Seven successful startups have been selected by Ventures Platform and Lagos State Science and Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) to participate in the COVID-19 Innovation Challenge, a startup contest aimed at developing solutions to mitigate the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus in Nigeria.
VC firm, Ventures Platform opened applications for the innovation challenge to find, support, fund and grow products and services that could potentially help millions of Africans through the pandemic.
The seven startups were chosen from more than 500 applicants who submitted applications over 6 days. Ventures Platform, and its judging panel that comprised of members of the VP team, representatives of the Nigerian Center for medical practitioners, selected the top 33 projects and startups to move to the next stage.
Due to the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic, the top 33 were emailed to submit a video pitch and 15 projects were selected to pitch virtually to a panel of seasoned judges rather than in-person pitch. The final seven are:
Wale Adeosun – Wellvis Health offers solutions that promote primary care; by improving the health of the public through continuous access to personalized health information.
Joel Ogunsola – Prunedge a technology company that develops innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of processes, the livelihood of people and aid decision making within organizations.
Nestor Inimgba – Infodemics uses existing social hierarchies in a community to efficiently and effectively communicate health risks.
Ikpeme Neto – Wellahealth a digital triage bot that provides guidance based on Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines and logs responses for follow up by public health as needed.
Mayowa Ayodeji – MyServiceAgent an AI-powered intelligent IVR system that can communicate with 100s to 1000s of callers simultaneously and intelligently and disseminate correct information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control as well as pass on the data to the NCDC to act on swiftly.
Okorie Tochukwu – Innover Technologies is committed to using technology to solve problems. Their solution for the project is named COVID-19 Nigeria.
Abiri Oluwatosin Niyi – Cmapit Analytics a GIS and Data Visualization software that helps to analyze geospatial data and its variables and also visualize it; data variables concerning the coronavirus outbreak and how it can be tracked and visualized so that predictions are accurate.
Those selected will receive a $2,000 equity-free grant and opportunity for further funding, as well as access to virtual workspace and mentorship from some of Africa’s top healthcare, business and technology leaders to help scale their company.
The 5-day Bootcamp is intended to help the selected founders and startups work with selected stakeholders to finalize solutions and launch. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control will give selected startups an accurate understanding of the real-time situation and will work with the startups to ensure they make the most impact possible.
Teams of experts and mentors have been carefully vetted and selected to provide top-notch help to our 7 selected startups. These mentors are from some of Africa’s top, healthcare, business, and technology leaders, including; Yewande Sadiku, Celestine Omin, Iyin Aboyeji, Rebecca Enonchong, Alexis Roman, O.O Nwoye, Seun Onigbinde, Titi Akinsanmi, Dr. Ola Brown, Dr. Ifeanyi Nsofor, Dr. Ebi Ofrey, and Dr. Femi Kuti. Each startup will have access to 3 mentors – medical expertise, scaling and launch, and technical expertise.
The startups will get to present their solutions to the public with the support of media partners such as IrokoTV and Facebook and top-notch PR consultants, to reach a wide audience.
Ventures Platform Hub is a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship across Africa. It provides smart capital through its early-stage fund – Ventures Platform Fund. It also provides infrastructure and nurtures communities of entrepreneurs and innovators through Ventures Park and builds pipeline by providing capacity and ecosystem support through its not-for-profit – Ventures Platform Foundation.