Silicon Valley’s VC fund & startup accelerator, 500 startups, is set to host the inaugural African edition of their world renowned Geeks on a Plane program alongside a select group of Silicon Valley investors and ecosystem stakeholders in Lagos, Nigeria then later to Accra, Johannesburg, and Cape Town.
According to Dave McClure, Founding Partner at 500 Startups, “The African region is definitely of interest to 500 as we continue to look for and source deals from traditionally underrepresented ecosystems. While we invest 70% in the US, 30% of our deals are spread across 60 different countries currently. Through Geeks on a Plane we are looking to build stronger relationships with investors on the ground, maybe even find a few startups to invest in, and have a LOT of fun with local nerds.”
The fund is working in partnership with Ingressive and African Technology Foundation, among others, in a series of events where the 500 Startups team will engage local thought leaders and ecosystem drivers in a series of curated events and activities that will celebrate Africa’s entrepreneurial talent, highlight disruptive technologies, and showcase the investment opportunities.
In Lagos, the event will be held from March 20th – 23rd. Since 2009, Geeks on a Plane has hosted 17 exclusive tours across the globe for startups, investors, and executives to learn about high-growth technology markets, and explore cross-border opportunities for venture creation.
“Much has been said about Nigeria’s potential to consistently create Africa’s leading technology ventures that have the potential to scale globally.” says Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, Regional Partner, African Technology Foundation. “This tour will expose the Geeks to the depth of innovation activities in Lagos, and showcase the diversity of entrepreneurial activities.”
Key tour activities in Lagos will include:
● Taste of Nigeria – A techno-cultural journey across major ecosystem and culinary touch points.
● Seedstars World – A pitch event showcasing diverse and game-changing Nigerian startups.
● Geeks Meet Nollywood – A star-studded red carpet event that explores the intersection between African Media and technology solutions.
● Space Apps Nigeria – A showcase of the next generation of Africa’s youthful innovators.
● VC Unlocked – Where Dave and team will unlock the secrets of Silicon Valley Investing.
After their visit to Lagos, the Geeks will travel to Accra, Ghana, where they will be further immersed in innovation activities across West Africa. The tour will move on to South Africa, where they will learn how innovation actors in Johannesburg and Capetown have blazed the trail and led entrepreneurial activities in Southern Africa.