MTN joins NCDC and LASRIC to Support Successful startups from Ventures Platforms

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Ghana

MTN has joined Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and Lagos State Science and Research Innovation Council (LASRIC) in supporting the seven start-ups who are currently building solutions and platforms to mitigate the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

The seven start-ups each received $3,000 equity-free grant funding from Ventures Platform and its partners - Loftyinc Allied Partners Ltd, Silverchip Fox Consulting, Bluechip Technologies, AGS Tribe, ACIOE, Lakunle Runsewe, Manasseh Egedegbe, Venture Garden Group, NESG, Sterling Bank and the Lagos State Science and Research Innovation Council (LASRIC).

The NCDC is working with the following startups:

GLOEPID- Prunedge bot and app technology have been integrated into NCDC systems.

COVID Triage- Wellvis Health interface has been integrated into NCDC systems.

Infodemics- Infodemics working with NCDC’s team to stop the spread of fake news.

MTN, one of Africa’s leading telcos, will be supporting three of the finalists to help startups to scale solutions that will have a significant positive impact on the current pandemic. MTN will provide support to the following teams:

COVID TRIAGE- Wellvis Health USSD set up to push out their triage tool to the underserved. Users without an internet-enabled phone or living in remote areas without internet access can assess their exposure and monitor or report their symptoms.

GLOEPID - Prunedge Zero Rate their app and site to benefit as many as possible.

iQube Labs - MyServiceAgent  A toll-free phone line for their product and SIP trunking services that can handle call routings in their 1000s.

Following its support with the three start-ups, MTN is organizing a pitch-a-thon on Friday 24th April. The teams will pitch their startup ideas and volunteers will be able to support them and develop solutions to assist the COVID-19 pandemic, depending on their areas of expertise.

Speaking on the new partnerships and additional investments, Kola Aina, Ventures Platform founder, says, “I have attended a lot of Demo Days in my time, but never a virtual one; the energy from the seven teams who participated on the 2nd April 2020 was incredible; their focus and energy on building products that will hopefully go on to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic was remarkable. The judges, mentors, and the entire VP team were blown away by the innovation on display. 

“We would also like to especially acknowledge our partners, especially MTN who joined VP,  LASRIC, and NCDC, in developing solutions to tackle COVID-19 in Africa, as well as all those who have supported our start-ups both in terms of writing cheques and through ongoing strategic support. As we say in Africa, it takes a village - I am so grateful to our village for making this happen.”  

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