The 2021 Akwa Ibom Tech Week Pitch Competition sponsored by Inoyo Toro Foundation has ended in grand style, with Alpha 1 Tech carting home the star prize of One Million Naira.
Alpha 1 Tech, a homegrown technological services Company, is into building of locally-fabricated medical oxygen generators to reduce rising number of casualties caused by COVID 19, stroke and lung infections.
Iko Ibom, a solution app designed to enhance learning of Akwa Ibom languages using fun and interactive techniques, emerged first runner up, with take-home cash of N500,000. Similarly, EelSpace, an innovative marketspace app for vetting technical talents to help SME’s Start, Grow and Scale their businesses at affordable rates, emerged 2nd runner up, with a cash prize of N300,000.
The Pitch Competition which held October 8, 2021 at the Ibom e-Library is in fulfilment of a commitment made by the Advisor, Inoyo Toro Foundation, Mr. Udom Inoyo while delivering his keynote message at the grand finale of the Akwa Ibom Technology Week, September 17, 2021.
Kick-starting the event, the Convener of the #AkitechPitchCompetition, Hanson Johnson, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Start Innovation Hub, thanked Inoyo Toro Foundation for sponsoring the event, which he noted would go a long way to encourage innovators and techies in Akwa Ibom State leverage on technology to provide solutions and make money for themselves.
A total of 10 tech solution providers participated in the competition grand finale, having scaled through earlier selection processes to be picked from 72 applicants.
The Competition sponsored by Inoyo Toro Foundation, saw the presentation of lofty tech solutions to a number of problems in the society that included LoanIt, a loan management system app designed for the convenience of financial service providers; Powrsup, an alternative power solution that provides on-demand electricity supply; Leadfrom, an e-governance infrastructure app that enhances government service delivery.
Others are FixitNg, an innovation to help connect automobile owners to reliable technicians; Cartrep, a solution software for logistic services; InyeneAgro, an app for tackling cassava-post harvest losses; as well as WeCampaign, an IOT-based solution designed to provide out-of-home advertisements.
The 72 participants will on Monday, October 11, 2021, begin a build and grow boot camp (capacity development training) and be inducted into the Africa Fintech Community platform, with access to markets, partners and investors. The training, worth N1.5m per participant, totaling N100m in aggregate value, is one of the many ways that the Advisor, Inoyo Toro Foundation, Mr. Udom Inoyo is reaching out to develop Akwa Ibom youths and empower them for self-reliance.
The programme which has attracted Akwa Ibom’s finest innovation and ICT experts as resource persons, is of immense value and will boost the business profiles of the 72 Akwa Ibom young ICT innovators, techies and technopreneurs.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Inoyo thanked the convener of the Tech event, as well as the innovators for participating and offering creative IT solutions to society’s problems.
Appreciating other contributors to the success of the event, he said,“I must particularly thank the prize donors, because three of you would be walking out with some money. I thank Barrister Aniekan Ukpanah (Managing Partner of Udo Udoma and Belo-Osagie, a leading commercial law firm in Nigeria) who has donated N1m for the first prize. I thank Uwem Udoh (Managing Director, Wellmanned Company Ltd.) who has donated N500,000 for the second prize and Barr. Wilson Inam (Partner, Templars Law firm) who donated N300,000 for the 3rd prize.
“I am grateful to Nsikak John, Head, Enterprise Innovation at the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX) who has facilitated a partnership with Africa Fintech Academy – a strategic development partner – to deploy a build and grow boot camp for all the 72 idea owners.”
On his part, Nsikak John of the NGX thanked Inoyo Toro Foundation, noting that the event may be over, but the engagement has not ended.
Johnson, the Convener challenged the 72 innovators to take their problem-solving ideas serious, adding, “the Pitch Competition has not ended with the One Million Naira prize, as there is something more in the upcoming Boot Camp”.
The panel of judges comprised Engr. Uwem Udo, Aniedi Udo-Obong and Mmanti Umoh.
It would be recalled that the 2021 Tech Week had the theme ‘Positioning the Akwa Ibom Youth for Global Success in the 21st Century’, with an objective to create a platform for visibility and attract support for entrepreneurs, innovators and their products and services, so as to stimulate economic growth in Akwa Ibom State through advocacy, capacity building and access to funding.
In the last 14 years, Inoyo Toro Foundation has remained consistent in the development of capacities in Akwa Ibom State, with beneficiaries cutting across various spheres including teachers, students, schools, libraries, laboratories, lawyers, journalists, medical workers, techies, film makers, directors, writers, actors, actresses, artistes, youths and women across various Akwa Ibom communities.
The Foundation has, in the education sphere alone, spent over N400M to reward over 235 teachers, some principals, train over 3,500 teachers, mentor over 5,040 students besides its support to over 90 schools in Akwa Ibom State.