Nairaxi, a mobile ride-sharing software that enables users to book taxi and bus journeys, won the overall competition for young innovators held recently at the Digital Bridge Institute in Oshodi, Lagos and sponsored by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Top Commission officials, led by the Director of Research and Development, Mr. Ismaila Adedigba, who spoke on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba, were present as the company, which won the prize worth N2 million, presented an app that will improve ridesharing and safe package delivery. Kingsley Eze, co-founder and chief executive officer, and Elizabeth Omale, co-founder and chief financial officer.
With a prize of N1.5 million, Floews, the company founded and led by Bashir Abubakar, finished in second place. With a prize of N1 million, Thronix Lab, a group of three young, tech-savvy Nigerians, took third place. The judges evaluated each competitor based on a number of factors, including their IT solutions’ potential for commercialization, ease of use, and uniqueness.
While Thronix Lab developed Proxie, an Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled smart socket and Wi-Fi hotspot range extender that allows users to remotely turn on and off their connected appliances through their phones, Floews developed a novel and deep-tech all-around solution that monitors and forecasts flood imminence.
The President of the panel of judges for the competition, Prof. Mohammed Ajiya, praised the Commission for giving young Nigerians the chance to realize their ambitions of using digital solutions to solve local problems in Nigeria.
Adedigba, the director of research and development, spoke on behalf of the EVC and praised all 15 of the contestants who took part as well as the judges for their “commendable diligence, thorough, and painstaking evaluation carried out by his team of independent judges, leading to the emergence of the three winners.”
He reaffirmed the Commission’s commitment to advancing the Federal Government’s aim of supporting the development of indigenous ICT solutions in order to boost Nigeria’s digital ecosystem.
“It is important to note that this competition is not the end, but rather the beginning of our collective journey towards bridging the digital divide in Nigeria. We must continue to support and invest in local, indigenous digital solutions to ensure that all citizens have access to the technology and opportunities they need to thrive in today’s digital age,” Danbatta said.
Ten innovators from the 15 proceeded to the Pitching Stage, for having developed the best technology solutions, amenable to commercialization and capable of solving identified challenges both locally and beyond in a move to bridge the country’s existing digital divide.
The 15 contestants at the event are Curnance PTY, Floews, Lalita by 02 Innovations Lab, Brilliant ESystems, Afrits Innovation, CitiFlow, Natal Cares, Nairaxi, Rate AM, Fixbot Technologies, Betalife, Cyber Plural, TronixLab, Ntapi Inc., and Bycep by Bedoun.