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Apply now for Itanna — the search for Africa’s top FinTech talent

November 20, 2017 · 3 min read
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Honeywell Group and the African Economic Revolution Fund (AERF), have joined forces to launch a new innovation space for Lagos – due to open in February 2018. A surprising, if not interesting play by one of Nigeria’s most well known corporates, the move sees a new dynamic emerging between the more traditional African business model, and the Nigerian start-up ecosystem. Honeywell, known for its ability to pivot and stay current, has now decided to invest further in tech, innovation and entrepreneurship, by creating a space in Lagos that will house 10 cohorts on a 5-month cycle. Each cohort will receive $20,000 initial funding, as well as access to the AERF and Honeywell Group networks. The top 2 graduates will also be able to access another $100,000 investment.

Tomi Otudeko , of Honeywell Group, introduces Itanna and explains how the programme will look and what we can expect from it.

Today, we are launching our very first innovation programme; a 5-month accelerator in Lagos that has been developed by Honeywell Group and the African Economic Revolution Fund (AERF), where Africa’s top talent can bring their ideas, visions, expertise, and resources to create a new wave of revolutionary enterprises that stimulate economic growth across the continent.

Each cohort will be focused on a different theme with our first cohort centered around Financial Technology. The application process for our inaugural cohort opens today. Each successful participant will be funded with $20,000 and from each cohort, we aim to select two companies who will go on to receive an additional investment of $100,000 at the end of the programme. Startups participating in the programme will also benefit from Honeywell Group and AERF’s networks, expertise and institutional knowledge.

So now, our search begins for Africa’s top talent from the Financial Technology world. This can be any area of FinTech, although we’re super keen to find disruptors in blockchain technologies, mobile and virtual registrars, credit scoring, data analytics, online lending, investTech, ‘Bots, payments and remittances, in particular. We are looking for founders who ideally have an MVP and want to progress it to the next level. We want people who want to absorb all of our experience, networks and decades-long background in business to make their product or platform into Africa’s next unicorn. We are here for you! We are ready!

What can Honeywell Group and AERF provide in terms of business acceleration?

  • 5-month programme starting mid-February in a collaborative community working space
  • $20,000 investment from Honeywell Group and AERF in all participants
  • $100,000 investment from Honeywell Group and AERF in the top 2 graduates
  • Introductions to and guidance from Honeywell Group key decision makers
  • Hands-on advice from the AERF experts
  • Mentoring from leading entrepreneurs and industry experts in Africa
  • The opportunity to pitch your business to Honeywell Group and AERF’s networks of investors

Itanna will provide the expertise, market connections, institutional knowledge and the capital required to enable innovative teams build revolutionary enterprises that will transform Africa.

Why us? Why now ?

Honeywell Group believes that by partnering with other ventures geared towards driving social impact, we are building enduring businesses and securing the future; which is why we are partnering with AERF. Collectively the AERF founders have raised close to $100bn of capital for African firms and institutions. AERF was set up as a social impact initiative that invests in disruptive businesses in Africa to fund an economic revolution through innovation. We partnered with AERF because we wanted to see that same rigorous and aggressive approach to fundraising applied to building and scaling businesses.

Honeywell Group is a leading Nigerian corporate with a long entrepreneurial track record of building successful businesses across key segments of the Nigerian economy. Itanna is a key component of the Group’s innovation strategy and goes to the core of its mission statement to “use enterprises to make our world better”.

Together, we have an innate, unparallelled understanding of the intersection between business and investment in Africa. Together, we want to fund and mentor the next generation of savvy disruptors.  Together we want to ignite an economic revolution.

So whilst we finish converting our space in Lagos into a beautiful Enterprise Factory, we are laying the groundwork to ensure we have the finest FinTech minds working from there when we open the doors in February 2018. Applications are now open and you can find additional details, about our areas of focus and the application process on the new Itanna site that launches today.


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