The National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA), and MassChallenge has sealed partnership to create, promote and connect Nigeria’s Information Technologies(IT) startups to global markets.
Recall, NITDA recently launched the new initiative in partnership with MassChallenge with the focus of accelerating top startups in Nigeria for no equity taken.
Prior to the kick off of the acceleration program, NITDA and MassChallenge will be conducting an innovation ecosystem assessment. This assessment will be a combination of innovation stakeholder interviews as well as in-depth research on the ecosystem.
Speaking in his opening remarks, at the Media Stakeholder Engagement on the initiative, the Director-General, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa said, the partnership is critical to supporting indigenous startups and vital to finding solutions Nigeria’s various challenge.
Inuwa noted that, the initiative will attract Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) into the Country in an unprecedented way such as Paystack, Interswitch, Flutterwave.
“The investments attracted by our startups confirms the position. Recently, Flutterwave announced new funding of $170m, and Stripe acquired Paystack for more than $200m. Other Nigerian technology companies like Interswitch have raised funding in the hundreds of millions of dollars”, he said.
The NITDA Boss reiterated the achievements of NITDA in job creations, lifting Nigeria Economy out of recession and massive innovation, entrepreneurship trainings that have attracted FDI to the Country.
He also solitcited for the support of the media towards a successful implementation of the initiative.
“A vibrant startup ecosystem is highly critical to the future of our country and it’s vital to finding solutions to our various challenges. Innovation is a prominent way of creating prosperity for all and lifting countries out of poverty.
“Considering this, NITDA and MassChallenge have partnered to catalyse and support a national startup community in Nigeria. MassChallenge is well known as a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators. The partnership focuses on achieving three main objectives: Firstly, to promote Nigeria as an emerging entrepreneurial hub and leader of innovation in Africa in order to support job creation and economic development; Secondly, to foster the growth and success of Nigeria’s startup enterprises by connecting our entrepreneurs with markets, networks, and capital in the global innovation ecosystem; and Lastly but not the least, to facilitate key strategies to complement growing innovation initiatives within Nigeria.
“Having these objectives, it is obvious we cannot succeed in silo. Therefore, we have identified you, the media, among six categories of stakeholders that will be fully involved in this initiative. Others include critical government agencies, academia, business entities, angels investors and venture capitals and entrepreneurs”.
Meanwhile in her remarks, the CEO, MassChallenge, Siobhan Dullea said it is partnering with NITDA to connect Nigeria tech startups with global market through training, mentorship and incubation.
Dullea noted that the growth of startups is largely depended on shared knowledge between emerging tech entrepreneurs and the media.
She noted that the programme will commence in two months across the 6 geopolitical zones in Nigeria.