The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), through its subsidiary, the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), and in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has launched ‘iHATCH’, a start-up incubation programme aimed at increasing the number of innovation-driven enterprises by Nigerian youths.
iHatch is a five-month free intensive incubation programme designed to help young Nigerian entrepreneurs perfect their business ideas through a series of coaching, lectures and boot camps, to generate viable and scalable business models. iHatch focuses on youth, innovation, entrepreneurship and technology.
The DG of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa on Thursday said the initiative is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. He noted that the programme will accelerate the process of taking ideas to impact; hence, providing the much-needed jobs teeming youths, and nurturing that entrepreneurial spirit in them, to catalyse the Nigerian digital economy to the next level.
He urged participants to hatch their idea to impact the greater good of the whole Nation. This, according to him, can achieved by commercializing their ideas or transforming it into a product or services, to enable them create jobs for themselves and help solve some problems currently facing the Nation.
Yau Isa Garba, Director General of NCAIR said iHATCH will help young Nigerian entrepreneurs polish their business ideas through a series of coaching, lectures and boot camps, resulting in viable and scalable business concepts,
“iHATCH aspires to build a programme that will accelerate the process of bringing ideas to life, thereby generating much needed jobs for our teeming youths while also cultivating that entrepreneurial spirit in them, catalysing the Nigerian digital economy to the next level,” he said.
The Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Kazuyoshi Matsunaga in his address, pointed out that the most important point of the iHATCH programme which is in partnership with the Japanese enterprise, is the provision of the required expertise and the transfer of Japanese enterprise for projects.
He informed that through the iHATCH programme, Nigerian entrepreneurs would be supported through mentorship, lectures and funding. He, therefore, urged Nigerian youths to use the opportunity provided by iHATCH to brush up their business ideas and maximize the opportunity for empowerment.