2022 Boot Camp: NITDA Announces Top 30 Start-ups of the Bridge to MassChallenge Programme

  • Creates Office for Nigerian Digital Innovations

By Hillary Asemota

Bridge to MassChallenge Nigeria programme, a NITDA-sponsored national start-up competition that identifies the most high-impact startups across Nigeria, announced the 30 start-ups that will participate in an intensive, virtual boot camp between 24th of January and 18th of February 2022.

The B2MC Nigeria is a collaborative programme between NITDA and MassChallenge, a global network for innovators is headquartered in the U.S.

The 30 participating startups according to the agency’s Head of Communications and PR, Mrs. Hadiza Umar, said, they will all have access to tailored mentoring and coaching offered by NITDA and MassChallenge mentors, curated curriculum based on startups’ needs focusing on global best practices around innovation and entrepreneurship, and access to the MassChallenge global network.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Ibrahim Pantami, has officially announced the creation of the agency’s new subsidiary: The Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), a creation that emerged after the successful merger of two of its subsidiaries.

The top 30 startups, she averred were selected after a rigorous online selection process evaluated by both local Nigerian innovation experts as well as experts representing the global MassChallenge community.

The boot camp will culminate in a pitch-competition that will determine the top 10 startups that will get access to curated support and connectivity into an existing MassChallenge innovation hub like Boston, MA, through a second boot camp, Umar, added.

“Startups play a significant role in the economic growth of every nation, by spurring innovation, injecting competition as well creating jobs. Nigeria’s burgeoning population offers innovative startups an opportunity to access a significantly vast market through developing and implementing viable solutions that are tailored at solving identified micro and macro-economic national challenges.

“The B2MC program will help facilitate the diversification of the economy and transforming every aspect of modern life to attain our key objectives of improving and expanding the economy, in line with the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (2020-2030) and NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (2021-2024)”, Umar, quoted the NITDA DG, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa. 

With this collaboration, NITDA and MassChallenge are actively pursuing their commitment to support entrepreneurs from underrepresented regions and across geopolitical zones to create more equitable distribution of and access to key resources for the growth of these startups. 

The B2MC Nigeria selection drive is industry agnostic, thus a wide range of applications were received from the agricultural, Info-Tech, transport, finance industries to name a few. Applications from the six geopolitical regions were captured to provide an equitable playing field for our startups that will be supported, both within Nigeria and internationally.

“The launch of the first boot camp of the B2MC Nigeria 2021 program is designed to scout for the best of Nigerian technologies to help them sustain and grow within the Nigerian ecosystem and beyond. We’re excited to see the diverse representation of industries ranging from agriculture to Health Tech among the top 30 startups and to be able to work alongside NITDA to support the success of these businesses”, said Siobhan Dullea, CEO, MassChallenge

The startups selected to participate in the B2MC Nigeria boot camp include:

1. Agromate Nigeria: AgroMate is a youth-led agricultural development organization that leverages technology to improve the agricultural sector, 2. Aadana Smart Storage System is a Solar Powered Smart Storage System which is smart. It can control/regulate the internal condition of the system, 3. Agbero helps pre-book public inter-state travel vehicles in order to reduce waiting time and helps track real-time location for security’s sake, 4. Alaajo help users achieve their financial goals through savings automation, access to spot credit and simplified mortgage finance, 5. AVAS Tech addresses prevalent identity verification problems across sub-saharan Africa using customized to environment biometric solutions, 6. Bridgingspace: An online platform that helps people with anxiety and depression get easy access to online counselling, support groups & self-care, 7. BulkieShare is a Platform that makes it easy and convenient for users to jointly purchase items DIRECT from farmers and manufacturers and then share accordingly, 8. Cartrep, uses AI technology to connect last mile logistics companies with their customers within and outside their geographical coverage, 9. Cyber Security Challenge Nigeria Initiative, focuses on identifying Nigeria’s next generation of cyber security professionals, connecting Nigeria’s best and brightest to the cyber security industry, creating an enabling platform for skill acquisition, youth empowerment and local content development in the area of information and cybersecurity, 10. Daydone: An Agric eCommerce platform that brings farm produce and experience (using data) to the doorstep and fingertip of every consumer, 11. Dozzy Agricultural Enterprise, is an integrated fish farm focused on closing the gap between market demand and supply of fish food, 12. Edig-Ken Ventures: Hydroponics fodder production is when animal feed is grown without soil using little water and seed. Our solution is to provide sufficient, all-season availability and highly nutritional feed called fodder for livestock farmers to purchase for their animals, 13. Elcornel Farm is dedicated to the use of high quality, modern and efficient food technology to meet demand for organic and quality food, 14., Eteicon uses recycled wastepaper to produce very hygienic and affordable toilet tissue for low-income families, 15. Evet Inc: Evet is a cloud-based platform that connects farmers to on demand agronomy advisory support, veterinary extension service and farm inputs, 16, FuelIntellisense is a fuel management system that helps facilitates fuel inventory management and provides authorization for fuel dispensing, 17. Ghats Technology runs a small engineering firm, 18. High Soles Farm Tours: By leveraging technology, we directly connect farmers with consumers that care about purchasing fresh produce at a lower cost, 19, Hydronamics wishes to help bring clean running water to every home in developing countries, using prepaid water delivery services, 20. Maximus Recycling Solutions: provides households a chance to generate value from their waste and provide a reliable supply of raw material to the local recycling industry, 21. Moon Innovations: Moon Innovations is building generation of smart system for smart housing across Africa, 22. Mysolarbid Limited: MySolarBid helps homes and businesses save up to 70% on their monthly electricity costs through access to clean energy solutions, 23. Negs Empire: Negs Empire is a product and service based Agrictech company, majored in beekeeping, honey packaging and Farm management with probiotics, 24. Northflx Nigeria Limited: Northflix is a video streaming platform that targets Africans and those in diaspora with local contents that connect them with their culture, 25. Roborep: The RoboRep platform helps Genuine Medical Companies find Doctors, Hospitals and Pharmacies to sell their Medical products to, 26. Solio Leathers: Solio Leathers is a computer software integrated footwear manufacturing company with mission to drive footwear market in Nigeria and Africa, 27. Spacehunt Inc20: Spacehunt is a mobile app that creates a virtual immersive experience for properties/space renters and buyers, 28. Specxs Care Limited: We are a licensed healthcare company that is leveraging technology to increase access to healthcare using digital technology, 29. Sublime Squares: Sublime Squares developed an IoT based smart waste-bin solution to optimize the entire waste management process and 30. The Footwear Academy: The Footwear Academy is a hub that provides holistic solutions around footwear manufacturing and connects African shoemakers to the world.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Ibrahim Pantami, has officially announced the creation of the agency’s new subsidiary: The Office for Nigerian Digital Innovation (ONDI), a creation that emerged after the successful merger of two of its subsidiaries.

On the new Office for Nigeria Development Innovations (ONDIs), NITDA, said this is in its effort to implement the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and to streamline its operation to serve stakeholders more efficiently, merged two (2) of its former Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) and the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC), to create a more robust and functional subsidiary.

The ONC was established as a strategic vehicle to drive the implementation of the Nigerian Content Program and monitor compliance with the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT, issued in December 2013 and updated in August 2019.

While the OIIE was positioned to work with stakeholders to analyse and evaluate their current ecosystems, build bridges between stakeholders to arrive at shared agendas and collectively design and implement strategic interventions (policies and programs) which are based on best practices to bolster the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.

Both subsidiaries had a mandate to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the Nigerian digital ecosystem, as well as to create the necessary people resources and capacity. ONC and OIIE collaborated with important stakeholders in the ecosystem to achieve this goal. However, the problem was that many of these activities cross-pollinated, became redundant, and lacked the necessary cross-subsidiary collaboration. Furthermore, it led to duplication of work, re-invention of the wheel and poor use of resources. 

As a result, the management of NITDA in its effort to streamline its activities, promote efficiency and effective use of resources decided on the establishment of a single body capable of directing the activities of both subsidiaries as one. 

This is in furtherance of the agency’s culture to be on a continuous path of improvement and new strategic vision which is “to proactively facilitate the development of Nigeria into a sustainable digital economy”.

It is line with this that ONDI is created to coordinate and support activities on policy implementation, enforcement of regulatory guidelines and interventions targeted at the development and growth of the Nigerian technology ecosystem for a greater impact on job creation and economic growth. You will agree that this is required to attain the desired vision of making Nigeria Africa’s number one destination for digital technology innovation.

More so, ONDI will be positioned to execute programmes aimed at strengthening the Nigerian digital innovation ecosystem to create more Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs), as well as promote the development of indigenous content in the Nigerian digital sector. In addition, the office will ensure the promotion, growth, and protection of Nigerian digital innovation ecosystem for a sustainable digital economy.

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