Biz & Tech

Nigeria to establish startup house in San Francisco

The Federal Government has announced plans to set up the Nigerian Digital Technology Exchange Program Hub to be called Nigerian Startup House in San Francisco, the United States of America (USA).

Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, who announced this, said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the project during its meeting on Tuesday.

According to him, an existing property of the Federal Government in San Francisco will be converted to become the Nigeria Startup House.

Tijani said setting up a startup hub in the US aligns with the desire of the Ministry to position Nigeria as a significant player in the global technology landscape. He added that the hub will play a significant role in attracting investments to Nigeria.
Funding opportunities for Nigerian startups

Highlighting the potential gains for Nigeria and the country’s startup ecosystem, the Communications Minister said,

“As we work towards achieving key elements of our Trade and IEC Strategic Blueprint Pillars, the Nigerian Startup House will play a critical role in promoting Nigeria’s economic interest, attracting Foreign Direct Investment, and improving the visibility and positioning of Nigeria’s Startup Ecosystem to attract funding and expertise from global markets and organizations represented in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond.

“The San Francisco Bay Area, and nearby Silicon Valley, is recognized globally as a major source of startup ecosystem funding, with a combined GDP value of just over $929 billion and is home to over 200 of the largest companies in the world by revenue. In addition, most of the $1.3 billion funding sourced by Nigerian technology startups in 2023 alone came from venture capital funds in the Bay Area.”

Tijani noted that while the ownership of the Nigeria Startup House will remain with the Federal Government, represented by the Ministry of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it will be managed by a consortium of Nigerian digital technology companies that will provide non-public funding for the operations of the Startup House.

What you should know

The establishment of an Exchange Progam Hub in the US also aligns with the Nigeria Startup Act, which encourages the establishment of innovation hubs and incubators, fostering a collaborative environment for startups to thrive. According to the Act, these hubs are to serve as focal points for knowledge exchange, mentorship, and networking, creating a supportive ecosystem that nurtures the growth of innovative ideas.

The Nigeria Startup Act is a joint initiative by Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and the Presidency to harness the potential of the digital economy through co-created regulations.

Among other targets, the Act is to ensure that Federal laws & regulations are clear, planned & designed to work for the tech ecosystem. Through the implementation of the Act, Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is expected to see an improved enabling environment shortly.

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