Silicon Lagoon: Nigeria’s growing innovation hotspots

It seems Nigeria’s Silicon Lagoon, based in Lagos is upping its innovation game. The region recently saw the launch of the ‘Lagos Angel Network,’ reports VC4Africa. The aim of the network is to help foster tech startups in the Lagos area.

The angel investor platform hopes to bring “together individuals and organisations seeking to invest in and mentor Nigerian tech start-ups”. The initiative is headed by Tomi Davies, CEO of TVCLabs a Technology Business Incubation Company based in Lagos. The network currently consists of 15 Angel investors, who are each expected to commit at least US$6 000 a year to a common investment pool.

The region is looking to make things easier for investors by mapping “innovation hotspots” around Lagos, with the launch of the Lagos Innovation Hotspots an initiative of the Co-creation Hub (ccHub) that hopes to represent clusters of “emerging high growth and competitive businesses across Lagos”.

The current map, which has more than 170 listed businesses provides information on each cluster, businesses and location-based support services.

“Innovation for the purpose of this work refers to the creation of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, services or ideas that are acceptable by markets, governments and society,” says the project.

The purpose of the innovation hotspots map is to:

  • Assemble a detailed picture of the location of high growth and innovative businesses in Lagos with specific attention to linkages and location-based resources that give rise to the clusters
  • Provide background information for further research work to help policy makers engage in thoughtful analysis of emerging geographical assets to create comprehensive strategies that are capable of promoting Lagos as the Innovation Hotspot in Africa
  • To promote deliberate economic development around Lagos State’s areas of competitive advantage from a thorough understanding of the microeconomic business environment within which companies exist and compete
  • Provide valuable information to business managers as the innovativeness and competitiveness of their firm is increasingly influenced by the surrounding business environment which shapes skills, knowledge and infrastructure exploited by companies located in the same geographical area
  • Provide business intelligence for service providers, business development support initiatives and organisations looking to target specific clusters and businesses within Lagos

The project and Silicon Lagoon is backed by the state of Lagos through its Innovation Advisory Council that was launched by the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, in September 2011.

Many hubs and Silicon Valley clones are popping up around Africa as the continent races to catch up and lead technological innovation on the global stage. Cape Town’s Silicon Cape region has a growing angel investor network with the Angelhub initiative at the forefront and Kenyan’s iHub enjoys in residence the Savannah Fund group.

You can check out all the tech hubs in Africa here.



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