nHub | Jos incubator eyes tech hub for Northern Nigeria

nHub | Jos incubator eyes tech hub for Northern Nigeria

nHub | Jos incubator eyes tech hub for Northern Nigeria

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nHub Incubator and Accelerator Ltd, a technology hub accelerating and nurturing technology start-ups in Plateau State, says it hopes to transform Jos into the technology outsourcing centre for Northern Nigeria.

Theodore Longji, Lead, research and development, head of partnerships at nHub, who dropped this hint, told Technology Times in an exclusive interview says the technology idea incubator and accelerator hub was set up to assist young people with great ideas to launch and establish their businesses by providing them with needed support, which includes the seed funding.

He further reveals that nHub is working with a focused objective to transform Jos into a technology outsourcing centre for Northern Nigeria, hinting that the hub has set up plans to achieve this objective.

The technology idea incubator and accelerator hub executive says the Northern part of Nigeria is slow in the adoption of technology, but despite that, it will not relent in striving to incubate and accelerate technology and innovative ideas in the region.

“We will look at the viability of the idea before we move further. First, is the idea solving a problem? If yes, how big? This is because most problems are not big enough, so people have a way around them. Then, does this idea need a technology? Has the idea been properly researched and who is the customer? We begin development and usability test. If that is successful, then we lunch the product,” he explains to Technology Times.

Longji explains that when a young person with an idea that needs technology to launch comes to nHub, the idea passes through a number of assessments to ensure its viability, and subsequently assist the person with the technology and seed funding to launch.

Theodore Longji, Lead, research and development, head of partnerships at nHub, who dropped this hint, told Technology Times in an exclusive interview says the technology idea incubator and accelerator hub was set up to assist young people with great ideas to launch and establish their businesses by providing them with needed support, which includes the seed funding.
Theodore Longji, Lead, research and development, head of partnerships at nHub.

“We will look at the viability of the idea before we move further. First, is the idea solving a problem? If yes, how big? This is because most problems are not big enough, so people have a way around them. Then, does this idea need a technology? Has the idea been properly researched and who is the customer? We begin development and usability test. If that is successful, then we lunch the product,” he explains to Technology Times.

Even after assisting the start-up to launch the product or service into the market and secure seed funding, nHub does not leave the start-up to go on without support.

“We will still be there. Remember, there is need for further growth, so we will need to be there to offer necessary support. We will provide the technology and get you to that position where a venture capitalists can spot you and get to invest.

“We have Ventureplatformhub who are doing that, and getting seed funding for start-ups all over Nigeria. So, we can get our Start-ups to that position. We are interested in transforming our young people’s ideas into strong ventures,” Longji says.

While revealing some of nHub’s agenda for 2017, the head of partnerships at nHub says this year, which is themed “Year of the App”, the incubator now wants to ship viable products they incubated into the market.

According to him, “this year alone, we have collaborated with different tech organisation to roll out free programmes that are geared towards improving the tech culture. We are already running the next economy programme sponsored by some international organisations and the state government.”

In addition, he said the nHub will be starting a fellowship programme for graduates and members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), which will equip them with technology experience they need to be employed after their service year.

“Our fellowship programme which is coming up soon will allow successful graduates and corps members to have world class experience during the 10-month programme, after which some will be absorbed into nHub, while the rest will be placed into private organisations,” Longji adds.

Winners of HackJos 2016 edition receiving their awards

“When we set up the Hub, our plan was to begin to incubate and accelerate technology and innovative ideas in the North, and to make Jos an outsourcing center where by products can be developed at a cheaper price and shipped to where the market is, Like Lagos, Abuja and the likes,” Longji says.

So far, the hub is progressing in building and strengthening the technology culture in the minds of those who are yet to accept and love technology and new innovations in the region.

“Honestly, is very slow but we are gradually making progress in terms of creating a tech culture through different ways, which include tech events like Hackathon (hackjos.ng), NASA International space apps and #Hash code. This is gradually creating the enabling atmosphere for tech culture to begin to be a norm.”

According to Longji, “technology events like this can foster interest in software engineering among our youths who happen to be our target and drivers.”

Speaking further on what nHub has done so far in building technology culture in the region, the nHub executive said they have placed much focus on the youths and women in order to prepare them for the task ahead.

Sevocoder code club inauguration at TCNN Staff Secondary Schools, Buruku, Plateau State.

“We have been able to successfully initiate a programming club in secondary schools across Jos called Sevocoder code club. The idea is to see these young ones have interest in software engineering. If you look at the trend in the developed countries you will see that most programs developed, like apps and games etc. are done by children within the ages of 12 – 18.

“So, we are working very hard to actualizing our vision of transforming Jos into a tech outsourcing centre. We need to train the army for that task. And we are encouraging females to enroll for our training for free in our women in tech initiative,” Longji says.

Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng

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