Fifteen Nigerian startups have graduated from the first FbStart Accelerator programme run by Facebook, having secured funding and accessed support to further develop their solutions.
The FbStart Accelerator, which took place at Facebook’s NG-Hub at the Lagos-based Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), is a research and mentorship driven six-month programme for teams creating solutions with advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR) and Internet of Things (IoT).
The participants included six building AI-based solutions, namely Plant Doctor, Lara.ng, Chiniki Guard, DeepStack, Say Peace and Insyt, and five focused on IoT: GRICD Agroservices, Smart Electricity, TrepLabs, UpNepa and Cycles.
Three more – Quadron Studios, Project Move and Team Kanji – use VR, while Vetsark was the only data science team selected. Startup teams each received US$20,000, while students teams secured between US$5,000 and US$15,000 depending on the level of education.
The programme offered startups the necessary support to build and optimise their products and matched them with resources from Facebook and CcHub, and concluded last week with a demo day that gave the startups the opportunity to pitch their solutions to an audience of potential investors, partners and customers.
“We are really proud of the growth of the pitching startups and their solutions which are very crucial for the current realities in the country and for Africa as a whole. We went around the country to different universities and hubs to search for people with innovative ideas and a passion for driving impact. Out of those communities came these 15 startup teams who have been working on their solutions for the past six months. We are proud of their progress, and hope that this experience will positively change their lives,” said Facebook’s startups and developers programme manager Kendra Nnachi.