Leading Nigerian commercial bank Zenith Bank, in collaboration with Swiss-based global organization Seedstars, has officially launched the Zenith Bank Pitching Competition targeted at entrepreneurs in Nigeria with tech-enabled, scalable solutions designed to innovate businesses from different industries.
In a statement shared on Wednesday, Zenith Bank disclosed that the competition’s goal is to support Nigerian minimum viable product (MVP) stage startups in advancing to the next growth stage.
Ten of the most promising startups will be invited to the pitch competition at Zenith Tech Fair on November 22 and 23, where the winners could win up to N15m (Fifteen million naira) in cash prizes. Startups interested in joining the Zenith Bank Pitching Competition can send in applications before the 14th of November here.
The competition will identify promising businesses and support the best startups that are using technology and innovative ideas to help solve the problems of the present to build a better future in the following areas:
- Future of Wholesale and Retail
- Future of eCommerce
- Future of Payments
- Future of Lending
- Future of Wellness
- Future of Cybersecurity
- Future of EdTech
- Future of Electricity (power vending)
- Future of Agri-tech
- Future of Entertainment
“As a leading financial institution in Africa with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products and solutions that ensure convenience, speed, and safety of transactions, we have always been at the vanguard of and remain committed to promoting technological innovations in the country,” Dr Temitope Fasoranti, Executive Director of Zenith Bank said.
What to know about the contest
According to the statement, the Zenith Bank Pitching Competition is billed to support participating startups by providing the necessary tools and expertise to support startup growth and development. Lean methodologies and best startup practices will also be taught to the cohort by Seedstars’ internal experts and selected external mentors.
Criteria for startups looking to join the competition are as follows:
- Existing startups/young tech companies (<3 years) in the Nigerian ecosystem;
- The startup must have a demonstrable product or service (MVP) or must demonstrate the viability of the business model;
- The startup needs to be scalable or have the potential to reach scalability;
- The startup must have a complete team;
- The startup must not have raised more than $75K; and.
- The startup must be operating in one of the sectors listed above.
The pitch competition taking place at the Zenith Tech Fair on November 22 and 23 will allow the ten startups to pitch their solutions for a chance to win the following cash prizes:
- 1st Prize: N15m (Fifteen million Naira)
- 2nd Prize: N10m (Ten million Naira)
- 3rd Prize: N5m (Five million Naira)
The rest of the startups will be awarded a participatory prize of N1m (one million Naira) each, and the top 5 startups will receive follow-on mentorship through Seedstars’ Mentorship Hub that will enable them to continue scaling their businesses and receive additional support from a global network of experts and investors.