Digital Innovation: Nigerian Startups To Woo Investors, Stand To Win $20,000 In Dubai

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A cross section of organizers and participants during the event.

Four Nigerian startups have qualified for the final event of the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Global & Northstar Roadshow Startup Event scheduled for Dubai, United Arab Emirates sometime this year.

The victorious quartet is the crème of over 500 startups that applied for the event. After rounds of selection, just 40 made the cut and, now the list has been whittled down to the best 10. Of the 10, the top 4 will pitch their products and services and stand a chance to win $20,000 at the exhibition.

The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) will fully sponsor four startups – the first and second-place winners from Abuja and Lagos – out of the 10 that emerged tops to attend GITEX, while NITDA will sponsor the participation of the other six startups.

The Abuja section of the event which was hosted by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) through its subsidiary, Office for Nigeria Digital Innovation (ONDI), was organised by GITEX Global and North Star in collaboration with the UAE and DWTC for indigenous startups to pitch their products and services.

The event which took place in Abuja and Lagos on May 11 and 12, 2022, respectively, had five winners for each location. For the Abuja event, the winners were Floews, an early warning system for floods with its all-around solution that monitors and forecasts data as a warning to the inhabitants of flood-prone regions; Medtech Africa, a startup that is leveraging artificial intelligence and applications to enable caregivers to treat and manage patients living with vitals of cardiovascular disease using the patient’s data and Powerstove,  a zero carbon-emission stove with a faster cooking time, saves lives, generates electricity, improves livelihoods, empowers women and preserves the environment.

For Lagos, the winners were PaddyCover Limited, a multi-channel platform that facilitates flexible and convenient payment for insurance packages by working with established insurers and customer aggregators to design and offer bespoke products; TruQ, an application that assigns and connects you to the closest and best vehicle suited for your trip and Price Pally, which provides access to the best quality, farm-fresh food items affordable for families and businesses living in Africa cities with uttermost efficiency.

The DG, NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Abdullahi, while addressing participants at both events reiterated the agency’s commitment to continually drive the implementation of the digital iInnovation and entrepreneurship pillar of the NITDA Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan (SRAP 2021-2024).

Abdullahi, who was represented by Dr. Aristotle Onumo, said: “GITEX is a platform on which we expose our startups to gain the right kind of visibility and traction to attract prospective investors and venture capitalists”.

Speaking at the event, the director, commercial event management, North Star, Mr. Zarko Ackovik said North Star (a part of GITEX) is the largest startup event in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

He said since Nigeria has one of the largest startup ecosystems in Africa, “the show brings to them close to more than 400 investors they can meet and network with at the event and also allows them to go for a pitch competition”.

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