Ten Nigerian startups have been selected to take part in the iNOVO accelerator, which offers training and mentorship to disruptive solutions to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub had earlier partnered Ventures Platform and Startupbootcamp AfriTech to launch the iNOVO accelerator, which is targeting innovative ed-tech, agri-tech and e-health startups.
After more than 750 applications were received, the top 20 teams were invited to participate in Final Selection Days, where each team pitched their businesses to some of the most progressive leaders in Nigeria including corporate partners and mentors.
Ten startups have now been selected to participate in the three-month programme, including four from the agri-tech space. They are Agriple, which provides farmers with predictive analytics to determine the best crops to plant; Farmer First Technologies, an online platform providing farmers with microloans and direct access to buyers at competitive market prices; Foodbank.ng, which provides households access to hassle-free food loans while reducing food wastage for retailers; and Rural Farmers Hub, which provides farmers with near-real time crop advisory services using satellite-based remote imagery and sensing.
There are another three startups from each of the ed-tech and e-health sectors. The ed-tech companies are Afrilearn, which provides curriculum-relevant video lessons combined with gamified exam practice; DigiLearns, an AI-based mobile adaptive learning tool that grants access to high quality educational content via SMS or USSD; and Schoola, a multilingual, gamified learning solution for K-12 schools that uses AI for analytics and content generation.
The three e-health startups are Gleeworld Pharmacy, a telepharmacy and medication delivery platform; Pharmaserv Health Project, a software-as-service procurement platform that enables healthcare providers to streamline, access and procure their essential medicines seamlessly; and Wellvis, which provides vetted medical information and telemedicine consultations on a pay-as-need basis or via prepaid health plans.
The three-month programme will see the 10 selected startups receive capacity building, lean startup training, mentorship, and support to rapidly scale their products and business models. Startupbootcamp will, through the Accelerator Squared platform, provide a rich learning and collaboration toolset enabling founders to engage directly with the Startupbootcamp AfriTech and Ventures Platform teams, dedicated Entrepreneurs in Residence, mentors, investors, and industry experts.
Teams will then validate their solutions with pilots and proof of concept engagements, and use the learnings to rapidly pivot and scale. The programme will also provide a great opportunity for founders to perfect their pitching skills by exposing them to a broad audience of investors, corporate and government partners at the online demo day.