Lagos recently welcomed Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital seed fund & startup accelerator, 500 startups and 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.
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.
From March 20th — April 3rd, 2017, the Geeks will make their way to Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, and Cape Town, where they will be immersed in some of the continent’s most prominent technology innovation ecosystems.
From March 20th — 23rd, the Geeks was hosted in Lagos, Nigeria, where they engage local thought leaders and ecosystem drivers in a series of curated events and activities that will celebrate Nigeria’s entrepreneurial talent, highlight disruptive technologies, and showcase the investment opportunities.
“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.
Key tour activities in Lagos included:
- 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.
The international tech interest is complemented by growing local corporates looking toward the tech space for innovation, and market growth. This trip is supported by a host of partners including Venture Garden Group, Mall for Africa, African International Film Festival, Filmhouse, Imaginarium, Growth Capital, Aluko & Oyebode, Olaniwun Ajayi, First City Monument Bank, and SWIFT Networks.
About 500 Startups
500 startups is a Silicon Valley venture capital seed fund & startup accelerator founded by former PayPal & Google alumni. They have ~$250M under management, and have invested in over 1,700 companies in more than 50 countries around the world. Some of their more successful companies include Credit Karma, Twilio, GrabTaxi, Ipsy, Udemy, TalkDesk, Intercom, ToutApp, and Mayvenn. Our largest exits to date are MakerBot ($400M by Stratasys), Wildfire ($350M by Google), and Viki ($200M by Rakuten).