The hub’s founder and CEO, ‘Bosun Tijani revealed plans of the new innovation centre few weeks back in response to talks in the industry on whether Yaba is truly Nigeria’s own Silicon Valley, or whether it will stay so for a long time.
This talks were started following Andela’s move out out of Yaba to their new office space and headquarters on Ikorodu Road. Online shopping startup, Konga had also left way back to Ikeja.
In his post, Bosun Tijani was taken aback by people’s negative reactions, seriously wondering how easy it was for them to quickly forget the strides Yaba has made despite only becoming a tech cluster in 2011 or thereabout.
“For an organic cluster, which came to life 4 years ago, I am seriously saddened to see how many of us think ‘short-term’. Yaba needs more players stepping up to improve it and we don’t need to do so by first declaring it a failure. A lot is going good for Yaba and the seemingly strong case for the failure of the cluster is unfounded,” he said.
He added, “Over the years, Yaba has attracted interests, resources and commanded respect for technology & start-ups in Nigeria. From about 6 active technology players in the cluster in 2011/2012 to over 50 today, we’ll be wasteful to discard the strides we have made as an industry.”
Bosun pointed out why the big technology players were moving out of Yaba – they needed bigger office spaces to accommodate their growing staff and operations. This, he said, had been envisaged and had led to a search for a solution. The solution is the new Innovation Centre in Yaba.
Proposed CcHUB Innovation Centre
In this interview with Quartz, Bosun stated the 10-storied US$8 million Centre will become operational in 2020.
Besides being CcHUB’s new base, the centre will become home to startups in need of affordable office spaces, and will be open to being used for hosting industry events such as conferences, hackathons, meetups, et al.
This isn’t the first time Bosun and his cohorts at CcHUB are taking the initiative and finding solutions to problems plaguing the technology cluster in Yaba, which they almost singlehandedly founded/started by establishing CcHUB in 2011.
In that short period, they’ve built high speed Internet infrastructure with partners, incubated and accelerated countless number of startups, launched an innovation fund, organized life-changing programs for entrepreneurs, and so on.
Indeed, Bosun and CcHUB have achieved so much in the industry and deserve to be celebrated. This will exactly be done at a Town Hall meeting (you can register here to attend) happening this June.
However, the bigger aim of the Town Hall meeting is for everyone to put heads together to make Yaba a huge success; comparable to, or even better than, other tech clusters around the world.
“Yaba is a community initiative that requires effort from diverse stakeholders. The more organisations like Cafe Neo and EasyWash we attract to the neighbourhood, the stronger it becomes. This however isn’t a 4 year project but a lifetime endeavour we should all be proud to contribute to,” Bosun concluded.