WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Africa Business Center (USAfBC) today awarded Afrilearn International, Healthbotics Limited, and Tiny Hearts Technology with its inaugural Digital Innovation Awards. USAfBC, in partnership with the American Business Council (ABC) Nigeria, designed the Digital Entrepreneurship Competition to recognize digital innovators whose products or services have facilitated creative solutions in the midst of the pandemic while positively impacting Nigerian society.
“Nigeria, with one of the largest youth populations on the continent, has long been a thriving hub for digital innovation and entrepreneurship. The U.S. Chamber is pleased to recognize Nigeria’s budding young innovators and to support their growth,” said Scott Eisner, President of the U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Africa Business Center. “As the world navigates the pandemic, we see the critical role digital innovation plays in growing the West African economy and addressing current and future global challenges.”
From 112 applications, 12 start-ups were selected to submit a two-minute pitch and interview in front of a panel of judges from across the private sector, academia, and Nigeria’s National Information Technology Agency. Those 12 start-ups were then narrowed to the top three firms in the Digital Entrepreneurship competition. Based on pre-conference interviews and live voting from conference participants, USAfBC announced during the U.S.-Nigeria Digital Economy Conference that Afrilearn Internationalcame in first, Healthbotics Limited came in second, and Tiny Hearts Technology came in third. Each start-up will receive mentorship and split a $25,000 cash prize, divided respectively by their placement in the competition. The award was sponsored by Zenith Bank and other companies supporting the conference.
Afrilearn is an education technology startup that leverages highly trained teachers, animators and developers to deliver affordable, world class education for Africans.
Healthbotics uses its “Lend an Arm” platform to increase voluntary blood donation in Nigeria and to deliver quality blood and blood products to patients in dire need, particularly in remote areas.
Tiny Hearts addresses the chronic shortage of phytotherapy treatment for jaundiced-born babies with its “Crib A’glow” unit – deploying these treatments to community primary healthcare centers and other medical facilities across Nigeria saving lives at birth.
The winners were announced at the third iteration of the USAfBC’s digital transformation event series, which focuses on enabling the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy. Themes include workforce and skills development, unlocking the benefits of trade, and enhancing cybersecurity. The event convened the public and private sectors of both countries for a conversation about the need for a strong U.S.-Nigeria partnership to deliver a trusted, responsible, and inclusive digital economy.