UK-Nigeria Tech Hub Selects 11 Startups into iNOVO Accelerator Program
The UK-Nigeria tech hub has unveiled the 11 startups accepted into its iNOVO accelerator program. The startups were selected from a pool of over 750 applicants operating in the healthtech, edtech or agritech sectors respectively.
The Inovo programme is an accelerator programme for early-stage startups creating innovative solutions to problems caused by covid-19 across the Health, Education and Agriculture sectors in Nigeria. For a duration of three months, the selected startups will receive capacity building, lean startup training, mentorship and support to quickly scale their products and business models.
They will also have access to the Accelerator Squared platform. Besides the UK-Nigeria tech hub, the other companies providing services for the selected startups include MSG91, Sidebrief, AWS, Miro, StartupBootcamp Afritech and Ventures Platform. Collectively, the services and credits offered by these other companies amount to $15,000 for each startup. Meet the selected startups below.
Agriple is an agritech startup with an online platform that directly connects farmers to consumers and those who want to buy from them in bulk. It helps farmers know which crops to plant in larger quantities by predicting based on consumer demand.
The farmers take pictures of their available products, upload them to Agriple from the dashboard and fill in the necessary details including name, price, description and quantity.
Agriple’s platform caters to clients who prefer making bulk purchases because most goods are sold in large quantities and can not be broken into smaller piecemeal purchases.
Farmer First Technologies
The startup is an agritech company that helps farmers access micro-loans and get direct access to buyers at competitive market prices for their produce. The company’s product, Farmer PAY, is a mobile banking (USSD) and agent banking platform which farmers use to make payments, receive money and pay bills.
Farmers First is also listed on the AFEX commodities exchange and the Lagos commodities and futures exchange (LCFE) to trade agricultural commodities. Through its online and offline channels, it connects farmers directly with off-takers and helps them to reduce the volume of produce destroyed due to post-harvest mishaps.
The direct access to the market also keeps the farmers from paying huge bills to middlemen who always exploit them.
Covid-19 has plunged the income of many households to levels they did not envisage and as such quality food is a source of worry for many families. Foodbank makes it possible for families to get foodstuff upfront and pay later.
The startup asks users to answer questions that help it to determine their credit-worthiness. This information then helps it to measure the foodstuff that is to be allocated on credit to the registered user. Farmers First has a web and mobile app through which it makes these services available. It was launched in
Rural Farmers Hub
This agritech startup helps farmers to make better farming decisions to increase yield with near-real-time crop advisory services using satellite-based remote imagery and sensing. Using its proprietary technology, it leverages modern scientific methodology and makes them backwards-compatible with ordinary mobile phones so that the farmers can make use of it.
The information that farmers get cover crucial areas such as soil nutrition, pest management, projected crop harvest and stress level of surface water on the crop.
This is an edtech startup that makes it easy for students in primary and secondary schools to learn about different topics and subjects in their own time. It provides curriculum-relevant video lessons that are combined with gamified exam practice for African users.
Currently, Afrilearn has about 1500 video and audio lessons, 3550 class notes and 18,165 past questions for its users. The unique point of Afrilearn is the startup’s deliberateness to make sure that the educational content is fun, engaging and still highly effective.
This edtech startup helps students access experienced teachers and high-quality educational content via SMS or USSD. DigiLearns uses an AI-based mobile adaptive learning tool that gives students access to content based on age, preference and language.
The content is aligned with the curriculum of the educational system in Nigeria and the service does not require a high-end phone or internet connectivity to function. Students can use it from anywhere including nomadic settlements, remote areas, refugee areas and places with absolutely no internet connectivity.
Schoola is an edtech startup that helps students learn through its multilingual, gamified learning solution for schools. The app uses artificial intelligence for content generation. Schools register to use the app and then onboard their students from Kindergarten class to Senior Secondary 3.
According to Nasir Mustapha, the founder of Schoola, the app helps teachers to “quickly generate relevant contents for their students on-demand and have time for more research.”
Gleeworld is an healthtech startup that is digitizing the pharmaceutical experience for people. It offers medication delivery services on its platform to improve the outcome for patients. With the selection into the iNOVO accelerator, the startup will be scaling its services across Africa and deepening its reach in Nigeria.
Pharmaserv Health Project
This is also an healthtech startup in the pharmaceutical space that is helping healthcare providers to access and procure essential medicines seamlessly. It has a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform through which the providers book and access the needed medicines.
Pharmaserv’s core focus is on branded and generic health products and it ensures that the drug distribution channels are free from counterfeit products. Other players in this sector include Field Intelligence and mPharma.
Wellvis is a healthtech startup that provides on-demand health information and advice, care and support through a peer-to-peer model that is moderated by verified health practitioners. Like Tremendoc and other healthtech startups, Wellvis also provides telemedicine consultations on a pay-as-need basis or through any of its prepaid health plans.
One of the shortcomings of virtual consultations with medical practitioners is that the patient can not be examined physically by a doctor. Wellvis is making physical consultation available at much less stress than it would normally require if one went to book at a hospital. On the web app, patients can book appointments with doctors and get to the hospital on the day that is convenient for them.
The startup also has a product that helps people find out if they are at risk of contracting the covid-19 and need to take a test or not.
One of the startups in the healthtech sector is Medipal Healthcare. The startup helps hospitals to digitize and automate their processes as well as help patients get access to medical services on the go. With its hospital-management system, hospitals can access pharmacies worldwide, order patient information and bill patients.
Patients who need to get drug prescriptions or renew existing prescriptons can do that on Medipal’s EMR app, provided their hospitals are using the healthtech solution.
In addition to the 11 Startups in the programme, there are 100 other startups that also have life-time access to the digital Accelerator Squared platform to help them build and scale their startup into a successful business.
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