Some weeks ago, I received an email invitation with the subject: “Congratulations: Ndani TV Invites You as One of the 100 Most Innovative in the Nigerian Tech Space”. The opening paragraph stated:
Our editors are pleased to select and invite you as one of the 100 most influential in the Nigerian Technology Space – driving the most innovative ideas, brands, and trends in the eco-system. This event is presented by Ndani TV, Africa’s leading online television channel.
The #YTech100 is a cocktail and networking event honouring the brightest and best names in Nigeria’s technology eco-system.
Apparently, the nice people at Ndani TV and YNaija think that I have been smart, innovative and influential on these streets. You know what I did? I quickly sent a reply to thank the organisers for the honour and the invitation, and to confirm attendance before they realised they had made a mistake and send me a follow-up email to cancel the invite. So, far, they don’t seem to have changed their minds. Yay! I’m gonna be a rock star!
But seriously now, networking events unnerve me. There are usually so many faces (and I am bad with faces). So many people. I usually just sit on a spot. Yes; I am an odd mix. One the one hand, I may come across as outgoing; yet, down under, I really am something of a recluse. While at I was at Code Red yesterday, I tweeted yesterday that I suck at networking and someone responded in shock wondering how I could with a Twitter handle like @Mister_Mobility. Story of my life. The event was bustling with a crowd of women (and a few men) chatting and all, yet I spent perhaps 95% of the two and half hours it ran for on my chair.
Meanwhile, someone like Mr. Bankole was a natural. He was here and there, and up and down. He was everywhere and seemed to know everyone! I should get a blood transfer or something from the guy. Now is a good time to send a huge shoutout to people like Blossom Nnodim, Toyin Arowolo and Babs Okubote who kept the blood flowing in my veins and kept me from freezing to death yesterday.
Back to YTech100, the invitation-only event will host a discussion themed around the “Nigerian Tech Space: Eco-system or Bubble”, and will be followed by a cocktail. So, wish me luck as I slink over to Ytech100, hoping that the organisers still have my name on the guest list. Yes; and here’s hoping that I actually get some networking done. Oh, yes; and when I am done there, I am crossing over to sit quietly at TechCabal Battlefield.
It will be interesting to see what the seven startups who made the finals list will present. Who gets to go home with the $20,000 grand prize? Watch this space.