Startup Port Harcourt Week is more than a conference, it is a celebration! This annual event will bring together leading and budding founders from within and outside Port Harcourt, as well as local leaders, innovators, thought/change leaders, and friends together over seven days to build momentum, explore opportunities, and tackle together the many challenges of the startup ecosystem in Port Harcourt. The core mission of Startup Port Harcourt Week is to celebrate outstanding entrepreneurial endeavors, develop and support the growing startup ecosystem in the city, and create a path for startups to scale from ideas to global corporations.
It is an initiative of Netopps, an organisation dedicated to building people and systems in Africa to leverage internet opportunities in solving local problems and optimizing potentials in tech entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and digital jobs.
Over the course of the week, speakers from within and outside Port Harcourt will be brought in to share their stories to motivate and inspire the startup community. Participants will be able to select the tracks they feel most relevant to them and choose speakers based on those tracks. Startups from Port Harcourt and outside will have the chance to exhibit their products and services and enjoy immense press and investor attention. We hope that after the conference, participants and speakers will feel more connected to the city and no longer feel alone in their efforts. This critical support network can make the difference between closing up shop and pushing through the challenges to success.
Why Port Harcourt?
Port Harcourt has the potential to be the leading startup hub in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It is the capital and largest city of Rivers State and is a pivotal city for the oil and extractive industry in Nigeria and the Niger Delta region – what happens here can determine the pace and success for the entire nation and the West African sub region. With over 1 million inhabitants spanning over 360 kilometers, it is the fifth largest urban area in Nigeria (after Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Ibadan), that brings with it overcrowded and congested challenges in just a few areas of the city. A law recently passed by the State House aims to spread development to the surrounding communities as part of the effort to decongest the Port Harcourt metropolis to Bori, Degema, and Isiokpo – the three Senatorial districts of the State. If well executed this expansion plan could pose an opportunity for a world class city with efficient amenities and a sustainable startup ecosystem.
Port Harcourt has recently been characterized by state election violence, accompanied by tensions between competing political interests, which has given potential investors heightened apprehension on risk, security of investments and the general enabling environment for business in the city and Rivers state. Nevertheless, the emerging startup community, which aims to position Port Harcourt as an attractive metropolis to work and live, is looking beyond these challenges to the vast opportunities that are locally ideated, designed and executed.
- Increase the level of awareness and shared understanding among stakeholders of the systemic constraints (and opportunities) that can shape the growth of the startup ecosystem
- Identify and support innovative ideas and startups that could solve local problems and attract foreign investments/funding
- Boost local and international investment into the Port Harcourt Startup Ecosystem
- Leverage existing opportunities in the city for sustained growth by showcasing potential investment opportunities
- Facilitate commitment of key stakeholders through dialogue, collaboration, and ongoing engagement activities
Who Should Attend?
Founders of Startups from Port Harcourt, and outside desiring to connect, learn and grow.
Angel Investors, Private Equity Firms, Venture Capitalists etc from within and outside Port Harcourt.
Government officials desirous of gaining more insight on current trends for startups in order to aid them in creating better business environments as well as develop policies that will boost innovation and entrepreneurship, and increase investment and revenue.
The Diaspora community has the potential to transform an economy as a result of their skill, knowledge, contacts and deep insight. They will be engaged with a view to unlocking economic potential to boost innovation and economic activities.
The Expat community is an untapped resource pool. They possess immense skills, connections, access and valuable information that could boost the growth of the ecosystem. This will be an opportunity to engage and integrate them into the startup ecosystem.
Hubs & Incubators
Hubs, Incubators, Accelerators and other Business Support Providers from both within and outside Port Harcourt looking for an opportunity to connect and be better involved in the Port Harcourt ecosystem.
Talents are the drivers of startups. They play a major role and this conference aims to increase capacity, inspire growth and create visibility of the talents. This will go a long way in building a sustainable ecosystem.
The media has a role to play in marketing the ecosystem and bringing visibility to the key players. Understanding how the media can grow strong and engaging platforms and increase revenue is vital to sustainability.
- The role of tertiary institutions in growing the startup ecosystem
- Bridging the gap between High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs) and the ecosystem
- Unlocking the potentials of the African millennial
- Leveraging the untapped potentials of the Expat community
- Integrating the African diaspora community into the ecosystem
- Controlling the narrative: Media engagement and collaboration
- Building synergy with government ministries, departments and agencies
- Sustainable solutions to the security problem
Office Hours are extensions of government agencies and private organisations at the conference venue. They are setup to reduce bottle necks and increase access by providing one-stop information services to potential partners, clients and investors. The desks will handle inquiries, and facilitate appointments and high profile meetings. Click here to apply for an Office Hour desk.
Teams of young coders will convene at the conference room of the Elkan Terrace to identify problems in the city and develop apps that could solve the problems within a 24 hour time frame.
The teams will have their apps displayed on Friday at the Startup UST event and will partake in the Pitch Port Harcourt challenge during the event, amidst investors, the media and delegates.
50 Startups to Watch
50 early stage startups that could change the face of the city and attract positive attention and investment in the years to come. They will feature prominently and be exposed to opportunities, to the media, investors, and mentors during the event. Click here to view the list
Watch teams clash at the exciting Startup Basketball tourney, from the evening of November 29th to the evening of December 2nd. The games come fully packed with music performances, fashion shows, food and drinks stands, music, comedy and lots of fun.
You can’t afford to miss it!