CrossPoint Innovate, a training, mentorship, and empowerment platform, has organised a Pitch and Grant Conference worth N8 million in grants.
The conference held in Lagos recently focused on helping youths and owners of small businesses to start and grow businesses of their own.
Out of more than 1,000 entries for the pitch competition, 10 businesses were selected to pitch at the conference, where seasoned panel of judges respond to pitches on the big stage.
CrossPoint Innovate also aims to celebrate and highlight businesses, which stand-out, while inspiring the next generation on leadership, finance, and service delivery.
The Founder of CrossPoint Innovate and Pastor of CrossPoint Church, Ladipo Soyombo, stated that CrossPoint Innovate became imperative when the country was experiencing a recession. “Many people had lost their jobs and those who owned businesses were struggling. What we, then, did was to start an online training for young people, which saw some success earlier this year. We took it one step further with the conference and pitch competition, and already, a thousand people have applied.”
“The lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the social unrest that came with the Endsars protest, revealed that millions of our young people are eager to express themselves and be productive members of society, but the opportunities in Nigeria are few. This grant is our way of addressing some of the numerous needs,” he said.
Soyombo stated that the sheer number of people who applied for the contest reflected not only the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians, but also the gap, in funding and support for small businesses.
After a series of spirited pitches from the top ten competitors, Emergency Station by Elcutiee, emerged as first, with a grant of 2 million Naira; Maximus Recycling Solutions, came second, with 1.5 million Naira and Keramel Naturals, the third place winner got 1 million Naira.
The other seven runners up, received grants of N500,000 Naira each. They are Diya Collections, MyStash Technologies, Caregivers Nigeria, Afrilearn, Become Tech, Farmsquare Agricultural Company Limited and ToiBox.
The judges at the pitch and grant conference were the CEO of AIICO Insurance, Tunde Fajemirokun, Co-founder, Bluechip Technologies, Olumide Soyombo, Founder, AGS Tribe, Ife Durosinmi Etti, Principal, Boston Consulting Group, Olayinka Majekodunmi and Founder, Shomya Cosmetics, Elaine Shobanjo.
The CEO of AIICO Insurance, Mr. Fajemirokun gave the keynote address, on building athriving business in turbulent times, while the Co-Founder of PiggyVest, Josh Chibueze gave a motivational talk on the humble beginnings and determination to succeed.