The FirstBank Tech Conference held on the 21st of June, 2016 with a strong collection of tech community leaders in attendance including Chika Nwobi of L5Lab, Akin Alabi of NairaBet, Jason Njoku of Irokotv, Obinna Ekezie of Wakanow and Ebi Atawordi of Uber amongst others.
The conference offered tech startups and financial sector players a platform to participate in critical dialogue on issues impacting the growth of the community and various growth formulas for dynamic growth.

Drawing on evidence and lessons from startup owners and banking professionals, conference participants explored a range of thoughts, ideas and opportunities to enable them drive growth within this industry with the strong ability to dramatically transform.

The invigorating welcome address by the MD/CEO of FirstBank highlighted the importance the Bank placed on embracing new business opportunities and technologies. The FirstBank helmsman also stated Firstbank’s firm desire to support growth within that sector. He highlighted the future as one in which tech startups rapidly become a significant contributor to the Nigerian economy.

The Chairman of the bank struck the same tone in her keynote address. She emphasized the unique opportunity tech startups have to dramatically transform a national economy as seen in the impact of the rapid growth in Silicon Valley on the economy of California and the United States. She also reiterated the Bank’s desire to push growth in this sector through collaborative partnerships with startups.
Two panel discussions followed with the first focusing on the partnership driven growth and the second on innovative financing options for tech startups.
The takeaways from the session included the need for financial services companies to focus on developing innovative financing models to enable them partner with tech startups to drive growth; the opportunity to grow customer base rapidly through partnerships with banks; the need for startups to quickly develop management talents to ensure the survival of their companies and the need for various players in the financial services sector (Private Equity Firms, Venture Capital firms and banks) to deepen their partnership to drive provision of financing to tech startups amongst others.
For more information from the conference, please click here to watch video.