like to join us as an investor or learn more about the startups to be featured, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications for cohort2 will also open in January 2017, so keep an eye out on our website. If you haven’t visited Ventures Park yet, please do so in 2017. till then, you can take a virtual tour by clicking here. Know how we can be better? Please drop us a line at email@example.com.
May you take flight in 2017!