Now more than ever, it takes a village to not only raise a child but to also save a nation. Sometime in March, Ventures Platform, a leading angel investment in Nigeria collaborated with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) with the sole purpose of finding, supporting, funding and growing products and services that could help Nigeria fight the pandemic better and provide the needed technical support.
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Earlier in the month, seven startups were selected to be funded for the purpose of the collaboration, with each of them receiving $3,000 equity-free grant funding. Latest news update from the organizers, Ventures Platform and its partners, reveal that NCDC is working with three of the startups:
Wellvis Health offers solutions that promote primary care by improving the health of the public through continuous access to personalized health information. With the lockdown and health crisis, there is the avoidance of hospitals and health centers by people who need it for different reasons like the fear of contacting the COVID-19 virus or not enough facility to accommodate them, as a result, Wellvis Health solution is to resolve personal health worries, question and chat with a document by booking an appointment.
Gloepid, a solution by Prunedge a technology company that develops innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of processes, the livelihood of people and aid decision making within organizations. With innovation at its core, Gloepid is a solution is to reduce the spread of the virus by tracking and mapping all COVID-19 cases, as well as allow people to self-assess if they have symptoms of the virus.
Infodemics uses existing social hierarchies in a community to efficiently and effectively communicate health risks. Past evidence of the ills of fake news such as in the first outbreak of Ebola in the country caused much harm than could easily be avoided, therefore, Infodemics is working with the commission’s team to stop the spread of fake news.
Wellvis Health interface and Gloepid (Prunedge bot and app technology) have both been integrated into the NCDC systems.
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As work continues to speed up for these startups, MTN has joined the list of partners amongst Loftyinc Allied Partners Ltd, Silverchip Fox Consulting, Bluechip Technologies, AGS Tribe, ACIOE, Lakunle Runsewe, Manasseh Egedegbe, Venture Garden Group, NESG, Sterling Bank as well as the Lagos State Science and Research Innovation Council (LASRIC), to support three of seven of the #COVID19InnovationChallenge finalists.
MTN’s contribution will be take the form of setting up Wellvis Health USSD to push out their triage tool to the underserved, that is, users without an internet-enabled phone or living in remote areas without internet access so as to assess their exposure and monitor or report their symptoms. Also, Gloepid will see Zero Rate on their app and site to benefit as many as possible while iQube Labs will get a toll-free phone line for MyServiceAgent and SIP trunking services that can handle call routings in their thousands.
Speaking on the selected startups, Kola Aina, Founder of Ventures Platform, had this to say:
“The energy from the seven teams who participated on the 2nd April 2020 was incredible; their focus and energy on building products that will hopefully go on to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic was remarkable”
Helen Keller once said something profound:
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much”– Helen Keller
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