Two Nigerian startups RiceAfrika Technologies and Wicrypt have emerged winners in different categories at the Rocket Fuel Pitch Competition with a total of $300,000 cash reward.
The competition took place at the 2nd edition of the LEAP Technology Exhibition in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
RiceAfrika Technologies, a tech-driven agric optimization startup emerged as the global best in the Tech for Humanity Award category and got 150,000 dollars.
The second startup, Wicrypt, an innovative startup decentralizing the internet globally, also won 150,000 dollars after it was announced as the global best in the ‘Into New World Award’ category.
How they emerged: According to the organizers of the competition, over 10,000 startups submitted applications from different countries.
- After rigorous scrutiny, the applicants were down to 220, and only 90 startups were selected to pitch their business ideas in the semi-final.
- Eight Nigerian startups participated in the semi-final, and three reached the final stage, out of which 2 emerged as winners.
Minister is delighted: The Minister Professor of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, who led the Nigerian delegation to the global event, expressed his delight over the wins. He also maintained that Nigerian startups have all it takes to compete with their peers on the global stage. He said:
- “I am so proud of our Startups who emerged as the global best in these categories. It is quite a long journey that followed a rigorous process until the end; from over 10,000 applications to the final 12, in which three Nigerians took part and two emerged winners.
- “We are delighted that Our startups are not only amazing but went through a lot of nurturing and mentorship to be the best in the world.”
The Minister stated that Nigeria is on the right track in implementing its National Digital Economy Policy and Strategies to ensure that Nigerian startups add value to the global tech ecosystem. According to him, the country is building the ecosystem and making it more conducive for nurturing innovation-driven enterprises. He added that Nigerian startups are creating solutions for the local market that can easily scale to the global market.