When problems arise, it is easy to complain and grumble but the real changemakers are the ones who look beyond the problems and proffer innovative solutions that not only solves the problem but also makes life easier and worth living.
In March when the Corona virus pandemic became serious in Nigeria and had the numbers rising, Nigeria’s investor platform – Ventures Platform and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made a call for application from Nigerian hackers, developers, enthusiasts and founders to provide technology support for the NCDC by developing solutions that mitigate the rapid spread to the pandemic in Nigeria.
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This call for application was supposed to find, support, fund and grow products and services that could help Nigeria fight the pandemic better and provide needed technical support. Out of over 500 applications that were received, 7 startups were selected to be funded. This process was fast-tracked because of the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The seven successful startups selected by Ventures Platform and Lagos State Science and Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) to participate in the COVID-19 Innovation Challenge are:
- Wale Adeosun of Wellvis Health offers solutions that promote primary care; by improving the health of the public through continuous access to personalized health information.
- Joel Ogunsola of Prunedge a technology company that develops innovative solutions to improve the efficiency of processes, the livelihood of people and aid decision making within organizations.
- Nestor Inimgba of Infodemics uses existing social hierarchies in a community to efficiently and effectively communicate health risks.
- Ikpeme Neto of Wellahealth a digital triage bot that provides guidance based on Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines and logs responses for follow up by public health as needed.
- Mayowa Ayodeji of MyServiceAgent an AI-powered intelligent IVR system that can communicate with 100s to 1000s of callers simultaneously and intelligently and disseminate correct information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control as well as pass on the data to the NCDC to act on swiftly.
- Okorie Tochukwu of Innover Technologies is committed to using technology to solve problems. Their solution for the project is named COVID-19 Nigeria.
- Abiri Oluwatosin Niyi of Cmapit Analytics a GIS and Data Visualization software that helps to analyze geospatial data and its variables and also visualize it; data variables concerning the coronavirus outbreak and how it can be tracked and visualized so that predictions are accurate.
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The startups selected will receive a $2,000 equity-free grant and opportunity for further funding, as well as access to virtual workspace and mentorship from some of Africa’s top healthcare, business and technology leaders to help scale their company. They will also undergo a 5-day bootcamp with selected stakeholders to finalize solutions and launch.
Each startup will have an access to 3 mentors in medical expertise, scaling and launching, and technical expertise.
This is no mere fluke, the startups will be required to present their solutions to the public in order to reach a wide audience. They will be provided with support from media partners like IrokoTV and Facebook.
One can only look forward to the amazing and effective solutions these startups will produce and how the solutions can be scaled to other African countries and the world as a whole.
In the words of Marian Wright Edelman, you really can change the world if you care enough.
Featured Image Source: Nigeria Communications Week
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