Last week we talked about 5 inspiring women doing things in the tech space here. Some of these women had no background in technology but have been able to utilize their skills, resources and passion to make impact in the tech space. There are many men and women out here doing amazing things in and for the tech ecosystem, but today, we would highlight only 5 because they have compelling stories as well as have affected people through their works. Over time, more individuals will be featured in our articles, so ride along with me.
Kola Aina (Founding Partner, Ventures Platform)
Kola Aina is an entrepreneur, technology investor and one of Nigeria’s leading startup investors and ecosystem builders. He is the founding partner at Ventures Platform, an early-stage venture capitalist (VC) fund that supports under-served entrepreneurs with capital, capacity building, support and advocacy to grow their startups. Some of the companies supported are Paystack, Thrive Agric, Kudi, Piggybank, Mines.io and Printivo, among many others.
With a bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering, Kola Aina has worked in a widespan of entrepreneurial sectors including venture capital, finance, agriculture, real estate, publishing, infrastructure and technology. Kola has led investment in over 28 companies and founded the Emerging Platforms Limited, a software and technology service delivery company that specializes in delivering innovative technology solutions in education, national security and enterprise sectors. It has also provided e-learning services to over 100,000 students.
Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe [Co-founders, Co-creation Hub (CcHub)]
CcHub was founded by Femi Longe and Bosun Tijani in 2010. It has become the iconic tech hub in Lagos and the symbol of how far the Nigerian startup ecosystem has come.
Femi and Bosun started when very few people had any idea what the Internet could do or what it meant to found and invest in a tech startup. Today, CcHub has become the icon of tech investment, startup culture, and policy development. They have over 18 partners and have worked with over 50 startups ranging from agriculture, education, fintech, civic responsibility, digital security to health and smart infrastructure.
Mark Essien (Founder/CEO, Hotels.ng)
Through his internship programmes @hnginternship, Mark’s startup has helped groom many of Nigeria’s software developers. He also opens his company’s building in Yaba up for regular tech community meetups and small events, for free. Hotels.ng is an online travel agency that makes Nigerian hotels available for online booking.
Mark uses his influence as one of the ecosystem’s earliest success stories to foster collaboration. He also lends his voice to social and economic issues and is a frequent speaker at TedX events.
Adewale Yusuf (CEO, Techpremier Media, and Publisher, Techpoint Africa)
A lot of activities happen in the Nigerian tech ecosystem — deals, acquisitions, hiring and firing, mergers, the rise of a startup and the fall of another. All the reporting or journalism going on have been covered quite well by Techpoint.africa with its thorough job of covering the details as well as having connections that can lead to the details.
Techpoint is a full digital media company with the goal of telling the African entrepreneur’s story from a relatable point. It tells the tale of the African tech ecosystem and how they are shaping the world through video, events, and community building offerings.
Seun Onigbinde (CEO and Co-founder, BudgIT)
BudgIT tracks government budgets and data and presents them to the public in visually engaging formats. Its major purpose is to increase access and understanding of public budgets using research, data analytics and visualisation tools. He believes “Democracy involves continuous scrutiny and eternal vigilance. We need to continuously be at the heels of government officials to know how government funds are spent. The rights are conferred on you, based on your votes. So, the question is, “how are you exercising that responsibility?”
When government data is available and easy for everyone to understand, then citizens can challenge the government and innovation can happen at a faster rate.
Featured image source: Pulse.ng