StartUpWestAfrica.org has gone live with the aim of crowdmapping startups and incubators in Lagos, Accra, Abidjan and Dakar, stressing the need to document the region’s growing startup ecosystems.
Inspired by similar African initiatives such as Mapped in Cape Town and StartupKenya, StartUpWestAfrica was launched this week by a team from entrepreneurial community Go-Getters after they decided to travel across Africa to explore the technology startup ecosystem.
“After exploring Ghana and Nigeria tech scene, I noticed that the startup ecosystems in these countries were not documented, which made it hard for us to know who was doing what and where they were based, compared to the East and the South of Africa. As a result, we relied solely on strong connections we built on ground,” chief executive officer (CEO) Seye Akinnaike told Disrupt Africa.
StartUpWestAfrica aims to solve this problem, providing free and easy access to data about the West African tech ecosystem. In the long-term Akinnaike plans to gain revenues from a job portal, which will also enable West African startups to post job openings and internship opportunities.
“Our data is leveraged daily by thousands of people across the globe for job search and industry research. Our content is entirely crowdsourced, and furthermore we have developed a platform to ensure that our data is accurate and up to date,” he said.
“From our travels across West Africa, we found that there were many startups solving local problems. Our platform will put them on the map so that thousands of people across the globe can find them and use their services. Furthermore, the map will help entrepreneurs find where incubators, co-workspaces, accelerator and investors are based.”
The site has also published its StartUpWest Africa Report (Nigeria), which it says provides an overview of the tech ecosystem in the country, looking at market size, key players, challenges, rules and regulations, local culture and opportunities. The report is based on research conducted by the team while in Nigeria.