The Wennovation Hub Initiative has announced it has expanded its operations to Ibadan the capital of Oyo state. In an exclusive interview with IBPulse, Wole Odetayo, Executive Partner, Wennovation Ibadan said the Ibadan hub is being launched in partnership with Entrepeneurship Development Center that has mandate to train entrepreneurs on skills needed to start a business.
The center is located at Samonda, very close to the University of Ibadan.
Explaining why they chose to Ibadan, he said a number of factors led to the decision to expand from Lagos to Ibadan.
“There is about a dozen higher institutions in Ibadan, and quite a lot of people live in Ibadan. Ibadan is geographically large compared to other parts of the country. There is a growing need in Ibadan to think differently and to solve problems differently. There are enough reasons to come to Ibadan to support the existing startup ecosystem in the city,” Odetayo said.
He said he has also been encouraged by startups in the city.
“I have a high level understanding of an existing ecosystem in the metropolis. The few startups that I’ve met in Ibadan have encouraged me in many ways. My first experience was in 2011 when we partnered with MIT during which African MIT students came to University of Ibadan and taught the students how to write codes. We came in and taught them the business aspects. The startups that came out of the experience were amazing,” he told IBPulse.
“There is something unique about Ibadan. When you are in Ibadan, you probably have more time to think deeply. It was a different from what we have in Lagos. The startups in Ibadan were very rich in terms of ideas,” he said.
He added that there are numerous opportunities in forms of problems for startups in Ibadan.
“Ibadan needs to get online first. Technology is just an enabler, you need to think of fast moving propositions – energy, housing, healthcare, food and non-food consumables, education. Startups that build solutions around these will have new market to conquer,” he said.
According to him, Wennovation Hub will be equipping Ibadan startups with capacity building.
He said: “We are bringing experience in dealing with startups and helping them think of more realistic approach of solving problems. We have lots of programs – for students, for street-smart entrepreneurs. We will be commencing 6-week pre-acceleration classes to help you in developing your concepts, building concise business model canvass, finance ideas and several others.”
He added they are currently seeking platform support partners in Ibadan.
Listen to the full interview below.