… Raises Hope for Technology Innovation among Startups

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The National Technology Development Agency (NITDA), at the 7th edition of its ‘Startup Nigeria’ initiative organised by the Office of ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) in Lagos recently, raised the hope of those, who believed that technology savvy Nigerians could develop technology solutions to address immediate societal challenges and corporate needs, if given the right support.

Startup Nigeria, an initiative of NITDA to groom technology startups with viable ideas that could be commercialised to meet societal demands, have raised several technology startups with viable solutions that are awaiting financial support from investors like Angel Investors, who are interested in investing in homegrown technology solutions that could further be developed with the right financial support.

At the 7th edition of the programme in Lagos, 12 startups were showcased and allowed to pitch for the purpose of selection. Before the pitch exercise, NITDA had advertised and called for entries and received several entries, out of which 12 were selected and showcased for pitching. Their solutions range from accounting, education, and hospitality, addressing key challenges in the society.

In his welcome speech, the Director General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami commended the technology startups and encouraged them to be open to criticism and mentorship that would help them further develop their solutions and also commercialise them. According to him, “ICT is an emerging platform in Nigeria but Nigerians are already catching up fast with it. Nigerian youths must take advantage of the support from NITDA for startups, though OIIE, and ensure that they come out with solutions that address immediate societal challenges and corporate needs.

Leader of Angel Investors, Mr. Collins Onuagbu was on ground with his team to access the viability of the solutions that were showcased during the pitches, just as the team gave useful advice on how startups could attract good funding from investors that are interested in investing in technology solutions.

Pantami said the essence of establishing OIIE, was to drive technology development among startups and guide them to develop technology solutions that will drive technology development in the country. He said some of the startups that were selected from among the 12, would be sponsored to international technology conference like GITEX, which holds in Dubai every year, to pitch with startups from other parts of the world, in the presence of global investors.

Startup Nigeria is an initiative of NITDA, driven by OIIE, to encourage and assist startups by creating a platform on which young and aspiring startups dreams are nurtured. Support for startups include funding, training, mentorship, access to working space and acceleration. The whole idea is to develop a knowledge-based economy where young Nigerians will be encouraged to develop technology solutions that will rule the world.