In partnership with Etrilabs, CcHUB and iHub hosted startups from Benin Republic as part of the Visiting Startups Program (VSP), a 6-week program which gives promising tech entrepreneurs from Benin the opportunity to learn, collaborate and build partnerships with startups from across Africa and the world.
The program is an effort by Etrilabs to impact lasting and sustainable change on the Benin entrepreneurship ecosystem by providing the opportunity for entrepreneurs from those high performing ecosystems to visit Benin.
EtriLabs, observed that entrepreneurs exposed to more developed ecosystems than the nascent Beninese one tend to think more “out of the box”, they feel more empowered and evolve faster due to the connections they can make with outside entrepreneurs, developers, marketers, potential suppliers, customers and other business partners but also investors. They also see value in learning from other successful hubs across the world.
The goal of the VSP is to open more opportunities for Beninese entrepreneurs who may be limited in their growth potential in the smaller entrepreneurial ecosystem of their country to interact with entrepreneurs, talents, businesses and investors from more mature startup ecosystems.
Why CcHUB and iHUB
Etrilabs partnered with CcHUB and iHub as strategic partners because of our vast network, experience, competencies, exposure and engagement with and within the innovation and technology ecosystem in both Kenya and Nigeria.
We were able to offer the visiting startups access to:
- Working space
- Meetings with mentors, successful entrepreneurs, corporates, various experts and other key players in your ecosystem.
- Opportunities to showcase their solutions to investors (pitch events)
- Masterclasses/workshops on key learning subjects
Here are the startups who visited us:
1. Irawo (Media)
Irawo is a digital media company connecting young Africans talents with brands and resources to help them achieve their professional dreams.
2. Mentorat.Club (Education)
Mentorat.Club connects young entrepreneurs and experts in their fields.
3. Bidofi (SaaS)
Bidofi is a simple, easy, yet versatile solution for data analysis and visualization.
4. PayPlus (Finance)
A secure gateway to accept mobile and credit cards payments online.
5. Ylomi (Services)
A marketplace to quickly find and hire the top-rated pros near you.
6. The Way
Online academic and professional orientation program to discover your passion and make a living out of it.
7. Assiba Fee
An agribusiness startup that offers a range of processed products based on fonio, a gluten-free and healthy cereal rich in essential nutrients.
About their week in Lagos
In Lagos, they worked out of the CcHUB office space in Yaba. During their stay, the startups met with select entrepreneurs and startups which had been pre-arranged prior to their arrival. The purpose of these meetings was to exchange knowledge, share learnings and explore possible collaboration opportunities between. Some of the entrepreneurs and startups they met with include, Tomi Davies, Microtraction, Growth Capital by CcHUB, Andela, Stutern, Kudbank, Wesabi, DIYLaw, Techpoint and Simply Green juices.
We also organised various learning sessions that focused on introducing them to the Nigerian tech landscape, how to pitch to investors and a legal session on how to set up their businesses in Nigeria. There was also a design sprint that focused on finding ways to drive shared collaboration between entrepreneurs from both countries which was attended by over 30 entrepreneurs from both countries who came up with various ideas and possible collaboration areas.
About their week in Nairobi
They were in Nairobi from 1st November to 8th November 2019, where they worked from the iHUB space, met other startups and participated in several sessions and events at the iHUB. Several mentorship sessions from our team were organised for the startups and coaching sessions from experts on market, legal, business, technology and investor readiness. Some of the sessions focused on customer acquisition and retention, market research, business environment and legal setup in Kenya.
The startups also had a chance to participate in a peer mentorship session on startup’s day, product review and feedback on the community day, mentorship session with an investor and Investment Analyst on Investors’ Day including a chance to visit several players in the ecosystem.
Some of the companies they met with where iHUB, Mobidev, Tanasuk Technologies, BRCK, GearBox, Nailab, DroidCon, Village Capital, My Biz Marketer, TikTok Event, Lawyers Hub, Raise.io and they interacted with startups in the iHUB community.
To round off their visit in Nairobi, the startups attended the launch of Nyota, a celebration of Africa’s Technology Champion, a mixed reality art installation exhibition to honour 24 of Africa’s tech trailblazers and Champions.
The startups departed Nairobi for Cotonou to prepare for their next visit.