Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), a Nigeria-based social innovation centre, has announced the winners of the Diaspora Challenge it launched on May 6, 2017, in London.
The Diaspora Challenge was streamlined into three categories including energy, fintech, and education to seek innovative ideas capable of addressing the developmental challenges facing Nigeria from its citizens living abroad.
Over 250 entries were received from innovators, scientists and entrepreneurs in the Nigerian Diaspora community in the United Kingdom, according to CcHub.
The three startups that emerged winners in the challenge include Big Pot (energy), 1 Million Teachers (education), and TruuScore (fintech).
Big Pot, founded by Oluyemi Jegede, is a power utility startup that provides solar energy to small and medium size residences and businesses through smart community microgrids distributed via a blockchain network formed by geographically dispersed solar photovoltaic panel installations and lithium ion battery storage.
1 Million Teachers, founded by Hakeem Subair, is an edutech startup poised to fix education in Africa by using gamified and reward-based learning platform to empower teachers and turn them into lifelong learners.
And, TruuScore, founded by Dr. Freda Owusu, is a credit reference platform which employs a person-centred system to enable credit scoring for the financially excluded populace.
Each of the three startups will receive a $15,000 investment, and also participate in a 9-month CcHub Acceleration Programme designed to give them access to business advisory support, a wide network of mentors and knowledge that will help their solutions to grow and scale.
Bosun Tijani, CEO and Co-founder, CcHUB, said the Diaspora Challenge is poised to take Nigeria on the path of growth. “Nigeria is experiencing an unprecedented growth and with this comes developmental gaps and issues.
“We believe that the restructuring of Nigeria is one that requires collective efforts needing all hands on deck. The Diaspora Challenge is one of the vehicles through which we want to drive innovation for a better society by tapping into the innovative wealth of Africans in the diaspora eager to proffer solutions.’’Read More
Whether it’s a document or passport that needs to be delivered, food from your favorite restaurant or a laundry drop, Tomi Solanke’s Dropbuddies, a peer to peer delivery service, connects individuals who want to transport such packages with people who are already headed in the same direction. This startup does any delivery as long as the package is legal.
Before you can become a ‘Dropbuddy’ on the delivery side of the business, you have to understand your city enough or own a means of transportation (personal car, bike, truck or bus). The business leverages on these types of people to get goods delivered.
It is a little over a year since the business started. In spite of this short period, Tomi told Outrepreneurs how awesome it has been in terms of revenue and customer base. “On the demand side we were working with just 15 businesses when we started, but that number has increased phenomenally. On the supply side are the people helping us make the delivery. Revenue has multiplied more than 5 times compared to when we started.”
It is all about creating seamless experiences for users, Tomi opines. Whether a business model is new or not, People will always replicate your idea. He manages this by staying ahead, getting feedback from users so he can pivot, creating better customer and technological experiences.
Still within Lagos, though, Dropbuddies has experimented interstate delivery but has decided to take it one city at a time. The startup is now considering intra-state delivery options in some South East and South West states. However, the first port of call outside Lagos will be the nation’s capital, Abuja.
All this expansion is out of a need to fulfill the goal of empowering 25,000 people across Africa. “It is a social delivery startup that makes money and that is why our business model involves not owning our own logistics fleet, we are leveraging on these people to do our deliveries. So we need to reach more people, empower them by creating another source of revenue and create more revenue for us.” Tomi said.
Dropbuddies’ business model, and its success over a short period of time has attracted investors, but the startup hasn’t found the best investors yet for this business. “Nigerian investors are actually sharks; they try to get the best deal from you. Though we have an angel investor, we haven’t agreed yet to the investment offers we have on hand. We are however open to more investment opportunities and will close in on an offer once we see an investor whose long term goals align with ours,” Tomi pointed out.
Citing his biggest asset in the business as his team, Tomi feels lucky to have picked the right crop of techies so early in his journey. “I cannot discount the work that the team does, skilled guys! They are at the center of everything. Smart guys from interesting tech and business background. If I were alone, we would not be where we are today.”
Abuja based startup, Hello Tractor, is an agricultural technology company focused on moving smallholder farm families out of poverty by increasing their access to timely tractor services (and eventually other farm inputs). Founded by Jehiel Oliver, Van Jones and Martha Haile, Hello Tractor’s technology platform makes it easy and profitable for tractor owners to monetize their services by connecting with smallholder farmers in need of tractor services.
With a simple text message, farmers can request for tractors and get connected to the nearest smart tractor operator and within a short time, the tractor arrives and performs the operation forty times more efficiently at one-third the cost of manual labor.
Hello Tractor also sells a low-cost tractor monitoring device to tractor owners. The device enables access to the platform’s software and set of apps, designed to ensure smart tractor owners have full visibility of tractor location, tractor activity, maintenance needs, and operator activities.
Speaking with Outrepreneurs recently, Martha Haile affirmed that this “uber for agriculture model” for tractors will not be limited to tractors; other farming equipment are also being worked on for lease. Providing this will deliver better yield for rural farmers to further strengthen Nigeria’s economy using innovative technology. “Innovative technology has the potential to provide a ‘leapfrog opportunity’ for Nigeria and the rest of Africa to push forward a progressive agenda to increase productivity, decrease barriers to entry, and support food security for the world,” Haile said.
Hello Tractors has participated and received funding from Feed the Future, USAID, Points of Light, University of Chicago Booth School, Echoing Green, the Africa Diaspora Marketplace, and the Mulago Foundation.
Photo Credit: www.npr.orgRead More
Make-IT Accelerator, an initiative of the German International Cooperation (GIZ), is looking for 30 digital startups based in Nairobi, Kenya, or Lagos, Nigeria to participate in its free 9-month acceleration programme.
The programme will provide the selected digital startups access to the right knowledge and mentors, business and financing partners and opportunities for successful business growth, according to a statement from the organisers.
This will be done in collaboration with renowned local hubs, corporate partners and investment experts.
Eligibility criteria for application include:
Lori Systems, a Kenyan startup, has won the sum of $25,000 (US) at the first Techcrunch Startup Battlefield Africa held yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya.
15 African Startups were invited to pitch at Startup Battlefield in three categories namely: Productivity & Utility, Social Good, and Gaming & Entertainment.
Lori Systems won the Best of Show and the Productivity & Utility category, with its solution that is revolutionising the cargo-transport value chain in Africa. The company provides data, tracking, and automated invoicing for transporters and cargo owners.
The online logistics company will get an all- expense paid trip to San Francisco to compete at Techcrunch’s flagship event, DISRUPT SF 2018. Lori was founded by Josh Sandler.
SynCommerce, co-founded by Joel Funu, Christian Osei-Bonsu, and Albert Fiati-Kumasenu is an integrated platform that provides sellers with an effective and ‘easy to use’ tool to manage and synchronize inventory and orders across multiple sales channels like Shopify, eBay, and Etsy.
Photo Credit: TechcrunchRead More
Andela, a technology training institution for African developers, has raised $40 million dollars in a Series C funding led by South African Venture Capital, CRE Venture, alongside DBL Partners, Amplo, Salesforce Ventures, and TLcom Capital.
A report published by the New York Times put the total money Andela has raised from investors at $80 million dollars. In 2016, the company raised $24 million in an investment led by Facebook-backed Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Other investors that participated in the Series B funding included Spark Capital, Omidyar Network, Learn Capital and CRE Ventures.
Since Andela was founded in 2014, it has recorded different milestones with some of its developers working remotely for global brands. Apart from having an office in Lagos Nigeria, it has also expanded to Kenya and Uganda.
In an article posted on Medium today, Andela’s Nigeria Country Director, Seni Sulyman, said he was excited that the new investment in the company was led by African owned Venture Capital.
Sulyman, who lauded CRE, added that the Venture has proven to global investors that Africans should be partners in allocating capital to the most promising companies.
“African VC has officially arrived! It also proves that CRE and several existing investors who reinvested in this round, deeply believe that Andela is going to be successful at powering global tech teams by investing in local tech talent here in Africa.
“Second, and more importantly, it means that our developers are delivering value, day after day. From their experiences building world-class tech products for our partner companies, they are preparing to elevate technology products built in Africa. While doing this, they are already contributing locally, through initiatives like TeenCode, which supports schools in preparing teenagers for tech-enabled futures. Our developers are the heart and soul of our organization, and they are the future of our continent. We’ve always believed in them; we’re glad the world increasingly does so too.”
According to Sulyman, the company will plough the new investment in talent operating out of its hi-tech offices across Africa and aggressively pursue its dreams and aspirations of making Africa equal partner in the global digital revolution.
Photo Credit: Jobberman
Page 1 of 1