The UK-Nigeria Tech Hub has partnered Ventures Platform and Startupbootcamp AfriTech to launch the iNOVO accelerator, which is seeking innovative ed-tech, agri-tech and e-health startups with disruptive solutions to challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The fully digital programme will leverage Startupbootcamp’s methodology through a two-pronged approach of accelerating 10 early-stage startups in Nigeria that are solving challenges resulting from the pandemic, as well as granting 100 startups life-time learning access to its digital Accelerator Squared platform.
The three-month programme will see 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.
“With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, there’s a need to support promising early-stage startups who are driving innovative solutions to address problems caused by COVID-19 on some of the hub’s core areas – health, agriculture and education,” said country director of the UK-Nigeria Tech Hub Honey Ogundeyi.
“Through the iNOVO programme, entrepreneurs will gain digital and entrepreneurship skills needed to scale their businesses.”
Mohamed Felata, director of programmes at Ventures Platform Foundation, said he was excited to work with UK Nigeria Tech Hub and Startupbootcamp AfriTech to support the ecosystem and help talented founders build solutions for the new world we live in.
“After a devastating 2020, there is a greater need for Nigerian innovators to rise to the challenge. This is the time to build solutions that will not only help the affected industries heal, but also fortify them for the future. We are looking to Nigerian innovators to show the world we have an important role to play in rebuilding the global economy,” Felata said.
Philip Kiracofe, chief executive officer (CEO) of Startupbootcamp AfriTech, was also pleased to announce the new partnership.
“We are a proudly African accelerator with global brand-backing and we welcome more leading African corporates to join in the iNOVO programme to empower the next generation of Nigerian innovators,” he said.
Applications for the programme are open here until February 24.