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Four Nigerian tech startups have secured eight agreements to partner with Nigerian corporates following the conclusion of the inaugural cohort of Lagos-based accelerator Itanna, the accelerator’s director Tomi Otudeko has revealed.
Otudeko (pictured above, third from right), who is also the head of sustainability and innovation for Honeywell Group, was responding to questions from Ventureburn, yesterday (4 December) four days after the accelerator concluded its inaugural four-month programme with a demo day in Lagos.
The demo day, which was held at Itanna’s Enterprise Factory last Friday (30 November), saw the four startups pitch to Honeywell Group’s extensive network of high net-worth investors for investment, corporate banking and strategic partnerships.
Lagos-based Itanna accelerator was launched in August by the Honeywell Group
Otudeko told Ventureburn that the accelerator’s inaugural cohort has secured eight partnerships which she said have had “a real impact” on the companies’ bottom line. She would not disclose the breakdown of the partnerships “so as not to elevate one startup over another”.
“We continue to engage our network to link our cohort with strategic partners who can help them grow,” she said. She added that she would only confirm the amount of funding raised by the four in the coming months as “discussions are ongoing”.
‘Highlight seeing companies grow’
Otudeko said the accelerator’s first programme was filled with firsts which made it “exciting”. She emphasised that the major highlight for the accelerator was seeing the companies grow.
“Through the programme we saw real impact being made as the companies refined their business models and strategy, grew their businesses by reaching more customers and increasing revenue,” she explained.
Along with up to $25 000 each in investment from the Honeywell Group, the four startups received training and mentorship in user interface and user experience in addition to participation in legal and HR workshops, classes on business and marketing, revenue and pricing models, as well operational metrics.
She said during the course of the innovation programme, industry experts and entrepreneurs like Interswitch’s Mitchell Elegbe, TLCom’s Omobola Johnson and VGG’s Bunmi Akinyemiju were invited to share their success stories and lessons.
“This allowed the cohort to see a path to success and also seek advice from people who had been in their shoes,” said Otudeko.
Otudeko said applications for the next cohort will open late next month. When asked what the accelerator plans to improve on, she said Itanna was considering increasing the cohort size to between seven and 10 startups.
Featured image left to right: Itana team, Vice President and head of Investments Tony Idugboe, Senior analyst Francis Vesta, Honeywell Group CFO Sikiru Rufai, Head of sustainability and innovation at Honeywell Group and Itanna director Tomi Otudeko, and Honeywell Group executive director Obafemi Otudeko. (Supplied)