By Nnamdi Odumody
Social media giant Facebook unveiled NG Hub, in Lagos Nigeria, in 2018. The NG Hub was its first flagship community hub space in Africa. It is partnering with Co-Creation Hub, a community innovation lab, and will help to train 50,000 Nigerians on digital skills.
Besides, the Hub came with the launch of FbStart Accelerator Programme, a research and mentorship-driven six months programme aimed at empowering startups and students with $20,000 in equity free funding. Also, it provides technical and business mentorship from Facebook and CCHub’s network, an office space with internet, access to Facebook, and partner credits to optimize their growth.
The Hub also does Virtual Acceleration for student teams (Bsc, Msc or PhD) working on transforming their ideas or research into working prototypes with equity free funding of $5,000( Bsc), Msc($10,000) and PhD($15,000) along with technical and business mentorship, an office space with fast internet at partner hubs scattered across the country, free credits from Facebook and product credits. Largely, the focus is on those building solutions using artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented and virtual reality.
The following startups are currently working with the FbStart Accelerator programme in Nigeria.
RoadPreppers: Founded by Samuel Odeloye which has developed Lara.ng, a chatbot for public transportation which gives information on routes, estimated cost of transport and time, helping citizens to plan daily movements properly.
Say Peace: Founded by Salisu Gaya which uses machine learning to monitor, detect, and analyze hate speech on social media in real time to prevent violence in Nigeria.
Vertsark: A web based platform which uses machine learning to predict, prevent and manage disease outbreaks for the benefit of livestock farmers, veterinarians and public health. This team won the Google Project Enable Challenge Prize of $250,000 for Social Entrepreneurs making impact.
Plantheuse: This uses artificial intelligence to diagnose plant diseases and suggests solutions to farmers and agric extension workers.
DeepQuestAI: Moses and John Olafenwa launched Deepstack, a suite of dockerized AI server software that enables developers to easily build, deploy and manage AI powered applications on their private servers and edge IoT gateways.
Insyt: Founded by Ofoedu Frank Ebuka is a data analytics platform which uses AI to collect real time data from social media for businesses, helping them know the public perception of their brands, and allowing them to keep track of online conversations about their brands and products. It is supported in English and pidgin, and works to measure the impact of marketing campaigns, interactions with customers and gathers valuable consumer insights.
Chiniki: Guard founded by Abdulhakim Bashir is a monitoring analysis and reporting platform for security cameras, using AI to estimate human poses, and to detect suspicions activities (like shoplifting and theft) in retail stores.
INTERNET OF THINGS
Gricd: Founded by Oghenetega Iortim and Richard Aimola; they developed Gricd Frij, a cold chain box for storage and transportation of temperature sensitive items like food, blood and vaccines at regulated temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius with real time storage temperature, and location monitoring technology and battery, which lasts up to 48 hours.
Cycles: Founded by Damilola Soladoye is a bike sharing company which uses smart bikes for bike sharing, redefining how people commune in private estates, universities and other gated communities to create sustainability and reduce carbon emissions for a greener earth.
Trep Labs: Founded by Taofeek Olalekan which has developed RealDrip, an IoT solution which prevents back flow of blood during drip treatment by monitoring flow rate, volume administered, and automating the process.
UpNepa.ng: Founded by Salaudeen Abdulrahman is an IOT powered platform that monitors, records and predicts electricity supply.
Smart Electricity: Founded by Livinus Ezeh is using wireless electricity to power appliances in homes and offices.
Project Move: Founded by Tade Ajiboye, it is a VR accessory which significantly improves immersion and interaction in mobile driven VR systems.
Quadron Studios: Founded by Uche Anisiuba which has developed QVES, a Virtual Reality Safety training solution that prepares enterprise workers for emerging situations by the use of immersive virtual training experiences.
Kainji: Founded by Damilola Okelana, it uses VR to teach users how to drive and be road aware.
Another startup in this programme worthy of mention is Doctoora, a platform which makes it easy for medical practitioners to engage in private healthcare practice, outside the confines of their primary places of work, by aggregating space capacity (like clinic spaces, consumables, physical facilities, workforce, wards, theater, dialysis, and diagnostics) across standard health facilities, and rent out to users on a structured payment basis.