By Idris Bakare
Following the successes and impact of the first season of its research and mentorship-driven accelerator programme, Facebook Accelerator, Nigeria, Facebook today announced in partnership with Co-Creation Hub, the commencement of season two of its programme which is aimed at supporting and empowering students and entrepreneurs to build locally relevant solutions using advanced technology.
For the first time, applications for this year’s programme stretched beyond Nigeria, and included Ghanaian innovators. The final teams, made up of eight startups and four student teams, will be part of a six-month program which aims to aid innovative and visionary applicants in creating solutions with advanced technologies. The research and mentorship-driven program will provide the teams with access to product and industry experts, as well as deeper knowledge in how to optimize solutions which leverage technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) Data Science, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
Like its first edition, this year’s bootcamp will be held at Facebook’s flagship Community Hub space, NG_Hub. The student teams taking part will be provided with equity free funding of $10,000, whilst the Startup teams will be provided with $20,000 in equity free funding. Both teams will also have access to technical and business mentors from the Facebook and the CcHUB network as well as free working space at NG_Hub.
Twelve teams selected from Nigeria and Ghana will be unveiled on Friday, September 27 with a demo event which will provide an opportunity for the teams to pitch and showcase a demo of their solutions.
Adaora Ikenze, Head of Public Policy for West Africa commented: “We’re delighted to be bringing this programme back for a 2nd year to NG_Hub, and for the very first time including Ghanaian innovators. The success of last year’s programme, which saw the graduating teams cumulatively raise over $400,000 in investments and grants as at April 2019, reinforces the amazing talent pool and groundbreaking solutions we see being created from across the continent and here in Nigeria. Young innovators using cutting edge technologies to build solutions that are both locally and globally relevant.”
Bosun Tijani, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, added: “Facebook Accelerator as the first deep tech acceleration programme in the region has been a great initiative for all of us at CcHUB to support. We are extremely proud of the contribution and dedication from Facebook and all of our partners in leveraging the programme to inspire and support a new generation of entrepreneurs and makers. Fbstart is a unique platform for discovering and enabling technology solutions that are capable of creating significant economic impact and we look forward to working with Facebook in incubating more great minds in the region to build a world we’ll all be proud of.”
The teams accepted are VNTS, Appruve, Curacel Systems, Neohaul Technologies, Chekkit Technologies LLC, VMEDKIT, Gradely and Simbi Interactive. Four student teams; Vinsighte, Mus-Comm, InventOne and GESAL also made the cut