Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in partnership with Aiivon Innovation Hub have launched the NINJA Startup Gateway in Abuja – a project designed to support startups by accelerating their business development, along with opportunities for potential investment and exposure.

Who can apply

  1. Individuals/Groups who will establish a company that is legally incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria and start a business in Nigeria during this program.
  2. The team leader must be between the age of 18 and 35.
  3. Proposals from the existing (already incorporated) organisations will not be considered.
  4. Individual/Groups who can participate in all the training/events of the program.
  5. Sector: all sectors are welcome. Businesses that have a feasible business plan that tackles social issues with an innovative product(s) or service(s) using emerging technology.
  6. Individuals/Groups that reside in Abuja or are able to get accommodation in Abuja for the duration of the incubation program. (JICA does not provide accommodation etc. The applicants cover it by themselves).

Selection criteria and process

  1. The proposal should introduce some level of innovation in terms of a business model, a new product or service that can be more actively used, and/or profitability.
  2. Proposals should be as commercially oriented as possible.
  3. A group with a very strong management team of at least 2 people is desirable.
  4. JICA may establish an evaluation board with outside evaluators and experts under strict confidentiality to evaluate proposals.
  5. JICA will have 2 step screening processes, the 1st is document screening and the 2nd is online interview screening. JICA will select approximately 20 finalists out of which up to 5 winners will be selected.
  6. Winners are able to participate in NINJA Startups Gateway

Funding opportunity and Support

  1. Free Support for Legal Registrations: 5 teams will be selected and supported with the legal incorporation by the corporate affairs company of Nigeria and given the chance to sign a work contract with JICA for their innovation(s).
  2. Free Business Incubation and workspace: Selected startups will undergo intensive training by experienced startups and key stakeholders in their sector and beyond. Startups will also be able to access the workspaces at Aiivon Innovation hub and all attached benefits for free.
  3. About $8,000: After the legal incorporation is complete, selected 5 teams will be eligible for an equity/debt-free sum of about USD 8,000 by JICA for covering costs associated with the remuneration of staff of your proposed activities. (This is a work contract subject to conditions, NOT grant.)
  4. Opportunity to Attend International Conferences by JICA: Some of the selected 5 teams that show significant success during the program may also get the opportunity to attend meetings/conferences organized by JICA or travel to other countries.

Apply here on or before 23rd July.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.