By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

Six finalists and overall winners have emerged from the Oasis Management Company’s prize for software innovation.

The firm had initiated a reward and motivation process to encourage technology start-ups to constantly find lasting solutions to some of the challenges in the country.

Following this, several small and medium-scale technology groups submitted exciting entries, including virtual reality systems, face recognition solutions, online learning and training platforms, and newer methods of facilitating financial inclusion.

The six top finalists and final winners were unveiled in a grand finale event held in Abuja on Friday, after they were adjudged by a panel of notable experts in the technology industry, comprising professional technology innovators, investors and practitioners.

The Managing Director of Oasis Management Company, Maduka Emelife, disclosed that the innovation prize was instituted for the first time and the intention was to continue, adding that “it is an effort towards achieving ICT development, women empowerment, rural inclusion and economic growth, bearing in mind the situation that Nigeria is in today.

“We got 44 entries this year. Many were quite innovative, as it was a very difficult process coming to the last six and even in the last six, there was very little between them in the judging selection that took place as you see, but I am pleased to say that in the winners, we have some kind of innovative propositions from some young enterprising people, who, with the right support, I believe, can address some of the issues that we have.”

Spokesman of the company, Charles Ofoefula, explained that the competition was “opened for individuals and teams creating innovative solutions in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, business intelligence and reporting, digital transformation, disaster and emergency management, education and learning, fintech, and healthcare.”

Above all, he disclosed that Dovilearn, an online learning and training provider; Regxta, a financial inclusion service provider; and Gbale, a property management platform, emerged the winners of Oasis Innovation Challenge.

The top three winners went home with N1million, N500,000 and N250,000 respectively.

In his remarks, an innovation expert and investor, Chris Osondu, said: “The OIC has presented investors with a rich set of new investment opportunities in virtual reality, digital transformation and fintech. We are looking at investing and supporting one of the teams to scale their marketing offering.”

The winners praised the organizers of the competition as industry leaders who are committed to helping the smaller players grow. Other participants said it was an opportunity for them to showcase their talents and technology innovation projects, with hope that the other people will identify them and give them access to funding and skilled resources to help them turn their business ideas into successful companies.

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