CoLab is Kaduna’s first innovation hub and co-working space. The goal at CoLab is to grow a collaborative community of programmers, developers, designers, bloggers, graphic designers, photographers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and tech enthusiasts generally.

CoLab organizes some weekly and monthly events and programs to achieve these goals. Some of them include:

We want to attract attention back to Kaduna through technology - @CoLab_kd Click To Tweet

Code School

Code School is CoLab’s introduction to computer programming initiative that immerses users into the world of programming for the web with an introduction to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The whole course takes 5-7 weeks to complete and students are able to build simple sites upon completion.

Code School is built around the hypotheses that:

  • It is much easier to learn as a group as against learning as an individual.
  • It is important to learn how to code as part of a team. (This is a critical skill-set that employers look for.)

CoLab for Women

CoLab for Women is a platform that serves as a means to drive the adoption of technology by women and will also be a safe space for any sort of discussion among women.

This particular initiative is organized and run by women only. It has its meet ups once every month.

CoLab Elite

This is CoLab’s talent accelerator program which has been designed to fast-track intermediate developers into world-class talent.

If you already write code but keep wondering how to build projects, work with teams or follow global best practices, then CoLab Elite just might be what you need.

CoLab Weekly meetups

Meetups happen every weekend at CoLab where we cover topics that range from basic to very technical. They are usually free for all to attend.

If you want to learn about business, web or app development, machine learning, digital marketing, network or just play video and board games, you should attend one of our CoLab meetups.

If you would love to be a part of the awesome CoLab community, you can connect with CoLab on social media. Everyone and anyone is welcome to take a tour of the facilities anytime or attend any of the meetups.

Three things inspired CoLab:

 

1. Kaduna is ideal for a startup/technology hub. On the average, there is the better power supply in Kaduna than anywhere else in the country. The cost of living is low and basic infrastructure is available.

Another good thing about that region is that fast internet is esily accesible. Kaduna has a lot of talented young people. The state also has a number of tertiary institutions (which are an important factor in creating a pipeline for talent). It is also in close proximity to two key markets (Kano and Abuja) and can access a third, Lagos via air and train (for people and goods respectively).

2. Over time, the best IT people we had come across – programmers, network engineers, big data scientists, Internet of Things (IoT) hobbyists etc have been from around Kaduna.

However, very few of them understood the value of the skill(s) they had or had ever tried to apply it to solving actual problems.

3. Technology is the single biggest vehicle for taking people out of poverty and poverty in these part of the country is rampant.

CoLab intends to make this push by aiming to achieve 5 things:

 

1. Provide an environment that allows natural curiosity, fosters learning, and inspires creativity and innovation. CoLab has gone all out to make the space as aesthetically motivating as possible within budget constraints.

Given the right environment, smart people interacting with each other naturally tend to create cool stuff -@CoLab_kd Click To Tweet

Currently, CoLab’s facilities include two open indoor workspaces, a private meeting room, a conference room, two Outdoor workspaces (in view), internet, constant power supply and a modern library with paper books and kindles.

 

2. Offer high-level mentorship from both national and international mentors who have made an impact globally. The founders of CoLab believe a well-rounded education is a key to building a successful company.  They want to double down on not just ICT knowledge, but also everything required to succeed.

We currently have the ex-Director of Global Search at Yahoo as one of our international mentors, also the former Vice President of an Investment bank in the UK as another. Some of these mentorships and one on one sessions with mentors outside the country will take place virtually.

 

3. Train anyone interested in the ICT skills that are necessary to compete at an international level. We’re talking Code, UI & UX Design, Blogging, Content Creation, Digital Marketing, IoT etc. CoLab will cover recent tech languages and global best practices.

There is a high demand for these specific skills across the world, yet we have many who could easily fit into such positions, with some training. Most of these roles can be filled remotely, i.e having people work for companies across the world from CoLab… However, we are not pushy about them remaining domiciled here.

 

4. Beyond training, CoLab intends to go a step further by linking its community members with jobs and opportunities, both remote and physical from across the country and globally.

The best way to break the mentality that the only way to earn a living is via a structured, salaried job (civil service, banks, etc.) which is prevalent in this region is to actually link people up with an alternate means to earn a living.

 

5. Lastly, CoLab wants to build an in-house team of the best brains to tackle national and global problems. We want to attract attention back to Kaduna and show people how to be profitable through technology.

Our subscription fees were decided by the public and have no bearing on what it’ll cost to set up fully.

The long-term goal is to make Kaduna as a whole, an IT hub, the go-to place in Nigeria when there is an IT need. Who knows? It may be the next India. 


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