BusinessDay

Cleantech startup, others win N56m at Zenith Tech

Ecotutu, a cleantech company, emerged as the winner of the hackathon at the Zenith Tech Fair, securing N20 million prize money.

According to the organisers, a total sum of N53 million in prize money was won at the end of a keenly contested hackathon session at the second edition of the Zenith Tech Fair, themed ‘Future Forward 2.0’, which was held on Wednesday in Lagos, according to a statement.

A total of 11 startups emerged winners out of the 500 that competed. Apart from the prize money, the winners get a mentorship programme with Seedstars, a company dedicated to implementing high-quality capacity-building programmes for entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The first runner-up, Foris Labs, an app-based platform that allows students to conduct science experiments individually and in groups interactively via their mobile phones, won N15 million, and a mentorship programme with Seedstars. The second runner-up, Finva, a start-up which helps creditors offer credits at low risk, won N10 million and a mentorship programme with Seedstars.

Other finalists who took home N1 million each include Sanwo, Itinu -Ev, Eduvacity, Green Bii, Zion Robotics, Sono Care, Base, and I grow Africa.

Speaking during the presentation of the prize monies, Ebenezer Onyeagwu, group managing director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, congratulated all the finalists.

Read also: Zenith, Access, Wema lead peers in deposit growth

He reiterated the bank’s readiness to provide all that is necessary to make the budding entrepreneurs succeed.

He said: “All finalists would be enlisted into our incubation lab for grooming and mentorship. Our expectation is that we are going to scale and grow them just like the zenith brand.

“So, looking at what we have gone through, I can tell you that so much iron has been loaded on fire. The only thing left is to activate the digital talents, tech skills and entrepreneurship that would culminate in a new digital economy for Nigeria.”

Described as a huge success by participants, the two-day Tech Fair featured presentations on the leading technological innovations that cut across different aspects of life, such as artificial intelligence, computing, machine learning, blockchain, robotics, big data, fintech, augmented reality, data analytics, 5G and communication technologies.

The keynote address, titled ‘The Future of Banking: Digital Transformation Journey’, was delivered by Brett King, founder of Moven and author of ‘Bank 4.0’.

The event also featured a goodwill message by Jim Ovia, founder and chairman of Zenith Bank.

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