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Itanna earmarks $300,000 for technology start-ups

Lagos – Itanna, the Venture Capital Platform of Honeywell Group, has earmarked 300,000 U.S. dollars to boost growth of technology start-ups in 2019.

The Director of Itanna, Tomi Otudeko, made this known on Monday in Lagos.

Itanna is a platform to support technical start-ups through investment and mentorship programmes, nurturing their ideas, visions, expertise as well as resources.

She said that the 300,000 U.S. dollars would be invested in 10 start-ups across Africa.

Otudeko said that the 2019 edition of its Accelerator Programme, which was the second edition had begun, hence, applications are needed from technology-enabled start-ups.

She said that Itanna was launched in 2018 with four cohort companies chosen after a selection process that began with more than 200 applications.

The director said that the 2018 cohort companies were Accounteer, KoloPay, Tradebuza and PowerCube while three companies – Accounteer, Tradebuza and PowerCube received 25,000 U.S. dollars in investment from Itanna.

Otudeko said that all companies also received training and mentorship in the form of User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Sessions, Legal and Human Relations (HR) workshops.

She said that there were trainings on technology, business and marketing, reviews of revenue/pricing model and operational metrics, mentoring sessions and guest lectures from some of Africa’s most renowned entrepreneurs and business icons.

According to her, the 2018 edition ended with a Demo Day, which provides opportunities for the cohort companies to present their businesses to investors.

“This year, Itanna is also looking forward to receiving hundreds of applications from tech-enabled start-ups across Africa.

“Applications for the 2019 accelerator programme are open from March18 to April 19, 2019.

“Itanna will be increasing the number of cohort companies for the 2019 programme to 10 and the investment amount to 30,000 U.S. dollars.

“The programme will run from June 2019 to September 2019 and will also culminate in a demo day where the cohort companies will pitch their start-ups to investors.

“The latest edition of the accelerator programme is yet another opportunity for Itanna to identify, select and invest in more developed tech start-ups looking for growth capital.

“Itanna will support investee companies to scale up their start-ups by leveraging Honeywell Group’s extensive network, industry expertise and most importantly, access to capital,” she said in a statement.

The Vice President and Head, Investments at Itanna, Mr Tony Idugboe, said that he was looking forward to another successful edition of the accelerator programme.

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“We are more than ready to receive and review applications from start-ups across Africa.

“We are even more excited by the opportunity to work with another set of innovative, passionate and committed young technology entrepreneurs in the 2019 accelerator programme,’’ he said. (NAN)

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