Nigerian Corporation Launches Tech Accelerator, Selects Four Startups For First Cohort

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

 

Nigerian corporation, Honeywell Group, has launched a new tech accelerator in Lagos, with four startups selected for its first cohort.

The tech accelerator is called Itanna, and will be led by Tomi Otudeko, the head of innovation and sustainability for Honeywell Group, according to a press release.

Honeywell Group is a leading Nigerian company with activities across major sectors of the Nigerian economy including foods, real estate, infrastructure, energy and services. The company also invests in other sectors including financial services, telecommunications and security management, and with this initiative it increases its focus on tech within the West African country.

The accelerator will provide four-month innovation programs for Nigerian tech startups from the newly built Enterprise Factory in Lagos.

The first four tech startups that will benefit from the Itanna accelerator program have been selected, with AccounteerKoloPayTradebuza, and PowerCube set to be the businesses in its first cohort, each receiving a $25,000 investment from Honeywell Group as part of the program.

The four startups were chosen from over 200 applications, and will receive training and mentorship from industry experts, as well as the opportunity to pitch to Honeywell Group’s network of local and international investors at the company’s inaugural Demo Day, which will take place at the end of the year.

tech accelerator
New Nigerian accelerator program Itanna has selected its first cohort of four startups. Photo – Honeywell Group

Accounteer offers accounting and payroll management software that is specifically developed with the needs of African small and medium businesses in mind.

The cloud accounting platform recently won the inaugural MEST Africa Challenge organized by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, a training program, seed fund and Africa’s largest tech incubator based in Ghana, according to DisruptAfrica.

KoloPay, another fintech startup, is a cashless target savings mobile and web application. Tradebuza is an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme, and PowerCube is a provider of affordable power supply options using renewable energy.

One of many tech accelerator programs in Nigeria

There are a number of accelerator and incubator programs that serve Nigeria’s thriving tech startup scene, with She Leads Africa, Startupbootcamp, Enspire Incubator, Passion Incubator, iDEA Nigeria and Wennovation Hub a few of the prominent initiatives capable of accelerating the growth of Nigerian startups, according to Ventureburn.

There are also a number of international accelerator programs that have opened up a local presence in Nigeria.

In September last year, Google launched a mentorship program focused on supporting African tech entrepreneurs, with a new Google Launchpad space made available in Nigeria, , according to IOL.

Google Developers Launchpad Africa, which operate from the new space in Lagos, is a mentorship program that aims to provide tech startups based in Africa with tools to build sustainable businesses.

The Google Launchpad Space in Nigeria was the first onsite location for the program outside of the U.S.

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology launched a new incubator space in Lagos, Nigeria in November, expanding its reach and presence on the African continent, according to ITNewsAfrica.

The incubator has links throughout Africa, and since launching in 2008 it has already invested over $20 million in African startups, reports GhanaWeb.