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APPLY: NCC tables N9m for tech hubs, startups with digital solutions to pandemic

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Regulator of the Telecommunications Industry in Nigeria, is seeking adaptable digital solutions for addressing the impacts of pandemic and epidemic prone-diseases from Technology Hubs, Startups and Innovation/Digital driven SMEs in the country.

The programme is part of NCC’s supports amongst other things, the development of Innovative services and Life changing Solutions leveraging on Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) to promote Indigenous Content Development, economic growth and social advancement in Nigeria.

In pursuant to this objective, the Commission invites entries from Tech Hubs, Startups and Innovation Digital SMEs with promising and adaptable Digital Solutions that will aid in containing the impacts of pandemic and epidemic-prone diseases in Nigeria to a virtual Hackathon.

The top three Startups with the most promising Digital Solutions will receive a grant of N3, 000,000.00 (Three Million Naira) each from the Commission to aid the development and deployment of these Solutions in Nigeria.

Requirements

Interested applicants will need to have Solutions that address issues in the under listed fields of interest:

Health: finding ways to empower Healthcare workers on the front lines and bring support to individuals isolated at home. It should also include solutions to prevent, trace and contain the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

Community: help with digital communications that will aid the sustenance of economic activities and people to people communication while encouraging social distancing.

Productivity: Enhance productivity of people working from home during this Lockdown and beyond.

Education: Easy to Deploy, accessible and cost effective eLearning Solutions for Public Schools.

Transportation: Improve safety in public transportation facilities in Nigeria.

Evaluation Criteria

The criteria for evaluation of the proposed Digital Solutions include the following:

  • Adherence of proposal to stated requirements above.
  • Novelty of the proposed Digital Solution.
  • Clear problem Statement and explanation of the proposed Solution.
  • Each Solution including prototype development must be concluded within 2 months of receipt of the Grant.
  • Proof of concept (feasibility of idea with diagram, algorithm, etc.).

Submission of proposal

“Submissions will undergo preliminary assessment. The proposals that are adjudged most promising and capable of positively impacting the fight against COVID-19 may be invited for defense of the proposals before a decision is taken on winners.

“Interested Tech Hubs, Startups and Innovation Digital SMEs are invited to submit soft copies (email to [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]) on or before 5pm, Monday 17th July, 2020.

“Please note that all emails should indicate ‘Digital Solutions for Covid-19’ in the subject field.

“Any proposal submitted after the deadline will be rejected automatically”, the Commission announced on its website.

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APPLY: You can take advantage of final admissions deadline for Founder Institute Lagos Cohort III

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Founder Institute Lagos

The first and second cohorts of Founder Institute Lagos saw the emergence of 45 new companies all geared towards solving various problems leveraging technology.

Cohort III kicks off from the 19th of August, 2020, and sessions take place one night per week via zoom, over a 14-16 weeks period. 

If you apply today, then you will be able to take advantage of the free DNA test HERE ($50 value), or you can learn more here.

Anyone building a business that is pre-funding is welcome to apply, including established businesses and teams, aspiring entrepreneurs.

It is interesting to note that leaders of some of the world’s fastest-growing startups have used the Founder Institute to raise funding, get into seed-accelerators, generate traction, recruit a team, build a product, and more. 

If you enrol by 11.59 pm on Sunday’s Final Admissions Deadline, you will be eligible for a reduced course fee and have the best chance of being accepted. Get started here

In the words of Regional Director, Founder Institute, Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr., startups who make the decision to join the program will be learning how to build and launch a company in a structured way plus become a part of a global network of innovators, mentors and investors. 

The Founder Institute (fi.co) is the world’s largest pre-seed startup accelerator, based in Silicon Valley but with chapters in close to 200+ cities.

The program provides high-potential entrepreneurs and teams with the support network and structured process needed to build an enduring business. 

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APPLY: CWG Academy to start new online session August 10

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CWG academy logo

CWG Academy, the training and capacity arm of CWG Plc will on August 10, 2020, start a new online session; the Head of Brand and Marketing Communications, Mr. Taiwo Lapite, announced in a statement.

The statement urged all Nigerians who are willing to pursue a career or learn a skill in Information and Communications Technology to apply and be part of the session, which is expected to last for six weeks.

“The new online session of the CWG Academy will take off by August 10, 2020. We urge all Nigerians willing to pursue a career in ICT to apply,” Taiwo emphasized in the statement.

CWG Academy had few weeks ago graduated its first set of online students in a ceremony conducted online owing to the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world that has forced many people and organizations to stay at home.

The CWG Academy is a brainchild of CWG Plc, Nigeria’s largest system integration company to bridge the skill gap in the country’s Information and Communications Technology sector.

Since its inception, the Academy has trained and developed over 1,500 Professionals, some of whom are working with Blue-Chip companies in Nigeria today. Some have also gone ahead to establish their own companies as entrepreneurs and are doing very well.

The Academy is one of the many ways CWG contributes her quota to Nation building by ways of helping to tackle the Nigerian unemployment quagmire.

The Academy deals with four core areas of the Information and Communications Technology ecosystem.

They are Advance Service management, Data Centre Infrastructure Services, IT Infrastructure & Cloud Platform and Software Training.

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ENTRY: Impact Amplifier calling for innovative solutions that promote online safety across Africa

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Online Safety

The exponential increase in internet, smartphone and mobile network usage over the past few years, which accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis, has created new opportunities for socio-economic development in Africa.

However, the rapid growth has also resulted in an increasing number of safety and security concerns varying in the different African regions from identity theft, bullying and harassment, sex trafficking, hate crimes, terrorist recruitment and promotion, to mis- or disinformation and financial scams.

To address these pressing issues, social innovation accelerator and advisory firm Impact Amplifier has designed the Africa Online Safety Fund, supported by Google.org, to finance innovative existing and new solutions to combat online security and safety threats.

Research done by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), technical adviser to the Fund, highlighted specific areas of concern in various African countries.

Some key safety concerns in Nigeria include communal conflict, often caused by irresponsible and biased reporting online, which can further ethnic and/or religious divides and play a significant role in increasing polarisation offline, remaining a relatively unaddressed issue in the country.

Local, inter-communal violence poses a significant challenge to social cohesion in Nigeria, with conflict caused by dispute over land and water use often associated with inter-ethnic and religious tensions.

Nigeria ranked third on the 2019 Global Terrorism Index, with its terrorist threat stemming predominantly from domestic Islamist groups Boko Haram and its ISIS-endorsed offshoot, ISIS in West Africa Province (ISWAP), both of whom operate online and use social media for recruitment purposes and the distribution of harmful propaganda.

The ISD’s Deputy Director, Moustafa Ayad, commented: “As we turn increasingly to an online existence, digital threats (ranging from terrorist and extremist use of the internet to cyberbullying and child grooming, mis- and disinformation, online hate speech and various forms of cyber-fraud) become more acute. The Africa Online Safety Fund comes at a pivotal moment as these threats are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are excited to see the innovative, community-led and contextually relevant responses we know this call for applications will have.”

The Africa Online Safety Fund is making a $1 million commitment to address these online safety issues.

There are two funding categories.

  • Transformative, which provides grants of maximum $100,000, is aimed at projects that provide larger and scalable solutions across multiple geographies and/or potentially large numbers of beneficiaries.
  • The Catalytic category targets smaller, potentially local or culturally specific projects, with grants of a maximum $10,000.

According to the Impact Amplifier’s Director, Tanner Methvin, the Fund although not exclusively focused, will favour solutions that address women and children’s online safety specifically, as they are the most targeted communities in this regard.

Google.org Grants Lead EMEA, Liza Belozerova, commented: “Working with local communities to help people be safer online is a core focus of our work at Google.org.  Our work comes alongside the company’s long-standing commitment to strengthen privacy and security across the internet. The work of Google.org with local experts has taught us that the best answers often come from those closest to the problem. That’s why we are supporting Impact Amplifier’s Online Safety Fund with $1 million to support organisations and initiatives that seek to make the internet a safer place.”

The Fund will be open for applications from 17 July – 21 August this year.  The call is open to social enterprises, public sector or public benefit organisations (not individuals) throughout Africa, but will be prioritising Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia and the Côte d’Ivoire.

Methvin said that the primary criteria that will be used to select successful applications include innovation and replication; social impact; potential for success; management team; financial efficiency, and sustainability.

“The selection of finalists will be followed by a tight mentoring process to develop and implement the winning solutions in the regions and where applicable, across Africa in order to combat these socio, economic and political security and safety threats,” he added.

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