The heavy showers of rain that poured down on Lagos, Nigeria, this last Saturday did not stop thousands of tech enthusiasts from participating at the Lagos Startup Expo organised by Techpoint Africa.
Participants who wanted to meet with the exhibiting startups were ready to start signing in as early as 0800 hours while the staff of the startups were still setting up, arranging flyers, and getting the merch to gift interested parties who interacted with their stands.
It was an opportunity to connect with several Nigerian tech startups, explore innovative products, meet potential partners, and network with industry professionals; nobody wanted to miss it.
For instance, one of the participants told Technext that she was just there to look at new products that startups were offering and to select the ones that met her immediate fintech needs.
From Fintech startups such as Cardify, Piggyvest, Carbon, and CoralPay to Healthtech startups like Meuve and startups leveraging technology to promote arts and culture like Rakinda, the Nigerian tech startup ecosystem was duly represented.
“It was an opportunity to showcase our products to thousands of potential customers and meet other startups that we can build relationships with. I only had a few hours to prepare for this, but I did not want to miss it, ” one of the exhibitors who spoke to Technext said.
The Lagos startup expo was a success, but…
The Techpoint team and other attendees took to social media over the weekend to discuss their experiences at the end of the program, flooding timelines with tales of networking, reconnection with old friends, and pictures from the events.
Read also: Techpoint Africa to host the best of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem and international startups at Lagos Startup Expo
Muyiwa Matuluko, Chief Servant at Techpoint Africa, told Tecxhnext that the Lagos startup expo was a success, but several lessons were learnt during its planning and execution. The expo was a means to help budding startups generate leads, and build collaboration, an objective that the expo fulfilled.
“We set out to help startups generate quality leads and feedback on their products, foster networking in general and collaboration between businesses, and allow tech enthusiasts and consumers to discover innovative solutions to their pain points. Based on all the positive feedback we received so far, we achieved all of these,” he said.
While the feedback has been mainly positive, Muyiwa believes the Lagos Startup Expo could have been even bigger and better, especially regarding the numbers. However, the situation of the country needed to be accounted for and the lessons learnt would be applied to ensure that future expos and other events would build on this success.
“I stand to be corrected, but I’ve been in this industry for a decade, and I should know there’s never been anything like the Lagos Startup Expo in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, with as many as 90 businesses and startups showcasing their products in one single location.”
“But as much of a success as it was, we didn’t even do half the numbers we set out to. One could argue that the cash crunch and election season played a role in this, but next time, we plan to begin the campaign much earlier. So that many more businesses have enough time to gather the resources to participate.”
Muyiwa Matuluko disclosed that Techpoint would look to replicate the successful model; of the Lagos Startup Expo at other locations in Nigeria and Africa. A quick Twitter poll on his profile suggested that many people would like to see an Abuja Startup Expo.
“We definitely plan to do more editions of the Lagos Startup Expo in the future and also replicate the model in other regions across Nigeria and Africa,” he said.
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