BY Emmanuel Elebeke
Nigeria has emerged winner in the FutureStars challenge held at the ongoing GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, UAE.
The prize was won by one of the Nigerian Start-Ups, Abdulhakim Bashir, the CEO/Founder of CHINIKI GUARD meant to tackle the menace of shoplifting.
It was developed in a manner whereby you can get into App, get a consultant and he will give you a prescription to carry out a test, and then send you to a doctor who will give prescription for treatment. The idea is to ease all the processes of moving to the hospital from your house or office. The prize is worth $10,000.
Meanwhile, the overall winner in the contest was Jose Rubinger of Brazil, the CEO and Co-Founder of Key2Enabler Assistive Technology for assisting disable persons to write and type with keyboard. He is also a co-founder US/Brazil Start-Ups. He went home with $100,000.
‘‘The start-ups need seed funding and enforcement to get to the level their ought to be. Nigerians are so much addicted to foreign products by neglecting our own products and urged that we have to use the GITEX experience to upgrade our systems.
He said research and development is critical but can only be relevant when they are turned into products and services.
‘‘I am happy to announce to you that two of our start-ups that came for this GITEX have emerged as semi-finalists. Our youths in Nigeria have crazy and disruptive ideas. What they need is mentorship. Mentorship is very critical, as it helps to avoid a lot of mistakes. Our agencies must improve their intervention for start-ups.
‘‘Research and development is critical but only if we identify the areas we need them. We must take the theories to practical. Whenever we are taking on any research, let us make sure the research as a policy is implemented,’’ he said.
Nigeria sponsored 10 Start-up to the global event. He said the performance of the Nigerian representatives was an attestation to the fact that Nigeria has youths that can impact the world with innovative ideas.
‘‘We came up with about 10 Start-Ups to this exhibition. Two out of the ten that participated in the semifinal pitch. This show our Start-Ups have innovative ideas and they have ideas that can impact lives globally.
‘‘What they need is the right environment and mentorship for them to achieve what they want to achieve. A lot of start-ups are coming on in Lagos, the work we have been doing have started manifesting.
‘‘Before oil was major contributor to GDP but now ICT has taken over with 13.6 percent as against 8% of oil and gas. To achieve digital transformation, we need to consider the technology, the process and the people’’.’