Following a call for entries from eligible companies and a keenly competitive pitching process, seven innovative tech companies have qualified for much-needed seed funding in the COVID-19 Innovative Challenge (CIC).
Facilitated by Ventures Platform (VP), in partnership with Venture Garden Group (VGG) and several other key players in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, the challenge received more than 500 entries between 17 and 23 March 2020 from innovative startups with solutions tailored to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The solutions were reviewed through a three-phase selection process that culminated in a Virtual Demo Day on Thursday, 2 April 2020 where the seven finalists demonstrated their solutions before top officials of the Nigerian Center of Disease Control (NCDC), VP, VGG, Medical experts and key members of the Nigerian tech ecosystem.
Commenting on the COVID-19 Innovative Challenge, Chief Executive Officer, Venture Garden Group, Bunmi Akinyemiju said, “As a leading player in the Nigerian tech ecosystem, we are happy to collaborate with like-minded organisations to create and deploy tech solutions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides financial support, VGG will also be providing mentorship and technical assistance to these startups as we work to strengthen health workers and government officials in the frontline of the crisis.”
The qualifying startups are:
Wellvis COVID Triage: A simple online & USSD-based self-administered risk-assessment tool for measuring the level of exposure to COVID-19 with a symptom logger for remote monitoring by a clinician.
GloEpid by Prunedge: A GPS and Bluetooth-based solution that improves efficiency of contact tracing by the NCDC as well as case reporting and management.
Infodemics by Ingenia Nigeria Limited: A risk communication platform that effectively connects health professionals and members of the public requiring medical help.
Driage by Caselink: A risk assessment tool for COVID-19 that matches individuals with the highest risk to the most appropriate clinical resource.
MyServiceAgent: An artificial intelligence -powered interactive voice response (IVR) system which can communicate with thousands of callers simultaneously.
Covid19 Nigeria: A platform that provides easy access to information as well as a broader and simpler disease tracing system.
Cmapit Analytics: A platform that helps researchers to better study data variables and make more accurate predictions through Geographic Information System (GIS) and data visualization solutions that provide geospatial data and analyses statistics regarding COVID-19.
“VGG’s participation in CIC is in alignment with one of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) thrusts termed African Tech-Ecosystem Alignment where we promote collaborative initiatives amongst tech industry players for the benefit of the African continent. We congratulate Ventures Platform and all partners in this venture on the progress we have made in the last few days and urge the startups to double down on their efforts to deploy the initiatives,” concluded Akinyemiju.
In addition to opportunities for more funding, the seven successful startups will receive equity-free grants of $3,000 each, access to virtual workspace as well as other juicy perks.
In operation since 2011, VGG is a holding company and investor in several fintech companies addressing payment and data inefficiencies in various sectors and providing solutions for public and private sector companies.