The Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority says it has commenced the second phase of its NSIA Prize for Innovation programme and has selected the top 25 semi-finalists to participate in a rigorous three-week accelerator programme.

According to a statement, the NPI is aimed at supporting innovators, technopreneurs, and start-ups in technology-enabled businesses across various sectors of the Nigerian economy with the potential to drive economic growth, create jobs, and yield other positive economic and social outcomes.

The statement said the  NSIA opened the application portal for the inaugural edition of the NPI on March 8, 2023, following a December 10, 2022, launch of the Programme.

After an extensive review process, the NSIA said it hortlisted 25 start-ups from over 2,000 applications received during the Call to Application stage of the programme.

The innovative startups, the statement said, commenced the Accelerator Bootcamp, which began virtually on May 29, 2023, and would culminate in a one-week in-person training bootcamp, ending on June 16, 2023.

Among the 25 shortlisted start-ups participating in the boot camp are Money Africa, Capsa Technology, LegitCar Africa, Boost Power Technologies, Acceede, Creditchek, Apace Technology Solution, Truq, CDIAL AI, Kobopay, and Extension Africa.

Other participants include Nafarm Foods, Nigenius, Periculum Technology, Quadloop, BrandDrive, WasteBazaar, Vella Finance, Yalo Technologies, Chekker, Aqualife Ifarms, BetaLife Health, Jise, Esusu Africa, and Oncopadi.

The selected start-ups operate within vital sectors of the Nigerian economy, such as healthcare, financial services, agriculture, education, logistics, e-mobility, e-commerce and digital marketplaces.

According to a statement, the programme’s focus on priority sectors reflects the NSIA’s recognition of the significant impact that innovation in these areas can have on the Nigerian economy.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the NSIA, Aminu Umar-Sadiq expressed his delight at the calibre and quantity of applications received. He emphasised the significance of staying at the forefront of innovation and disruption in an era of digital transformation.

He said, “The world is undergoing a digital transformation, and it is crucial for us to stay at the forefront of innovation and disruption. By investing in promising technology start-ups, we can unlock new avenues of growth, enhance our competitive advantage, and future-proof our businesses.

Through the NPI Programme and our planned investments in technology, we gain access to cutting-edge solutions, disruptive ideas, and exceptional talent. Collaborating with these start-ups allows us to stay ahead of the curve, harness new market opportunities, and deliver unparalleled value to our great nation.”

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