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Nigerian tech start-ups can win big in Zenith pitch battle
Entrepreneurs in Nigeria with tech-enabled, scalable solutions can now apply to pitch in a new competition by Zenith Bank. Nearly N15 million (about $68 000) is up for grabs.
In a media release, organisers say competition seeks solutions designed to innovate businesses from different industries. Ten of the most promising start-ups will be invited to the pitch competition happening at Zenith Tech Fair on Tuesday, 22 and Wednesday, 23 November.
Start-ups interested in joining the competition must apply online before Monday, 14 November.
The Zenith Bank pitching competition is a collaboration between Zenith Bank and Seedstars with the goal of supporting Nigerian minimum viable product (MVP) stage start-ups in advancing to the next stage of growth.
It is set to identify promising businesses and support the best start-ups that are using technology and innovative ideas to help solve the problems of the present to build a better future in the following areas:
- future of wholesale and retail;
- future of e-commerce;
- future of payments;
- future of lending;
- future of wellness;
- future of cybersecurity;
- future of edtech.
- future of electricity (power vending);
- future of agritech; and
- future of entertainment.
Zenith Bank executive director Dr Temitope Fasoranti says, “As a leading financial institution in Africa with several firsts in the deployment of innovative products and solutions that ensure convenience, speed, and safety of transactions, we have always been at the vanguard of and remain committed to promoting technological innovations in the country.
“In this vein, the Zenith Bank Tech Fair has been conceived – to discover, promote and empower the next big tech start-ups in Nigeria. It is our hope, therefore, that the fair will be a springboard for the competing start-ups and entrepreneurs, providing the needed support for them to become global technological brands in the near future.”
The competition is set to support participating start-ups by providing the necessary tools and expertise to support start-up growth and development. Lean methodologies and best start-up practices will also be taught to the cohort by Seedstars’ internal experts and selected external mentors.
Criteria for start-ups looking to join the competition are as follows:
- Existing start-ups or young tech companies (younger than three years) in the Nigerian ecosystem;
- The start-up must have a demonstrable product or service (MVP) or must demonstrate viability of business model;
- The start-up needs to be scalable or have the potential to reach scalability;
- Start-up must have a complete team;
- Start-up must not have raised more than $75 000; and.
- Start-up must be operating in one of the sectors listed above.
The winner will receive N15 million, the second runner-up gets N10 million and the third prize winner gets N5 million. The rest of the start-ups will be awarded a participatory prize of N1 million each, and the top five start-ups will receive follow-on mentorship through Seedstars’ mentorship hub that will enable them to continue scaling their businesses and receive additional support from a global network of experts and investors.
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