JICA NINJA Accelerator Programme Demo Day in Nigeria

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Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in partnership with Ventures Platform Foundation, has announced the Next Innovation with Japan (NINJA) Accelerator Programme Demo Day details. The eight startups selected for the programme’s first cohort will present their ideas to investors and ecosystem stakeholders on August 27th, 2021, during the virtual demo day. 

NINJA, JICA’s flagship startup support initiative, is a startup accelerator programme that aims to provide an excellent opportunity for startups struggling to compete in a market that is going at a fast pace. The first cohort had eight startups selected out of 549 startups who participated in the NINJA  Business Plan Competition in response to COVID-19 conducted by JICA in 2020.

The startups are:

Utiva –  A Technology Workforce Development company that helps people learn premium technology skills virtually and partners with companies to hire the best talents and invest in workforce development.

TradeBuza – A cloud-based web and mobile platform to help outgrowers, commodities aggregators, exporters and agricultural processors manage their schemes and trades more effectively.

Gradely.ng – Gradely is Nigeria’s first truly personalised learning platform that empowers educators and parents to make a difference in their ward’s learning outcomes and produce more globally competitive learners.

Emergency Response Africa – A healthcare technology company that provides fast, safe, and affordable emergency medical care, connecting emergency victims to first responders and hospitals in the community, ensuring they can receive proper care in just a few minutes.

Routemasters – A technology solution that utilises applied mathematics to earth observation, GNSS, telematics, and other uniquely derived datasets to build digital route maps and accurately deliver journey times and modes for city planning tools and mobile navigation applications for consumers.

Lifestores provides access to quality primary healthcare for Africans by enabling pharmacies, the frontline of primary healthcare in Africa, to digitise their operations, reduce procurement costs, and better serve patients.

MyClinic.ng – An online, on-demand platform that enables anyone from anywhere to see and talk to a doctor at any time either using the mobile app or by dialing the smart number.

RxAll –  RxAll enables pharmacies and patients in Africa to buy high-quality, non-counterfeit medicines online by authenticating and delivering drugs through an online platform. 

Since the programme started in May, JICA and Ventures Platform Foundation have organised a CEO’s breakfast, Mentor Mixer, Startup Insights, and Ecosystem Dialogue Series (EDS). These events have exposed the startups to industry leaders and provided them with the necessary knowledge, skills, and opportunities to be investor-ready. 

Speaking on the programme, Mohamed Felata, Director of Programs at Ventures Platform Foundation, said, “The NINJA experience has been fulfilling in many aspects, from the support provided to the participating startups, to the partnership between Nigeria and Japan, and the growth we have witnessed. We are confident the programme has better equipped these companies to realise their goals and scale globally.”

The mission of the NINJA Accelerator Programme in Nigeria is to create a program that invests in and helps in the growth of scalable technological innovations and enhance the startup ecosystem in Nigeria,” stated Nao Fuwa, JICA Expert and Lead of Project  NINJA. ” NINJA Accelerator Programme in Nigeria envisions to be an environment where startup businesses grow and enable themselves to compete on a larger scale”.  

The NINJA Accelerator Programme in Nigeria is a programme designed to remove barriers to startup financing and success. The resources provided by the project typically include educational workshops, mentorship programmes, and networking events which are believed to offer startups a significant boost. The NINJA Accelerator is also providing insight into the tech-ecosystem in Nigeria with the development of the ecosystem mapping report. This report, which is being finalised, is expected to delve deep into the technology landscape in Nigeria with some touchpoints on the strengths, gaps, opportunities, investments as well as interviews with key players across the geopolitical zone of the country. The ecosystem mapping report is being developed in collaboration with Techcabal. This report will be available to the general public in the coming weeks.   

About Project NINJA 

Project NINJA is a JICA initiative to support entrepreneurs and to create business innovation in emerging countries. JICA intends to collaborate with various stakeholders to develop entrepreneurship, identify issues experienced by entrepreneurs, make policy recommendations, strengthen corporate management capacity, promote collaboration among enterprises across industries, match up with Japanese companies,  and promote investment. 

About JICA 

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) coordinates official development assistance for the  Japanese government in developing countries. It aims to promote international cooperation by supporting emerging economies’ socio-economic development, recovery, or economic stability. 

For more info: https://www.jica.go.jp/english/index.html 

About Ventures Platform Foundation 

Ventures Platform Foundation is creating inclusive and sustainable wealth in Africa by building the capacity of African entrepreneurs and innovators leveraging technology to create sustainable solutions to the most urgent problems on the continent.

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