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Itanna Hosts Demo Day

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Lagos-based accelerator and investment vehicle Itanna, backed by leading Nigerian corporate the Honeywell Group, today held its inaugural Demo Day, marking the end of its four-month innovation programme for tech-enabled, for-profit African startups.

Held at Itanna’s Enterprise Factory, Demo Day saw the pilot Cohort pitch to Honeywell Group’s extensive network of high net-worth investors, as they, the cohorts, vied to secure investment, corporate backing and strategic partnerships, for their companies.

A step in the journey of Honeywell Group’s reinvention through its new innovation strategy, Itanna’s Demo Day also hosted a panel of leading players in the Nigerian tech and business ecosystems, who discussed the role of corporate Nigeria in achieving win-win collaborations with tech start-ups.

Panellists included Deji Oguntonade, Head Fintech & Innovation, Guaranty Trust Bank, Lola Ekugo, Head Digital Innovation Lab, First Bank, Obi Emetatom, Managing Director, Appzone and Seun Faluyi, Managing Director, Uraga Power Solutions.

Launched in August 2018, Itanna’s four founding Cohort companies were chosen from over 200 applications from across Africa. They included: Accounteer -providers of online accounting services for SMEs across Africa,

KoloPay – a cashless target savings mobile and web application

Tradebuza – an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme

PowerCube – providers of affordable power supply using renewable energy.

Along with up to USD $25,000 each in investment from Honeywell Group, startups received training and mentorship from leading industry experts in the form of UI/UX Sessions, legal and HR workshops, classes on technology, business and marketing, reviews of revenue/pricing model and operational metrics, mentorship sessions and guest lectures from some of Nigeria’s most renowned entrepreneurs and business icons.

Obafemi Otudeko Honeywell Group’s Executive Director, says, “Our vision for Itanna was to see an accelerator that merged the best of corporate and entrepreneurial spirit in order to fulfil our mission of using enterprise to make our world better. Itanna has exceeded our expectations as we look to cement our position as a facilitator and impactor of growth in key sectors, including tech within Nigeria and across Africa”.

With plans underway for a second cohort intake in 2019, Itanna will also invest in more developed tech startups looking for growth capital with its direct investment arm, which will support investee companies in scaling, by leveraging Honeywell Group’s extensive network and industry expertise.

Tomi Otudeko, Head of Sustainability at Honeywell Group and Director of Itanna says, “Itanna is uniquely placed, as our goal continues to be bridging the gap between our tech startup ecosystem and corporate Nigeria.

Over the last four months, the entire team at Itanna, along with our strategic partners and the Honeywell Group, have committed to creating a professional environment where businesses can learn from experts in their field and build innovative and dynamic businesses of the future.”

Tony Idugboe, Vice President, Head of Investments at Itanna concludes, “Our Cohort have shown true enthusiasm and entrepreneurism – which investors search for. In preparing to secure investment, they have learned to plan, be patient and show flexibility and of course, showcase phenomenal pitching skills, Demo Day has given them the confidence to embark on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journey. We wish them all the very best”.

Operating from the brand new Enterprise Factory located in Iganmu, Itanna is at the heart of industrial Lagos where businesses are built. The state of the art 627 square metre collaborative space boasts work spaces, offices, meeting rooms and a conference space.

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Desarrollar Partners Top Firms to Improve Real Estate Solutions

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l-r: Senior Partner, Banwo and Ighodalo, Mr. Olufemi Banwo and Lead Partner Desarrollar Group, Mr. Ikemefuna Mordi at the official all Parties signing ceremony between Desarrollar group, a leading Lifestyle and real Estate solutions company and its partners in Lagos recently.

Desarrollar Limited a lifestyle and leading real estate solutions company in Lagos, Nigeria has partnered with Union Trustees Limited, First Bank Trustees Limited and Banwo & Ighodalo  and The Lodt Legal Partners to improve real estate services and solutions.

 

The partnership which was signed on Monday, in Lagos, will unveil Nigeria’s most secure and institutionalized real estate trust consortium aimed at safeguarding the financial investments of Nigerians and Africans living abroad and in Nigeria.

 

According to Mr Ikemefuna Mordi, Lead Partner, Desarrollar Limited, the trust framework includes Nigeria’s leading Trustees, legal firms and real estate firms which will work towards ensuring and providing real estate solutions.

 

Ikemefuna said, “Desarrollar and its partners have created an institutionalised safe-haven to protect Nigerians and Africans in the Diaspora and those living on the African continent from fraud, deception and, sometimes, misplaced dependence on dishonest family-based relationships, through delivering full, seamless and stress-free lifestyle colutions to the Nigerian and African communities both at home and abroad.”

 

He explained that Desarrollar applies a premium standard of excellence to its residential development, commercial development and real estate acquisition services in Nigeria, The United States and the United Kingdom. Their website www.desarrollargroup.com throws more light on their Service offerings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Facebook Strengthens Commitment to Tech Communities with Developer Circles Summit

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In continuation of its efforts to create a network of developers across the world as part of its mission to give people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together, Facebook’s Developer Circles on Saturday, December 8 organised a Startups and Developers Summit in Lagos.

The summit which took place at the Landmark Event Center and brought together about 600 Developers and Startup Tech founders, was held with the aim of re-establishing Facebook’s commitment in the region for the tech communities, inspiring developers and startups with the latest technology from Facebook as well as highlighting the Developer Circles as a strong, technical community.

Among topics discussed by internal and external speakers were: ‘Design Thinking’, ‘Working at Facebook – My FB Journey’ by Barbara Mbanefo, ‘Payments for Messenger: Custom Flow for African Businesses’, ‘FB Products for SSA’, ‘Predicting Growth with ML’, ‘Startups session NLP for Messenger Bot’, ‘Taking Accessibility with You’, and a host of others.

The event also offered Developer Circle teams an opportunity to share insights about their activities from their respective regions, while discussing issues facing different circles and how Developer Circle Leads can support each other in their respective communities.

Speaking on the programme, Chimdi Aneke, Startup and Developer Programmes Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa Facebook, commented: “Facebook is a company that grew from the developer community, and Developer Circles is a programme we developed to make local developers stronger at a global scale. We are creating communities for developers to collaborate and share knowledge because we believe in empowering developers around the world to learn from each other, and benefit from the products, services and best-practices that Facebook has established.”

Developer Circles from Facebook is a global programme designed to create locally-led communities of developers, providing them with a place to collaborate and learn from each other both online and offline. They meet regularly to create unique solutions that cater to the needs of their communities.

With over 42,800 members across 32 cities in 15 countries, Sub-Saharan Africa has amongst the largest number of DevCs. Each circle is led by a volunteer (a circle lead) who arranges offline meetups and discussions, as well as manages their own dedicated Facebook Group where members can continue the conversation between meetups, share code and deepen their knowledge on topics like React and bots for Messenger

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Shell Emerges Local Content Operator of the Year

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L-R; Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Simbi Wabote; General Manager, External Relations, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Igo Weli; and SPDC’s General Manager, Contracting and Procurement, Antony Elis, at the Recent Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria Award Night in Port Harcourt where SPDC emerged local content company of the year.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has emerged the Local Content Operator of the Year 2018 at the Annual Oil Industry Achievement Awards Dinner of the Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN,) an association of indigenous technical oilfield service companies in the upstream and downstream sectors.

 

This marks the record third time Shell Companies in Nigeria have won the PETAN award, having clinched same award in 2013 and 2015.

 

Shell’s General Manager, Contracting and Procurement, Antony Ellis, also bagged the PETAN Chairman Outstanding Achievement Recognition Award for promoting the course of Nigerian oil service companies.

 

Both awards were given after careful evaluation of the contributions of the international and national oil companies, to local content development.

 

“The awards are in recognition of Shell’s sustained effort in shaping direction of local content implementation in Nigeria through support for local asset ownership, growth of indigenous companies and human capacity development at all levels,” said Mazi Bank-Antony Okoroafor, PETAN chairman, while announcing the awards at the dinner in Port Harcourt on Saturday, November 30.

 

Simbi Wabote, executive secretary, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, presented the corporate award which was received by Igo Weli, SPDC’s general manager External Relations, on behalf of Osagie Okunbor, managing director of SPDC.

 

Commenting on the award, Weli said, “We are motivated by these gestures to continue to pursue in-country value addition in the oil and gas sector in alignment with the government’s aspiration in local capacity development.”

 

The awards are the latest in the recognition of Shell’s pioneering role in Nigerian content development. In 2016, PETAN had honoured SPDC with the Distinguished Achievement Award (Corporate) while the Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo), Bayo Ojulari, received PETAN’s Professional Award in the same year for his notable contributions to the development of Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector.

 

In addition to awards from PETAN, Shell Companies in Nigeria have also been honoured in Nigerian content development by the Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference, the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping and at the Social Enterprise Report and Awards (SERAs.)

 

 

 

 

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