The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), in its continuous efforts to foster the growth of the technology ecosystem, plans to showcase the country’s ICT innovation at this year’s Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX 2018).
The agency made this known in an official statement released in Abuja today by Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs. Hadiza Umar.
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.
NITDA’s subsidiary, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), coordinates startups’ participation at the event. This year, the process started with a call for pitch deck submission from technology and technology enabled startups on 24th July 2018 through our 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. The successful startups are:
- Arone (SE) – A technology, transport and logistics company to solve the problem of lack of accessibility to medical supplies.
- Beepower (NE) – The product allows the use of one single source to power up multiple devices with different power requirements.
- 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.
- Wattlinq (NC) – A power technology with a website which provides services that monitors and manages energy availability and usage in homes.
Startups will undergo a one week bootcamp with seasoned resource persons in the ecosystem to equip them with state of the art skills to get the best of GITEX. To ensure continuous support of the ecosystem, the story for startups who did not make the GITEX list does not end there, 10 startups from the GITEX submission were selected to participate in Startup Friday, Abuja, which will take place on 30th October 2018. Twenty (20) more were selected for eNigeria, scheduled for 5-7th November, 2018. Both events will also provide startups opportunities to pitch to investors, sponsorship for incubation, training on key entrepreneurship skills, access to network and a cash prize for the best startups.
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a Federal Government Agency established in April 2001 to implement the Nigerian Information Technology policy and coordinate general IT development and regulation in the country. Specifically, Sections 6(h & i) of the Act mandate NITDA to create incentives to promote the use of information technology in all spheres of life in Nigeria including the development of guidelines for setting up of information technology systems and knowledge parks as well as introduce appropriate regulatory policies and incentives to encourage private sector investment in the information technology industry.