MassChallenge, NITDA ink partnership to boost startup growth in Nigeria

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By Ibiyemi Mathew

MassChallenge, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators, and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) announced last week a partnership to catalyze and support a national startup community in Nigeria.

MassChallenge and NITDA  have closely aligned goals to stimulate economic vitality and job creation in Nigeria by catalyzing entrepreneurial activity and supporting entrepreneurs as they develop and execute on game-changing ideas, digital technologies, and discoveries.

“MassChallenge is proud to partner with NITDA to foster cross-sector innovation and cooperation across all industries in Nigeria,” said Siobhan Dullea, CEO of MassChallenge.

“Bridge to MassChallenge Nigeria will help grow the highest-impact, highest-potential startups across Nigeria, while connecting them to MassChallenge’s global network. We have supported many high-quality Nigerian startups through our global programs and we’re extremely excited to start our work with NITDA to support even more.”

The Director General of NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, CCIE, noted that this is an exciting partnership that shows the commitment of the Agency towards fostering the growth of digital innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria. The Agency is leading the drive to transform Nigeria into a digitally-driven economy by leveraging on innovation. With the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, startups have shown resilience by turning challenges into opportunities and creating new markets. The partnership with MassChallenge will further strengthen the Nigerian ecosystem by providing the needed exposure such as access to global networks, funding and knowledge sharing/transfer, thereby giving the startups equal opportunities to compete globally.

Bridge to MassChallenge Nigeria will identify and accelerate top startups that are based in Nigeria and interested in growing their business in the Nigerian market. Startups selected for the program will participate in a week-long MassChallenge-led startup bootcamp followed by a pitch competition that will determine the top Bridge to MassChallenge Nigeria startups. The top startups will participate in a second week-long bootcamp where they’ll have access to the MassChallenge Boston or Israeli ecosystem.

MassChallenge and NITDA will be working closely to promote Nigeria as an emerging entrepreneurial hub and leader of innovation in Africa, in order to support job creation and economic development. With the focus of fostering the growth and success of Nigeria’s startup enterprises MassChallenge is keen to connect Nigerian entrepreneurs with markets, networks, and capital in the global innovation ecosystem.