By Juliet Umeh
The American Business Council and the US-Africa Business Center of the US Chamber of Commerce, USAfBC, recently recognized three Nigeria-based startups for having a positive impact on job creation and pandemic recovery in the country.
Startups won digital innovation awards, $ 40,000 in cash, and will receive mentoring.
The three startups include: an educational technology platform, Afrilearn International; The “Lend an Arm” platform, a startup that increases voluntary blood donation in Nigeria, Healthbotics Limited and a platform that addresses the chronic shortage of herbal treatments for babies born with jaundice with its “Crib A’glow” unit, Tiny Hearts Technology.
USAfBC, in partnership with the American Business Council, ABC, Nigeria, designed the Digital Entrepreneurship Competition to recognize digital innovators whose products or services have facilitated creative solutions amid the pandemic and have had a positive impact on Nigerian society.
US Chamber US-Africa Business Center Chairman Scott Eisner said: “Nigeria, with one of the largest youth populations on the continent, has long been a thriving center for digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
“The United States Chamber is pleased to recognize Nigeria’s budding young innovators and support their growth.
“As the world navigates the pandemic, we see the critical role that digital innovation plays in growing the West African economy and in addressing current and future global challenges,” he said.
According to him, they got 112 applications and 12 startups were selected to present a two-minute launch. He said the selected startups were interviewed in front of a panel of judges from across the private sector, academia and the Nigerian National Information Technology Agency.
Eisner said: “Those 12 startups were then narrowed down to the top three companies in the Digital Entrepreneurship competition. Based on pre-conference interviews and live voting by conference participants, USAfBC announced during the US-Nigeria Digital Economy Conference that Afrilearn International ranked first, Healthbotics Limited ranked second, and Tiny Hearts Technology ranked third.
“Startups will receive mentorship and cash valued at $ 40,000 divided respectively by their placement in the competition,” Eisner said.
He added that the award was sponsored by Zenith Bank and other US tech companies that supported the conference.
The winners were announced in the third iteration of USAfBC’s digital transformation event series, which focuses on enabling the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy. Topics include developing the workforce and skills, unlocking the benefits of trade, and improving cybersecurity. The event brought together the public and private sectors of both countries to discuss the need for a strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria to provide a reliable, responsible and inclusive digital economy.
American Business Council CEO and Executive Secretary Margaret Olele said, “The American Business Council working with the US Chamber is committed to collaborating with private sector stakeholders to unlock potential in the business space. startup innovation in Nigeria.
“We appreciate the support of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy to this project and the general growth of the sector,” he said.