Viable Online Startups: The Nigerian Story Digital Sense Forum 2010 Lagos – Nigeria April 16, 2010 by Loy Okezie
Overview The first dot-com registered company was Symbolics in 1985. The dot-com boom started in the 90’s and Amazon was launched by Jeff Bezos in 1995. Nigerian-born Chinedu Echeruo founded HopStop.com in 2005. OnePage was launched by Osita Nwoye and Joel Gascoigne in 2010.
Futureview What will be the next big thing on the web? Will you be the next youngest internet entrepreneur? When will you launch your own internet company? 2015? 2020? 2030?
Viable Online Startups
Mammaput A crowd-sourced directory of eateries in Nigeria that supports location-based mobile applications.
Alarena A match-making site that lets you find a life partner or true love and allows you to reach millions of potential marriage partners.
Sturvs A social bookmarking site that allows you to share music, videos, articles, read news and also promote events and services.
Kilonshele An e-commerce site that provides ticket sales, marketing and distribution services as well as connects the world to live entertainment events in Nigeria.
Naijapals Arguably the largest social networking site with over 500, 000 members.
Truspot A social music platform designed to support Nigerian artists, fans, local music and the entertainment world at large.
Taafoo A free subscription service that lets you stay hooked-up through your mobile phone with celebrities, personalities, groups, interesting people and businesses.
Txtoweb A service that lets you send instant short messages in form of classified ads via SMS from your mobile phone to the web.
Tokunbo An online marketplace that allows you to buy, bid or sell anything.
Wooppee A powerful search engine focused on the Nigerian web market with a lot of features and search relevance that may leave Google feeling woozy.
Challenges? Technology Community? Stiff Competition?? Poor Infrastructure??? Source of Power???? Lack of Venture of Capital?????
Web 2.0 Success Stories
HopStop HopStop (founded in 2005 by Chinedu Echerou) provides subway and bus directions for New York City (NYC) and other cites around the world.
OnePage OnePage was co- founded by Osita Nwoye in 2010 as a digital platform for creating, sharing and storing real-time business/contact cards.
SocialCubix SocialCubix is a Facebook and Social Media application development company launched by Udoka Mark Uzoka in October 2007.
Opportunities? Mobile Apps (Blackberry, Nokia, iPhone) Location-Based Services (Foursquare, The Grid) Social Search Engine (Aardvark) Crowdsourced Business Directory (Yelp) Mobile Payment (Mpesa)
Key VC Players
The Way Forward? Provide early stage investments as a community of smaller investors. Build technology incubators across several states. Integrate latest web-related courses and degree programmes in the University’s curricula. Set-up a Start-up University for techno- entrepreneurs Reverse the brain-drain. Join the Renaissance for technology innovations.
Startups Nigeria Startups Nigeria is a youth-driven, online community for technology enthusiasts, internet start-ups, companies, entrepreneurs, investors and students, all pioneering innovations http://www.startupsnigeria.or in Nigeria’s emerging g start-up industry and Internet economy.
Mission To e-ducate, e-mpower and e-ngage with the largest community of people interested in business start-ups, entrepreneurship and innovations.
Vision To build Nigeria’s emerging dot-com startup industry and contribute towards a knowledge-based and Internet economy in Nigeria by the year 2020 and beyond.