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The accelerator, which launched its first cohort last September at NG_Hub in Lagos, is aimed at supporting students and entrepreneurs to build locally relevant solutions using advanced technology. It is the first deep tech acceleration programme in the region.
The 12 teams selected for this year’s cohort were selected from Nigeria and Ghana and were unveiled at a demo event held last Friday (27 September) where they pitched and showcased their solutions.
FbStart Accelerator student and startup teams will get equity-free funding of $10 000 and $20 000, respectively
The eight startups and four student teams will join a six-month research and mentorship programme.
The programme aims to provide participants with access to product and industry experts, as well as deeper knowledge in how to optimise solutions which make us of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), data science, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Facebook and CcHub said in a joint statement yesterday that the student teams will be provided with equity-free funding of $10 000, while the startup teams will be provided with $20 000 in equity-free funding.
Both teams will also have access to technical and business mentors from the Facebook and the CcHUB network as well as free working space at NG_Hub.
The 12 teams are:
- Appruve (Ghana): This financial data application program interface (API) is aimed at those in the financial services sector. The program aims to help on-board and verify the identities of their customers in order to analyse transaction data from bank and mobile money accounts. Appruve is led by Paul Kwesi Damalie.
- VNTS (Nigeria): VNTS is a consumer devices manufacturing and software platform company which actively innovates hardware solutions tailored to solve internet connectivity issues. The VNTS team is led by Henry Obinugwu.
- Chekkit (Nigeria): Chekkit provides asset tracking and consumer intelligence for food, beverage and pharmaceutical product producers or distributors through anti-counterfeit services. They do this by labeling products for smart and traceable authentications from the warehouse to final consumer. The Chekkit team is led by Dare Odumade.
- Curacel (Nigeria): Curacel is an intelligent platform that fast tracks claims processing and detects fraudulent claims for health insurance companies. The Curacel team is led by Henry Mascot.
- Simbi Interactives (Nigeria): Simbi Interactives is an edtech startup that aims to solve the problem of poor education in Africa by making quality education available, affordable and accessible to all African students using the maieutic learning method. The team is led by Abdulazeez Ogunjobi.
- Haulr (Nigeria): An IoT and AI-powered platform that tracks trucking operations in real-time to curb illegal hauling and theft of cargo, while boosting efficiency and communication among logistics stakeholders. The Haulr team is led by Bright Williams.
- Vmedkit (Nigeria): Vmedkit is a social enterprise with a mission to increase access to mental healthcare by leveraging Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET). The Haulr team is led by Okon Emmanuel.
- Gradely (Nigeria): Gradely uses analytics and data-driven recommendations to help schools and parents intervene in real-time to help improve children’s learning gaps through weekly adaptive homework tests. The Gradely team is led by Boye Oshinaga.
- InventOne: InventOne is a platform that enables hardware engineers, enthusiasts and hobbyists to build and deploy IoT solutions with little to no code written via a graphical programming interface. This student team is led by Oluwatobi Ogunbayo.
- Mus-comm Spill-Sat: Spill-sat is an oil spill, gas leak and vandalisation detection system. It uses a balloon satellite to collect aerial data that is processed and used to provide real-time analytics to oil companies. This student team is led by Sadique Temitayo.
- Gesal: Gesal uses visual learning to offer quality education at a low cost to secondary school students. It leverages artificial reality (AR) to visualise complicated diagrams in 3D and deploy virtual laboratory tools. This student team is led by Yewande Akinjewe.
- Vinsighte: Vinsighte uses computer vision and sonar technology to aid the visually impaired in navigating their environment independently and to help them to more easily read books. This student team is led by Kolawole Oluwatomisin.
Facebook head of public policy for West Africa Adaora Ikenze said Facebook opted to include in the second cohort, Ghanaian innovators for the first time.
“The success of last year’s programme, which saw the graduating teams cumulatively raise over $400 000 in investments and grants as at April 2019, reinforces the amazing talent pool and groundbreaking solutions we see being created from across the continent and here in Nigeria.
“Young innovators using cutting edge technologies to build solutions that are both locally and globally relevant,” said Ikenze.
Said CcHub Nigeria founder and CEO Bosun Tijani: “Fbstart is a unique platform for discovering and enabling technology solutions that are capable of creating significant economic impact and we look forward to working with Facebook in incubating more great minds in the region to build a world we’ll all be proud of”.
Editor’s note (2 October 2019): An earlier version of the article stated that the Vinsighte team is led by Salisu Gaya. NG_Hub acceleration programmes manager Francis Sani subsequently informed Ventureburn that the FbStart Accelerator team had mistakenly listed Salisu Gaya as the team lead for Vinsighte instead of Kolawole Oluwatomisin. The article has been updated to reflect that.
Featured image: Supplied