The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), through its subsidiary, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), and in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is set to launch iHatch, a startup incubation programme aimed at increasing the number of innovation-driven enterprises by Nigerian youths.
This was disclosed in a statement issued yesterday by the head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA Mrs. Hadiza Umar, stressing that the incubation programme will provide an excellent opportunity for startups that have innovative business ideas along with a prototype of their products or services.
The National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) is one of NITDA’s special purpose vehicles created to promote research and development on emerging technologies and their practical application in areas of Nigerian national interest. NCAIR is also focused on creating a thriving ecosystem for innovation-driven entrepreneurship (IDE), job creation, and national development.
“iHatch is a 5-month free intensive incubation programme designed to help Nigerian entrepreneurs perfect their business ideas through a series of coaching, lectures, and boot camps, to generate viable and scalable business models. iHatch focuses on youth, innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology,” the statement said.
It said further that participating startups will receive free offline and online interactive training from experienced coaches and mentors from over the world. Other benefits include free co-working space for the duration of the programme and investment opportunities.
Director-general/CEO of NITDA, Malam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, said “iHatch seeks to establish a programme that will accelerate the process of taking ideas to impact, hence providing the much-needed jobs for our teeming youths, and also nurturing that entrepreneurial spirit in them, which will catalyse the Nigerian digital economy to the next level.”
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) coordinates official development assistance for the Japanese government in developing countries and aims to promote international cooperation by supporting the socio-economic development, recovery, or economic stability of emerging economies.