The American Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Africa Business Center (USAfBC) recently recognised three Nigerian-based startups for their creativity in digital innovation that has positively impacted on job-creation and COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
Specifically, USAfBC recognised Afrilearn International, Healthbotics Limited and Tiny Hearts Technology with its inaugural Digital Innovation Awards.
USAfBC, in partnership with the American Business Council (ABC) Nigeria, designed the Digital Entrepreneurship Competition to recognise digital innovators whose products or services have facilitated creative solutions in the midst of the pandemic while positively impacting Nigerian society.
The startups will receive mentorship and cash valued at $40,000 divided respectively by their placement in the competition.
The award was sponsored by Zenith Bank and other US Tech companies supporting the conference.
While recognising the three Nigerian-based startups, President, US Chamber’s US-Africa Business Center, Scott Eisner, said: “Nigeria, with one of the largest youth populations on the continent, has long been a thriving hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship. The US Chamber is pleased to recognise Nigeria’s budding young innovators and to support their growth.
“As the world navigates the pandemic, we see the critical role digital innovation plays in growing the West African economy and addressing current and future global challenges.”
From 112 applications, 12 startups were selected to submit a two-minute pitch and interview in front of a panel of judges from across the private sector, academia, and Nigeria’s National Information Technology Agency (NITDA). The 12 startups were then narrowed to the top three firms in the Digital Entrepreneurship competition.”
Based on pre-conference interviews and live voting from conference participants, USAfBC announced during the US-Nigeria Digital Economy Conference that Afrilearn International came first, Healthbotics Limited came second, and Tiny Hearts Technology came third.
Afrilearn is an education technology startup that leverages highly trained teachers, animators and developers to deliver affordable, world class education for Africans.
Healthbotics uses its “Lend an Arm” platform to increase voluntary blood donation in Nigeria and to deliver quality blood and blood products to patients in dire need, particularly in remote areas.
Tiny Hearts addresses the chronic shortage of phytotherapy treatment for jaundiced-born babies with its “Crib A’glow” unit – deploying these treatments to community primary healthcare centers and other medical facilities across Nigeria saving lives at birth.
The winners were announced at the third iteration of the USAfBC’s digital transformation event series, which- focuses on enabling the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy. Themes include workforce and skills development, unlocking the benefits of trade, and enhancing cybersecurity. The event convened the public and private sectors of both countries for a conversation about the need for a strong US-Nigeria partnership to deliver a trusted, responsible, and inclusive digital economy.
CEO and Executive Secretary of the American Business Council, Margaret Olele said: “The American Business Council working with the US Chamber is committed to collaborating with private sector stakeholders to drive the potential in the startup innovation space in Nigeria. We appreciate the support of the Nigeria Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami to this project and to the overall growth of the sector.