By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has announced the opening of the application process for the Bridge to MassChallenge Nigeria Programme (B2MC).
Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the agency, said this on Tuesday in a statement she signed in Abuja.
It could be recalled that early in the year, NITDA signed a partnership arrangement with MassChallege, a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators.
The partnership was aimed at stimulating economic vitality and job creation in Nigeria by catalysing entrepreneurial activity and supporting entrepreneurs as they develop and execute on game-changing ideas, digital technologies and discoveries.
Umar said the commencement of the application process followed a stakeholder engagement with key players in the ecosystem, which included the government, academia, entrepreneurs, corporate organisations, the media and influencers.
Mr Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General of NITDA, speaking at the official launch of the application process said a vibrant startup ecosystem was highly critical to the future of Nigeria and vital to finding solutions to the numerous challenges of the country.
“Innovation is a prominent way of creating prosperity for all and lifting countries out of poverty.
“NITDA and MassChallenge have continued to partner in this new initiative to foster the growth and success of the country’s startup ecosystem in line with the vision of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria,” he said.
Mrs Siobhan Dullea, CEO of MassChallenge, also in the statement said “MassChallenge is excited to be working with NITDA to help entrepreneurs in Nigeria grow locally while having access to the MassChallenge global network.
“We look forward to working with NITDA to continue to support and grow the Nigerian innovation ecosystem.”
Umar said that interested applicants and those wishing to learn more about the programme were encouraged to visit the B2MC Nigeria website.
She said that the applications for the B2MC Nigeria programme would close on Sept. 24.
She added that the application was open to entrepreneurs who wanted to take their businesses to the next level, while early-stage and growth-stage startups from all over the country working on innovative solutions from any industry were encouraged to apply.
“Successful applicants will participate in an intensive, four-month programme that encompasses both online and in-person portions where startups develop and implement project plans to further their localisation journeys.
“They will also receive tailored mentoring and coaching offered by NITDA and other local mentors, local and global mentors of the MassChallenge network and the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Umar said.
MassChallenge is a global network of zero-equity startup accelerators with its headquarter in U.S.
MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world.(NAN)