Following a rigorous screening process by seasoned Nigerian tech ecosystem judges, ten startups have been selected to pitch for ₦1million in equity-free funding at the ‘Pitch2Win’ competition.
The competition is a flagship event of TechCircle, in partnership with Japan’s Freakout holdings, to discover the most innovative startups in Nigeria, and then position them for local and international opportunities.
Applications opened earlier in May 2019 to startups across a number of sectors, including agriculture, clean tech & energy, utilities, construction, manufacturing, media & entertainment, education, healthcare, retail, ICT, logistics, water, luxury goods and jewelry, etc.
The 10 Pitch2Win finalists are:
Asusu: This SaaS company, founded by Yusuf Zakari, in 2017 is on a mission to build infrastructure for informal microfinance organisations by digitising the financial activities of low income and daily earners through cooperatives, trade groups, agent networks, and partnerships.
Gricd Frij: an IoT startup that provides an affordable and portable cold chain device for efficient storage of vaccines, blood and other health/agricultural products. Oghenetega Iortim launched Gricd Frij in 2017.
LendSqr: a convenient cloud platform for individual and small lenders to provide credit at zero upfront cost and reduced loan loss. The fintech solution has been the brainchild of Adedeji Olowe from 2018.
Plumter: Created by Simi Adejumo in 2018, Plumter is an AI-powered solution that helps one schedule, coordinate and keep records of their meetings and tasks in a beautiful, everlasting calendar.
CashBudy: enables Nigerians to receive and send money using mobile airtime, withdraw cash, buy mobile data and pay bills with or without the internet. CashBudy was founded by Herbert Obude in 2018.
Curacel: an AI-powered fraud detection engine that puts a tap on that leak by automating claims processing and putting claims through an intelligent. Curacel was founded in 2017 by Henry Mascot.
Prodigy: a school management software founded in 2013 that enables schools owners to manage their school effectively and efficiently. The founder of Prodigy is Adeleye Olufemi.
Truckrtech: an online marketplace, enabling listing and booking of third-party trucks. Truckr gives real-time visibility, cargo-in-transit insurance and proper communication channels to shippers and drivers and was birthed in 2018 by Caryl Joshua Akonor.
Driversng: providing on-demand drivers recruitment digitally since 2016. Founded by Daniel Audu.
Aidahbot: an AI solution that helps businesses automate their customer interaction. Aidahbot was founded in 2018 by Nancy Ewurum.
Oo Nwoye, Founder, TechCircle, noted that the calibre of applicants was extremely high and the judging team were presented with a tough choice in selecting the very best startups.
“Narrowing the final list down to the final 10 was a difficult process, and much spirited debate was had by the judging panel. However, what ticked the boxes for our judges was the problem, market size, product execution and traction. I would like to wish the finalists all the best for the Pitch2Win competition.”
In the last edition of the competition, 12 startups were selected to pitch before foreign and local investors. Kangpe (now RelianceHMO), an healthtech startup founded by Femi Kuti emerged winner, before proceeding to win Seedstars World Competition, and securing investment from Y Combinator.
The selected finalists will go on to compete against one another to clinch the winning prize during the grand finale tomorrow, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at the Impact Hub, Ikoyi, Lagos.
In addition to walking away with a ₦1 million equity-free grand prize, all participating startup will be strategically positioned to meet local and international investors as well as tap into numerous opportunities from the TechCircle network.
TechCircle and its partner Freakout Holdings will host seasoned entrepreneurs, judges and experts from Nigeria and Japan for the grand finale and final pitching rounds, to determine the overall winner.
Nigerian startups raised $17.6m in Q1 2019, 8.5% higher than they did in Q1 2018. Find out more in the latest quarterly edition of the Nigerian Startup Funding Report here.