The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has selected 25 Nigerian startups to compete for the $225000 NSIA Prize for Innovation (NPI) programme. The startups will participate in a three-week accelerator programme.

According to NSIA, the programme aims to support innovators, technopreneurs, and start-ups in technology-enabled businesses across various sectors of the economy with the potential to drive economic growth, create jobs, and yield other positive economic and social outcomes.

The 25 startups were shortlisted after a deep review from over 2000 applicants received during the application stage which opened in March 2023, following the launch of the programme in December 2022.

Aminu Umar-Sadiq, managing director and CEO of NSIA, speaking on the programme expressed delight at the quantity of applications received, emphasising the significance of staying at the forefront of innovation and disruption in an era of digital transformation.

“The world is undergoing a digital transformation, and it is crucial for us to stay at the forefront of innovation and disruption. By investing in promising technology start-ups, we can unlock new avenues of growth, enhance our competitive advantage, and future-proof our businesses.

Through the NPI Programme and our planned investments in technology, we gain access to cutting-edge solutions, disruptive ideas, and exceptional talent. Collaborating with these start-ups allows us to stay ahead of the curve, harness new market opportunities, and deliver unparalleled value to our great nation,” he said.

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The 25 shortlisted startups include Money Africa, Capsa Technology, LegitCar Africa, Boost Power Technologies, Accede, Creditchek, Apace Technology Solution, Truq, CDIAL AI, Kobopay, and Extension Africa. Others include Nafarm Foods, Nigenius, Periculum Technology, Quadloop, BrandDrive, WasteBazaar, Vella Finance, Yalo Technologies, Chekker, Aqualife Ifarms, BetaLife Health, Jise, Esusu Africa, and Oncopadi.

The investment authority stated that the startups have now commenced the Accelerator Bootcamp, which began virtually on 29, May 2023, and will culminate in a one-week in-person training bootcamp, ending on June 16, 2023.

The organisers stated that the selected start-ups operate within vital sectors of the Nigerian economy including healthcare, financial services, agriculture, education, logistics, e-mobility, e-commerce & digital marketplaces.

After the Accelerator Programme, the 10 most successful and committed applicants according to NSIA will advance to the final stage, known as Demo Day, scheduled for June 24, 2023. The upcoming Demo Day will provide a platform for the top 10 finalists to showcase their progress and present their pitches to an esteemed panel of judges. The event will demonstrate these start-ups’ growth potential, facilitate valuable connections and partnerships within the tech ecosystem.

NSIA said that it has designed a comprehensive programme that includes modules on strategy, finance and investment, marketing, communications, and technology, in collaboration with it’s technical partner, Lofty Inc. The participants will receive entrepreneurial training and learn investment practices to enhance their business processes, strengthen their value proposition, promote sustainability, and bolster their scalability over the three-week duration as the Accelerator Bootcamp progresses.

Meanwhile, the organisers said the programme aims to position Nigeria as a hub for technological advancements and attract investments that propel sustainable growth.

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