The Nigerian government, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has finalized plans to showcase six Nigerian technology Startups painstakingly selected from the six geo-political zones of the country at this year’s Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX 2018).
The six Startups, according to a statement signed by Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations are Arone (SE), a technology, transport and logistics company to solve the problem of lack of accessibility to medical supplies; Beepower (NE) – a product that allows the use of one single source to power up multiple devices with different power requirements.
Others are Domenium (SS), a solution designed to help police obtain evidence for crimes; Max (SW) – a technology, transport and logistics company that makes moto-taxis safe, efficient, and accessible to users in West Africa; Off-k.com (NW) an online platform that helps students conveniently locate and securely pay for accommodation off campus and Wattlinq (NC) a power technology with a website which provides services that monitors and manages energy availability and usage in homes.
NITDA’s subsidiary, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), coordinated the startups’ selection processes, which started with a call for pitch deck submission from technology and technology enabled startups on 24th July 2018 through the agency’s websites, social media platforms, tech and traditional media, broadcast messages and emails to all attendees of previous NITDAs events.
Due to the wide reach of the call for application, over 500 submissions were received. The rigorous selection was carried out in three stages with judges drawn from Government MDAs, Technology Hubs, academia, investors, professional associations and the ICT industry. In the first stage, idea stage startups were disqualified, resulting into the shortlisting of 143 startups with technology products or technology enabled enterprisers for the second stage. The second stage of the selection was a critical review of the successful stage one pitch decks based on criteria such as innovativeness, the startup is solving a real life problem, business model, traction, competitive advantage and team structure. In the third and final stage, online pitching was conducted for two (2) startups from each region and the best six (6) startups emerged and represent the 6 geopolitical regions.
GITEX is an annual Information and Communication Technology trade show, exhibition, and conference that takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This year’s event, scheduled to hold from 14th to 18th October 2018, aims at showcasing the global technological advancements and innovations in the domain of consumer electronics.
Government and private sector technology institutions also leverage on the opportunity too. The event provides a platform for accelerating investment-ready startups, expose them to international investors, networking opportunities, partnerships and access to witness emerging technologies that are changing the world. Previous attendance has recorded several successes with Nigerian startups coming top in pitching sessions and winning cash prizes as well as acceleration opportunities. Generally, startups have reported encouraging feedback on the effect of GITEX to their businesses.