Nigeria, others showcase IT innovations at global event

Nigeria stand at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition [Photo: Innovation Village]
Nigeria stand at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition [Photo: Innovation Village]

Nigeria is joining about 160 other countries to showcase technological innovations at this year’s edition of Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) holding in Dubai.

The event opens Sunday and is expected to last for five days.

The annual Information and Communication Technology trade show is an avenue for corporations and upcoming IT geeks to display new additions to the area.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) leads Nigerian government agencies and entrepreneurs to the event as part of its mandate of fostering the growth of the technology ecosystem.

The country will be presenting six IT start-up ideas at the global event, with the hope of securing buy-in of investors and major players.

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.

The event provides a platform for accelerating investment-ready start-ups, expose them to international investors, networking opportunities, partnerships, and access to witness emerging technologies that are changing the world.

A statement by NITDA’s head of corporate affairs and external relations, Hadiza Umar, said previous attendance had recorded several successes with Nigerian start-ups coming tops in pitching sessions and winning cash prizes as well as acceleration opportunities.

NITDA’s subsidiary, the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), coordinates start-ups’ participation at the event.

NITDA said over 500 submissions were received after a call for participation for start-ups was issued in July.

“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 start-ups 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 agency said.

The final six ideas to be tabled at the GITEX’s Future Stars exhibition Arone, a technology, transport, and logistics company which aims to solve the problem of lack of accessibility to medical supplies.

The second project, Beepower, allows the use of one single source to power up multiple devices with different power requirements.

Another startup billed for the event is Domenium, a solution designed to help police obtain evidence for crimes.

Also on display from Nigeria is Max, a technology, transport, and logistics company that makes moto-taxis safe, efficient, and accessible to users in West Africa.

The fifth project from Nigeria is Off-k.com, an online platform that helps students conveniently locate and securely pay for accommodation off campus.

Another new technology for exhibition by Nigeria is Wattlinq, a power technology with a website which provides services that monitor and manages energy availability and usage in homes.

The selected start-ups had undergone a one-week boot camp with seasoned resource persons in the ecosystem to equip them with state of the art skills to get the best of GITEX.

Also, 10 of the runner-up start-ups from the GITEX submission were selected to participate in Start-up Friday, Abuja, which will take place on 30th October 2018. Twenty (20) more were selected for eNigeria, scheduled for 5-7thNovember, 2018.

In addition to NITDA, other agencies setting up stands at the Nigerian pavilion at the exhibition include the National Communications Commission (NCC), Galaxy Backbone, Petroleum Equalisation Fund and the Automotive Council of Nigeria.


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