As part of the efforts of the present administration to diversify the economy and promote local content, the NITDA Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) rolls out the third edition of its StartUP Friday Program in Abuja in order to support the growth and commercialisation of innovative products from Nigerian startups.
StartUP Friday is a special program designed to bridge the Nigerian startup growth gap by enriching the development processes of tech-driven businesses through a ‘meet-up’ with investors, mentors, technology buyers and enthusiasts in business clusters across the country.
According to Bunmi Okunowo, the national coordinator for OIIE, it provides a platform for mentorship and access to resources by tech-driven start-ups, irrespective of the stage in which they are, be it ideation, prototype, product development or growth stage.
The third edition of the StartUP Friday Program is scheduled to hold in Abuja on Friday, April 22 at Red Sparrow event centre in Maitama, Abuja. This edition is packed with speakers and panelists from all over the country and overseas.
The speakers include Charles Okpaleke, CEO, PlayNetwork Nigeria; Obi Asika, Chairman, SocialMediaWeek, Lagos; Mark Essien, Cofounder and CEO, Hotels.NG, Yele Okeremi, MD and CEO, Precise Financial System Ltd; Rebecca Enonchong, Founder & CEO, ApsTech Group, Inc. USA, Afua Osei, Co-founder, She Leads Africa; Toro Orero, Founder SpeedUP Africa and Managing Partner DraperDarkFlow, Silicon Valley; Osayi Igharo, Founder, Ripple VC; Jehiel Oliver, CEO, Hello Tractor.
Other speakers at the event include Lanre Philips, CEO, eLPee Consults; Simeon Ononobi, CEO, SimplePay; Ugonna Nwaeze, CEO, Nkaata; Fantis Muhammed, Founder and MD, SantiFoodCo & HMagnet.
During the second edition of the program, 647 participants attended the event in Abuja, 310 of which were startups, 22 investors and 12 innovation hub operators. This event was remarkable with four startups selected for seed funding.
ArtNigeria, one of the startups, selected is receiving a seed funding to enable it scale up its business. Other beneficiaries include Wellahealth and Verge which will both receive free business advisory services to re-model their businesses, financial and business plan. Jara, the fourth, will be monitored for the next six months, post-pivoting, to ascertain the necessary support to render.
The climax of the last edition was the pitch delivered by a fifteen year old, Derek Fodeke-Rodgers on a sensor-driven PC utilizing kinetics. Derek instantly received a seed fund of 1.5 million naira from Dr. (Mrs.) Aisha Audu at the event.
The event is supported by iPNX Nigeria Ltd, Galaxy Backbone, Intel West Africa, PlayNetwork Nigeria, eLPee Consults, PulseNG, Orodata amongst others.
This is a feature by OIIE.