The Honeywell Group has officially launched its new accelerator and investment vehicle, called Itanna.
Head, Innovation and Sustainability for Honeywell Group and Director of the new venture, Mr. Tomi Otudeko, said Itanna would roll out four-month innovation programmes for tech-enabled Nigerian startups from its newly built enterprise factory in Lagos.
According to him, startups would receive as much as $25,000 each in investment from Honeywell Group.
Itanna is launching with four cohort companies – Accounteer – providers of online accounting services for SMEs across Africa; KoloPay – a cashless target savings mobile and web application; Tradebuza – an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme; and PowerCube – providers of affordable power supply using renewable energy. Chosen from over 200 applications, each startup will receive training and mentoring from leading industry experts, as well as the opportunity to pitch to Honeywell Group’s network of local and international investors at the company’s inaugural demo day, which will take place towards the end of 2018.
Honeywell Group Executive Director, Obafemi Otudeko, said: “Honeywell Group is entrepreneurial to its core – we have almost 50 years experience in building Nigerian businesses across diverse sectors. As part of our wider portfolio, Itanna allows us to collaborate with the Nigerian tech ecosystem; we will invest patient capital into the startups we work with, and we will also provide world-class mentorship to enrich the business strategy of each cohort. As a corporate, we wanted to transform our approach and add dynamism to how we build our sector. Itanna is the platform through which we can fulfil our mission to use enterprise to make our world better.”
Through the programme, Itanna will support and invest in tech-enabled for-profit startups with an existing minimum viable product. Startups accepted into the accelerator will need to demonstrate traction through customer growth or partnerships with customer acquisition enablers, have a clear vision as well as technical capability.
According to the company, its mission to connect technology and innovation by transferring knowledge in business-building and entrepreneurship, as the company looks to bond its position as a facilitator and impactor of growth in key sectors, including tech within Nigeria and across Africa.