Three start-ups win $7500 in EkoClimathon challenge
Three climate related start-ups have emerged winners in the maiden edition of the annual Ekoclimathon by Eko Innovation Centre (EIC) in partnership with Eko Carbon and Commodity Exchange.
The annual challenge is a collaboration between EIC, Eko Carbon and Commodity Exchange with support from Generation Unlimited 9ja.
Ekoclimathon is a hackathon meant to tackle climate change with technological innovations (technovation).
The winners from the maiden edition of the challenge are DigitAgric Integrated limited, Exousia and Coulomb Technologies.
According to the organisers, the winner (DigitAfrica) received $3,500, while the first and second runner-ups (Exousia and Coulomb Technologies) got $2,500 and $1500 respectively.
Also, the winners were given brand new laptops, and are up for a $50,000 equity investment accelerator programme by EIC, and a chance to be mentored by industry experts for three months.
EIC is an innovation hub established in Nigeria to promote the growth and development of start-ups and entrepreneurship, according to Victor Afolabi, CEO/founder of Eko Innovation Centre, who gave an overview of the effort at the event.
“We try to look for initiatives that impact our common good and help make our world a better place to live.
“I believe if we do a little we can bring about the change we want to see, inclusion and sustainable and livable society.
He added that Ekoclimathon 1.0 aims to provide sustainable solutions to climate change issues with an emphasis on agriculture, food and waste, circular economy, transportation, and other related areas.
Muideen Adegoke, founder and CEO, DigitAgric Integrated Limited, said the start-up was pleased to have successfully secured funding to roll out its climate-friendly project designed to ensure that farmers get expected yields without degrading the soil.
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“We are happy to emerge the winner, this funding and collaboration will further drive our mission of ensuring that farmers have better yields and higher income from their farms without degrading the soil.
“We are also concerned about our degraded soil,” Adegoke said. “We are working towards this by aggregating waste from farmers, and food processing companies.”
He said all aggregated wastes were turned into carbon-negative fertilisers that increase farmers’ yields and regenerate and renew degraded soil.
“The bottom line is, we are solving food problems with an eco-friendly, organic fertiliser that helps with climate resilience and profit making for the farmers,” the CEO said.
On its part, the Lagos State government said it was happy to support the initiative as it looks to solve climate-related issues.
“We are quite satisfied with the outcome and we hope to continue to drive other climate change solutions in our ecosystem,” Tunbosun Alake, the special adviser to the government on innovation and technology for the state, said.
He added that “climate change affects us substantially in Lagos as we are subject to large amounts of rainfall in our environment, and being below sea level is also an issue.
“We are very much affected, whether by rising sea levels, desertification, or competition for food and all that,” he said. “And so the government is happy to support initiatives like this that want to seek solutions to this issue.”
Alake further noted that the final event of Ekoclimathon 1.0 is a testament to the ingeniousness of Nigerians and their capabilities to solve problems.