Farmceries has emerged winner of the 2024 FSI innovation challenge for providing innovative solutions to address problems in the country’s agricultural landscape.
The start-up emerged as the overall winner of the innovation challenge after competing with other student communities across the country. The start-up received a grand prize of N800,000 while the first and second runners-up, Goalgetters and Smepay, won N500,000 and N300,000, respectively.
The FSI innovation challenge is part of activities to mark the organisation’s 4th-anniversary celebration and it is aimed at fostering a collaborative and innovative ecosystem in financial services.
The Ideathon, which began two months ago, saw participation from various Nigerian campuses, with students striving to create impactful solutions to address challenges in agriculture, health and financial services.
It involved extensive training sessions, including webinars on problem statements and the use of Lean Canvas for documenting ideas. Teams also learned about building minimum viable products (MVPs) and pitching their ideas effectively.
Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, the executive director of FSI – organisers of the competition, emphasised the organisation’s commitment to nurturing tech talent and promoting entrepreneurship.
“Our goal is to identify challenges and create tailored investment products. This challenge specifically focused on the agricultural, health, and financial sectors,” Kola-Oladejo said.
Beyond cash prizes, FSI offers a three-month business incubation program to further support the contestants. “Our vision is to build a pipeline of tech talents that can compete globally and create employment opportunities,” added Kola-Oladejo.
Echoing the need for broader innovation, Victor Odumuyiwa, Director of NitHub and Senior Lecturer at the University of Lagos, highlighted the concentration of tech innovations in Lagos and Abuja. He advocated for extending these opportunities to more regions in Nigeria, especially to engage young people in rural areas.
“Innovation is concentrated mainly in Lagos and Abuja, leaving a gap in the rural and northern regions,” he said. “We must encourage innovation across the entire nation, reaching young people even in the most remote areas. Their inclusion is vital for addressing the diverse challenges Nigeria faces.”
The judges for the competition were esteemed industry professionals, including Olaoluwa Awojoodu of Yep! and E-Settlement Limited, Idowu Akinde of Boolean Labs, and Salami Abolore of Riby.
Also at the event, Bimbo Adeoye, group managing director of FinTrak Software and keynote speaker, lauded the event and FSI for harnessing youth potential.
“About forty percent of our national population is youth. If their energy is properly channelled, it can bring transformative investment in Nigeria and beyond,” Adeoye said.
“Through these efforts, FSI is not only celebrating its anniversary but also shaping a new generation of tech innovators and entrepreneurs in Nigeria.”