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NSIA opens innovation prize application

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Emerging businesses can now benefit from the NSIA $255,000usd prize initiative.

The application portal for the Innovation Prize programme, which is designed as a business advancement initiative by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to assist early-stage, cost-effective solutions through learning, mentorship, and funding, is set to open to the public in March 2023, and the programme application will end in the second quarter of 2023. This came into effect as the organization recently announced the start of its US$255,000 innovation prize, which will be given in cash as well as an equity investment in the winners’ startup

Managers of Nigeria’s sovereign wealth fund, the NSIA, in December 2022 unveiled the NSIA Prize for Innovation (“NPI” or “the Prize”), which is a capacity-building project designed to encourage innovation across Nigeria’s digital economy. And now, startups, technopreneurs, and innovators can submit applications through the competition’s application portal. The NSIA has made a multi-year commitment through NPI to support emerging Nigerian innovators. The program’s objective is to foster innovation in the digital ecosystem by providing seed funding for tech-enabled solutions with the potential to positively affect the economy in terms of efficiency, scalability, and overall potential.

10 selected applicants will participate in a demo presentation session.

In this particular version of the program, the NPI will utilize a three-staged contest, at the conclusion of which ten (10) winners will be selected. Those that were successfully selected to move forward will take part in an acceleration program designed to help them improve their capabilities as well as digital solutions. On the day of the demo, the top 10 entrants will participate in a presentation session, from which the winner will be chosen. A total of sixteen weeks will be dedicated to the curriculum.

Furthermore, the first, second, and third place winners will each receive a variety of awards, including cash prizes and equity investments in their business. The remaining seven finalists will be awarded consolation prizes. To determine which intending technopreneurs will be accepted into the Programme, they will use a predetermined set of criteria. The innovation award aims to find, create, and fund early-stage innovations that stimulate economic growth, boost national productive capacity and generate new employment opportunities.

Funding and fostering startup growth are among the initiative’s goals.

According to Aminu Umar-Sadiq, MD/CEO of the NSIA, who comment on plans to launch the NPI application portal, which is an effort of the NSIA with two goals in mind for the country. In the first place, it guarantees that Nigerian startups with innovative solutions get access to local patient funding, mentorship, and value-added services that will help them thrive and grow. The second is to attract more strategic partners and investors to the Nigerian digital ecosystem, which is good for the country’s emerging business owners.

He added that fostering innovation and technology is at the core of the business structure for the subsequent phase of the NSIA’s development, which is now being prepared. They believe that the digital economy will eventually become an essential component of the economy. They have high hopes that the participants will lead to a measurable revolution across the entire digital value chain, just as it has in the other core sectors that they have worked with over the years.

Early-stage innovation will have a platform to showcase.

Moreover, the initiative offers a platform that will enable early-stage innovative solutions that have the potential to be transformative to be displayed. Establish a channel through which Nigerian innovators can network with a global community of investors and seasoned technology professionals and raise funds for their startups. Increase the efficiency of raising funds for economically viable digital innovations that originate in Nigeria. Cycles of prize competitions should encourage inventiveness, creativity, innovation, and ideas for major technological advances within the country’s digital ecosystem.

Related Link

NSIA: Website

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