Startup Port Harcourt Week Open Day 2019… in the words of Andrew Banigo

The Port Harcourt Startup Community is flourishing, and it is great to be able to say that!

After years of nurturing the seed of this community, sowed with a clear vision and watered with hard work, innovation, selflessness and optimism, the shoots of the community are out in the open and its green promising foliage has swiftly unfurled and is finally getting deserved recognition.

Andrew Banigo, Joshua Agbomedarho Co Founder Honey Flow Africa, Kenneth Kalio Convener Port Harcourt International Food Festival

As a member of this community, having contributed a few refreshing drops of my endeavour to its sustenance, it gave me joy and renewed optimism to see how far the community has come, as I participated in the Open Day of Startup Port Harcourt Week held in Marley & Blue cafe on Saturday, 31st August 2019.

To begin with, the venue of the event was a remarkable choice and is a testament to the symbiosis needed within the Port Harcourt Startup Community for it to thrive. Marley & Blue Cafe opened in August 2019 and is founded by Ese Emerhi, with the vision to serve as a collaborative space for artists, creatives, the tech startup community and everyone else. 

Ese Emerhi Founder, Marley&Blue

It was set up as a watering hole for brilliant ideas to converge. 

Marley & Blue is a picturesque space over-looking a bustling section of the city of Port-Harcourt through clear plane glass, and proudly housing the work of our local creatives with the photo exhibition “Postcards from the Niger Delta”, by the talented Photographer Enefaa Thomas on display and indigenous research publications by the renowned Professor E.J. Alagoa. 

Christy Eze CEO Kedge Anchor, Ezieke Amaefula, CEO Pamdrive

On this day, it graciously opened its doors and also hosted the Open day of Startup Port Harcourt Week 2019.’

The Startup Port Harcourt Week Open Day is a build up event where we share our plans and vision with our friends and partners, over coffee and cake, and to build momentum for Startup Port Harcourt Week 2019 scheduled for the 20th – 26th October 2019.

Akelachi Kejeh Founder Early Flight Academy, Fortune Sipay, Chiamaka Boma Ibekwe

Startup Port Harcourt Week 2019 with the theme “From Oil To Tech: Preparing for the Future”, highlight’s one of the Port Harcourt Tech Startup Community’s goals to build an alternative and viable technology based economy, with the aim of reducing the dependence on oil revenue and promoting innovation and socio- economic advancement through technology.

The Startup Port Harcourt Week 2019 Open day consisted of presentations and interactive sessions with interested stakeholders and members of the public, who came in their numbers to grace the event, these presentations took the attentive audience down memory lane and also gave them a peek into an exciting future and was tirelessly presented by passionate members of the Port Harcourt Startup Community.

As someone who was involved in the 2018 edition of Startup Port-Harcourt Week, it was great to see the community had swelled in ranks with new eager faces beaming with enthusiasm, just like mine did when I first discovered the community.

Dr Mrs Ipalibo Banigo and members of the Tech Startup Ecosystem L-R Chinaza Okorie (PlayWork Dreams), Andrew Banigo, George Iyang (Throway), Victor Briggs (VTB Consulting), Athur Dokubo (Fashdoky), Bereni D. Fiberesima (Netopps), Akelachi Kejeh (Early Flight Academy)

Notably too was the presence of Deputy Governor of Rivers State,Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Banigo and other Government functionaries. Her Excellency and other representatives of Government were visibly impressed by the giant strides taken so far by the community, and the vision, innovation and enthusiasm on display. 

Emeka Ile – PIND, Adonis Nwammah Goldberg Media, Bereni D. Fiberesima CEO Netopps and Convener Startup Port Harcourt Week, Christy Eze, CEO Kedge Anchor

The direct participation of high level Government officials in the Open Day of the 2019 Startup Port Harcourt Week, is a testament to the tireless efforts of the Startup Community, ably co-ordinated by the visionary Mr. Bereni Fiberesima, to establish a viable link between the government and the Tech Startup Community.

As the event carried on, new connections were made, ideas were sparked and inspiration flowed in abundance as the old and new members of the Port Harcourt Startup Community mingled with the public, over coffee, confectioneries, art and history.

Emeka Ile – PIND, Ibifuro Asawo – CEO CINEFORES, Precious Anuonyeh – Founder, Afroage

The doors remained open all day, and continuously creaked, as members of the public and various stakeholders streamed in, arriving curious and leaving inspired.

As the curtains drew on my participation in this event, I left with a feeling of fiery optimism that one day; the young shoots of the Port Harcourt Startup Community will blossom forth and touch the sky.

This Open Day was supported by Throway, Honeyflowafrica, Marley&Blue and Friends from the Diaspora. The next Open Day holds on September 28th 2019.

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