Breaking into the tech space as an innovator comes with many challenges. You need to sell your ideas first, then successfully test them to gain a foothold in your competitive industry.
However, the right platform gives you the opportunity to bring these ideas to life, fuel your innovation, and optimize your success in the tech industry.
That is why the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) will launch the inaugural edition of its Innovation Award Program (NPI) on December 10, to encourage and support creativity and ingenuity in the tech space.
The NPI programme, which will be launched at an event in Lagos, is structured as a business improvement program to support growth-driven early-stage ideas through education, mentoring and funding.
The event will see the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as the special guest of honor along with other leading and respected experts in the digital ecosystem as guest speakers and panelists.
They include co-founder and COO, Piggy Vest, Odunayo Eweniyi; Helium Health co-founder Ralph Oluwole; Head, Office of Investment and Technology Promotion, (UNIDO) Abimbola Wycliffe, MD/CEO, Global Outsource, Amal Hassan and Founding Partner, Ventures Platform, Kola Aina.
Other guest speakers include MD/CEO, Appzone Group, Obi Emetarom; MD/CEO, Drugstoc, Chibuzo Opara, Executive Director, One.org, Serah Makka-Ugbabge; Co-Founder/Partner – Orbit54, Abayomi Awobokun and Co-Founder/Partner, New Lion Capital / Magic Fund, Temi Awogboro, and many more.
The Board and Management of the Authority will share their strategy for the technology sector in Nigeria and will also provide context to the vision behind the NSIA Innovation Award.
Key speakers from the NSIA team will include NSIA Non-Executive Director Ikemefuna Isiekwena, NSIA Managing Director/CEO Aminu Umar-Sadiq; Kola Owodunni, NSIA Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer, and Olubisi Makoju, NSIA Executive Director of Operations and Corporate Services.
The NSIA Price for Innovation Program is a strategy-based initiative, designed to run for at least three years to fund new ideas; drive a profitable, scalable and transformative positive impact on the economic growth of the nation.
The program will identify, build, and channel the country’s latent potential in innovation and technology, improve the nation’s productive capacity, create jobs, and optimize the sustainability of resources.
The NPI’s priority sectors are technology-enabled businesses in seven key priority sectors of the Nigerian economy, namely: financial services, agriculture, healthcare, education, manufacturing, renewables and energy. The priority sectors were selected given the measurable impact that innovations in these sectors can have on the Nigerian economy.
With this Program, the NSIA Board hopes to catalyze the growth and development of the Nigerian technology ecosystem by identifying budding Nigerian innovators, enhancing their capabilities and providing a platform to showcase and scale these technology solutions globally over multiple cycles of the Program.
The strategic intent of the Program will also help the Authority to establish direct access to the Nigerian technology sector, through the creation of a strong pipeline for future investment by its Innovation Fund.
In essence, the Program will provide a platform to understand industry modalities and gain first-hand insight from the rising stars within the tech ecosystem.
Therefore, the Program will adopt a three-stage competition, where ten finalists will come out and win various prizes.
The NPI is expected to run for sixteen (16) weeks and cover all three stages, namely the pre-selection stage, the acceleration stage, and the demo day stage.
It begins with applications from eligible candidates who meet the entry criteria.
In total, 25 innovators (one product/service for each) will be shortlisted and advanced to the competition. These innovators will scale through a boot camp known as the accelerator phase.
From the 25, the top 10 innovators will be selected by a 5-man expert judging committee to participate in a pitching session on the day of the demo from which a winner will emerge.
The capital portion of the award will be disbursed and supervised by one or more of the Authority’s venture capital partners during the specified period.
The disbursement period will be limited to a maximum of six months after the competition.