The Lagos-based incubation and acceleration center, Co-creation Hub (CcHub) is planning to set up a new $8 million Innovation Center by the year 2020.
The news was revealed by Bosun Tijani, the CcHub’s founder, and CEO, while responding to questions a few weeks ago about the industry and if Yaba could be Nigeria’s own Silicon Valley. And if Yaba was indeed the Silicon Valley, for how long will it maintain that position.
These questions were partly sparked by Andela’s move out of Yaba and into their own new office space on Ikorodu Road. It would be important to point out that even Konga, one of Nigeria’s leading online shopping malls also left the space way back.
Tijani was clearly taken aback by the negative perception people are beginning to form about CcHub. Questioning how fast people have forgotten all the strides the hub has made so far since its launch and becoming a tech cluster in 2011 and after.
“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,” wrote Tijani.
“Over the years, Yaba has attracted interests, resources and commanded respect for technology and startups 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.”
According to Tijani, the reason why big tech players choose to move out of Yaba is they needed larger office spaces. That often happens when a startups grow and need to accommodate its growing staff and operations. He says such developments had been envisaged and led to a search for a solution, and the solution they have reached on is to put a new bigger Innovation Center in Yaba.
— ‘Bosun Tijani (@bosuntijani) May 16, 2017
During an interview with Quartz, Tijani revealed the planned 10-story $8million Innovation Center they plan to put up by 2020. The new structure will become the new CcHub’s space and a home to startups that need affordable office spaces. The space will also be open to hosting industry events such as hackathons, conferences, and meetups among others.