BY TOM JACKSON
Ventures Platform Foundation has announced a call for applications from Nigerian startups for Startup North-East, an incubation programme for early-stage companies building innovative tech solutions for communities hit by the crisis in North-East Nigeria.
Since 2009, according to estimates from the United Nations (UN), more than two million people have been displaced from their homes due to conflict in the region, and more than seven million depend entirely on humanitarian aid to survive.
Ventures Platform Foundation, which is the social impact arm of Ventures Platform Hub, launches the programme with support from the US Embassy, and will offer funding, mentoring and support for startups pioneering robust tech solutions which solve the current inefficiencies around aid distribution and data management in relief efforts across the region.
With the entire programme conducted virtually, six successful startups will receive exclusive support for four months as they build, deploy and drive strong traction for solutions which mitigate the operational risks faced by development agencies.
“Since 2009, we have witnessed vulnerable communities ravaged by malnutrition, a lack of hygiene and sanitation, and poor healthcare in one of Nigeria’s deadliest crises since the new millenium. We cannot allow this to slip off our radar – even in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Mimshach Obioha, executive director at Ventures Platform Foundation.
“At Ventures Platform, we have always believed entrepreneurs will play a critical role in building Africa’s future but through Startup North-East, we are equipping them with the tools to address some of the most pressing problems which our people face today. We want mission-driven founders who are ready to improve the livelihoods of underrepresented communities such as those in the North East. We know the talent is there and we are ready to back founders stepping up to make a difference.”
Applications for Startup North-East are open here until December 2. The launch of the programme marks the latest initiative from Ventures Platform Foundation, which addresses critical issues on the continent. The foundation recently awarded US$6,000 to seven different startups developing tech solutions to assist the fight against the coronavirus as part of its COVID-19 Innovation Challenge.