Itanna, the accelerator and investment vehicle of Honeywell Group has rounded off its second cohort with 3 startups pitching at the Demo Day held on Thursday 14th November. They spent 4-months being trained and mentored by industry experts on how to grow their business.
At Demo Day, the 3 startups that participated in the Itanna Accelerator Program pitched their innovative and scalable startups made up of seasoned entrepreneurs, founders and venture capitalists among others.
The startups are:
1.) Gerocare, a company that leverages technology and traditional African family values of adult children taking care of their parents to provide a structure for medical care for the elderly.
2.) Simbi Interactive, which uses interactive questioning and answering to help students learn, master and evaluate themselves in any subject.
3.) E-Estates, a mobile/web solution that helps estate managers coordinate their affairs and interaction with residents effectively.
They were selected for the second Itanna Accelerator Program in Nigeria from over 200 applications received from across nine African countries and they would receive investments of up to $30,000.
The demo day also featured a panel discussion; focused on how to choose the right funding model for businesses and was composed of leading venture capitalists and experienced founders.
The panel, which was facilitated by Charles Ifedi (Adviser, Itanna), included Ayodeji Adewumi, (President & Co-CEO, Gokada, and Director, Africa, Rise Capital), Adia Sowho, (VP of Growth at Mines.io) and Lanre Oyedotun (CEO, Fieldinsight).
On why Honeywell Group started Itanna, Tomi Otudeko, Director of Itanna and Head Innovation and Sustainability at Honeywell Group stated that “Itanna allows us to partner with the growing Nigerian tech ecosystem by identifying and supporting tech and tech-enabled businesses that can leverage our experience and network to grow.
“We allow them to stand on our shoulders, to transform themselves into strategic enterprises that would catalyze economic growth”
For Tony Idugboe, Head of Investment at Itanna, he said: “We are very thrilled with the caliber of entrepreneurs the Nigerian Tech ecosystem has to offer.
“At Itanna, we worked with each company on an individual basis to stress-test their value propositions and their core business models so they can emerge from our program as stronger companies. We believe in each of these companies and are extremely excited to see what these companies are now capable of achieving.”
The interesting thing about the second cohort of the Itanna Accelerator program is that the startups cut across different sectors compared to the first cohort whose focus was only on fintech startups.
The facilitators of the Itanna Accelerator have big ambitions as they hope to select startups from West Africa for the third cohort to participate. Presently, only Nigerian startups have been selected so far.