StartUps, ALAT’s Hackaholics And Building The Future Young Nigerians Deserve

March 29, 2022
3 min read

Last year, we reported that Nigerian startups raised $219 m in Q1 2021, higher than the figures of the last three Q1s combined. The Nigerian tech industry saw investments in all sectors, ranging from edtech to agritech and healthcare, with fintech receiving the bulk of the investments.

Beyond that, the Nigerian tech space is becoming a house of investment for tech founders that have benefitted from external funding in the course of their careers. However, as techpreneurs around the country continue to innovate and proffer tech solutions to many problems in the country, the funding prospects for startups in Nigeria cannot be limited.

We are pleased to mention that in the last few years, startups that have passed through our incubation and acceleration programs have recorded successes both locally and internationally. Two(2) weeks ago, one of the startups from our last cohort in 2021 announced it’s selection as part of the Y Combinator W22 batch. Plumter is Nigerian-led startup that ensures Africans can make foreign payments seamlessly. They remain dedicated to solving some of the most difficult problems in payment on the continent

It has been 7 weeks since ALAT by Wema announced the commencement of its tech funding ‘pitch-athon’, Hackaholics, as part of its efforts to provide financial and business skills to tech businesses that are solving specific challenges across multiple sectors. This is inclusive of businesses focusing on the limitless possibilities in the future of technology in areas such asNFTs, Web 3.0, Metaverse, Blockchain, AR, VR, AI, IoT.

Last month, the first pitch session was heavily contested by 20 innovators at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), Akure, Ondo. Three excited techpreneurs were selected to proceed to the grand finale.

Babcock University, Remo, Ogun State, is the next pitch centre and the three-day boot camp is scheduled to hold from Tuesday, April 5, 2022 to Thursday, April 7, 2022. Participants will be exposed to the creative, technical and business aspects of innovation in specially curated sessions with seasoned innovators, venture capitalists and the ALAT by Wema team.

Speaking on the initiative, Olusegun Adeniyi, the Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank, stated that Hackaholics was birthed by ALAT to supporttech enthusiasts and innovators in scaling and gaining entrance into the market.

“In line with our value proposition as the No. 1 Digital bank in Nigeria, we are happy to hold the third edition of the Hackaholics which will provide up to ₦5 million in financial grants, empower young techpreneurs through a unique capacity building program. This ‘pitch-a-thon’is designed to take place across three centres in Nigeria with the aim of giving as many young Nigerians as possible an opportunity to pitch their ideas to an incredible crop of experienced innovators.

“ALAT by Wema has been one of the leading advocates for youth economic empowerment in Nigeria and the drive to support the young tenacious Nigerian is the key motivation for many of our youth-centred initiatives like the Hackaholics,” he added.

Explaining the mechanics for participation, Solomon Ayodele, the Head of Innovation, Wema Bank, said, “We have developed a process that will draw out the very best ideas that embody our values and the objectives of this competition. Interested persons who meet the criteria are required to fill an online application. Based on the viability of their ideas, candidates will then be selected  through a meticulous process led by a credible panel of business experts. Ten finalists will be shortlisted for the pitch process, and from those, our experts will pick the final three who would represent the pitch centre at the grand finale later in the year.

“Asides from the funding made available to the winners, there will be a series of mentorship sessions to help the winners bring their ideas to life,” he concluded..

As Nigeria’s first fully digital bank, ALAT has made significant investments aimed at enhancing the growth of the Nigerian fintech space. The bank is a major advocate of youths through innovative offerings like ALAT for business, a corporate internet banking platform designed to help business owners manage their businesses better.

Interested applicants can apply here or the Wema Bank website.

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