The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is pitching Nigerian technology entrepreneurs to global investors aimed at building a solid financial bases for their startups to become global companies in the future. The government agency which regulates information technology development in the country, took about six young startups to the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) 2018 Technology Week going on at the Dubai World Trade Centre in United Arab Emirates. The Nigerian technology startups who are featuring at the Future Stars, an event featuring over 700 startups, collocated at the GITEX 2018 include Max.ng, a technology transport and logistics company that makes taxis and motorbikes accessible to users; Arone which provides a faster, cheaper and eco-friendly delivery using autonomous drones.
Others are Wattlinq Ltd, which provides energy devices that enable users monitor, control and manage their electricity sources and electronic appliances through an Internet of Things (IoT) gateway; Beesoft Ltd, which is into production of hardware consumer goods and software development. The rest are Off-k.com, an online platform providing potential student tenants with a wide range of accommodation options in higher institutions and; Domineum Blockchain Solutions Limited, a digital land registry platform using distributed ledger technology (DLT) network with nodes operated by government agencies, institutions, private companies and the company itself. Director-general of NITDA, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, who visited the stands of the Nigerian technology startups yesterday at the Future Stars exhibition said, “I am highly impressed by what I have seen. You know, all of them are sponsored by NITDA through screening. At the time we started, over 400 young Nigerians applied, out of that, the best six were selected.
“He stated further that the potentials of the startups are huge because the solutions are very critical, some in health, some in trying to de-congest traffic, some addressing students accommodation challenges, some are addressing power issue.
“So, if you look at the areas, they are very critical and most of them are solutions that can be adopted internationally, they are not only local to Nigeria. “Apart from investments, many people from other countries have been coming to interview them and see how they can partner. Some from China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc. This is a clear indication that even other nations are impressed with what we brought here not just Nigerians. “We always try to encourage competition and it has been our tradition that every year, we come with start-ups, to showcase what Nigeria has and look for funding and anything that is possible. They initiated their own start-up, only what NITDA did was to improve and mentor them. “We have been doing that, whenever any potential investor indicates interest in any of our startups, we don’t just allow them to go like that. we have a legal team that will sit down and draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make sure that our young innovators are not mismanaged and that interest of Nigeria is also protected,” the director general added.