500 Startups’ Geeks on a Plane Tour Kicks Off in Lagos

Silicon Valley investors engage Africa’s booming technology ecosystems across four cities.

Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital seed fund & startup accelerator, 500 startups, in partnership with the Silicon Valley based African Technology Foundation and Ingressive, will host the inaugural African edition of their world renowned Geeks on a Plane program alongside a select group of international 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.

The Geeks will be hosted in Lagos, Nigeria from March 19th – 23rd, where they will 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 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. 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.” – Dave McClure, Founding Partner at 500 Startups

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.

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, Imaginairum, Growth Capital, Aluko & Oyebode,Olaniwun Ajayi, First City Monument Bank, and SWIFT Networks.

“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 Silicon Valley Geeks to the depth of innovation activities in Lagos, and showcase the diversity of entrepreneurial activities across the continent.”

“We are excited to host 500 Startups in Nigeria.We hope to facilitate these relationships further, and showcase high quality Nigerian startups to international tech experts and investors. Trips like these open doors and change businesses.“ says Maya Horgan-Famodu, Founder of Ingressive.

Following their visit to Lagos, the Geeks will travel to Accra, Ghana, where they will be further immersed in innovation activities across West Africa. They will meet with business leaders, attend conferences, visit co-working spaces, and share venture creation ideas with key ecosystem leaders and investors. The tour will move on to two cities in South Africa, where they will learn how innovation actors in Johannesburg and Capetown have blazed the trail and led entrepreneurial activities in Southern Africa.