BusinessDay

Itanna kicks off accelerator program with four tech startups

Four Nigerian tech startups have become the pioneers of Itanna, an accelerator and investment program created by

the

 Honeywell Group. The program which was officially launched on Monday, 7 August, 2018 will see the pilot cohort startups receiving $25,000 each in investment from Honeywell Group.

The four star-ups include Accounteer – providers of online accounting services for small businesses across Africa; KoloPay – a cashless target savings mobile and web application; Tradebuza – an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme; PowerCube – providers of affordable power supply using renewable energy.

According to a statement sent to BusinessDay, the start-ups were chosen from over 200 applications. Aside from the $25,000 investment, each startup will also receive training and mentoring from leading industry experts, as well as the opportunity to pitch to Honeywell Group’s network of local and international investors at the company’s inaugural Demo Day, which takes place towards the end of 2018.

“Honeywell Group is entrepreneurial to its core,” Obafemi Otudeko, Honeywell Group’s Executive Director said. “As part of our wider portfolio, Itanna allows us to collaborate with the Nigerian tech ecosystem. We will invest patient capital into the startups we work with, and we will also provide world-class mentorship to enrich the business strategy of ach cohort.”

Otudeko also sees Itanna as the platform for through which Honeywell Group can achieve its dream of building a better world through businesses.

Itanna’s long term objective is to support and invest in tech-enabled for-profit startups with an existing minimum viable product. Hence, start-ups selected into the program have to demonstrate traction through customer growth or partnerships with customer acquisition enablers, have a clear vision as well as technical capability, sector knowledge and the desire to scale.

Tomi Otudeko, head, Innovation and Sustainability for Honeywell Group and director of Itanna disclosed that Itanna was conceived as a platform where top talents in Africa will be able to build their ideas, visions, expertise and resources with the aim of stimulating and igniting economic growth across Nigeria and the African continent.

“Itanna is a critical element of Honeywell Group’s innovation strategy, and it is well placed as we look towards building this future of tech-enabled businesses,” Tomi Otudeko said.

Itanna’s launch partly realises Honeywell Group’s mission to connect technology and innovation by transferring knowledge in business-building and entrepreneurship, as the company looks to cement its position as a facilitator and influencer of growth in key sectors, including tech within Nigeria and across Africa.

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