Earlier in July 2020, the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) opened hackathon applications for startups with innovative solutions that could practically tackle challenges facing the Oil & Gas Industry. About 630 promising startups pitched their various solutions, but only 15 finalists were selected from the pool. The 15 proceeded to a 3-day hackathon and their solutions were examined. In the end, five key solutions stood out as best. The NOGTECH Hackathon winners were Gricd Mote, Fuel Intellisense, Home Fort, AirsynQ and Kiakia Gas 360.
As noted by the General Manager of NCDMB’s Capacity Building Division, Dr Ama Ikuru the Nigerian Oil and Gas Hackathon (NOGTECH Hackathon) had a goal to identify startups with innovative solutions that go where the rubber meets the road in addressing critical issues persistent within the industry. For the debut cohort, a premium was placed on solutions across areas of asset security, cyber threats, renewable energy, skills/talent management, health and supply chain were considered.
The five impressive teams who bagged the winning trophy on the hackathon day, play across the civic engagement, supply chain, health, accountability and asset protection areas. See them below:
Launched in 2017, Kiakia plays in the legacy supply chain and logistics space. The goal is to combat-related industries challenges, with a spin to send information on the safety status of cylinders to customers through its Gas360 LPG monitors.
Gricd aims to solve Nigeria’s Healthcare problems by providing customers real-time access to storage conditions of temperature-sensitive medication, be it stationary or transient. Gricd looks to deepen its product-fit in the oil and gas space, by leveraging the NCDMB platform as one of the NOGTECH Hackathon winners.
AirsynQ wants to nip the problem of pipeline vandalism in the bud through an artificial intelligence-based pipeline vandalism detection system. With long-duration balloon-lifted satellites, the team uses aerial surveillance to acquire image data on laid pipeline systems.
These winning teams will each get a cheque of $10,000 equity-free grant, a three-month incubation programme as well as access to workspaces, expert mentors, global partners and open doors to the nation’s biggest oil and gas players, all provided by NCDMB, amongst other benefits.
Speaking at the NOGTECH Hackathon, the Incubation Programmes Director, Francisca Kanayo Chiedu, beyond her instrumental role in hosting the hackathon, hints on how the incubation programme has been structured to ensure that startups get a solid grasp of their value proposition, and build a strategy that will give them an edge in the industry.
“For every impact to be measurable, we have structured the 3-month incubation into three phases; the induction, immersion and actualisation/demo phases. The phases will see them go through due diligence, relate with seasoned mentors, deepen their foothold in the industry by leveraging NCDMB, get the necessary regulatory compliance for their businesses, and hit the market fast to speed up traction.” — Francisca K. Chiedu, NOGTECH Incubation Programmes Director
According to Chiedu, the ultimate goal for NOGTECH Hackathon winners is that at the end of incubation, the startups are both commercially-viable and investment-ready.
During the crowning of the event, NCDMB’s Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote announced that the Board, through its $50million Nigerian Content Reserve & Development Intervention Fund, will support these selected firms in their product development phases. According to him, the Board’s funding would depend on the success of the product incubation phase and the understanding that startups motivations aren’t about making quick financial gains, rather, on innovating solutions that make a difference and impact the society at large
“The Board’s support will help the companies to get patents for their innovations, produce prototypes, conduct field trials, as well as have the necessary industry linkages. All the greatest inventors, particularly in the technology space, did not start by looking for money. They started because they wanted to make a difference and create a change. Therefore prize money is not the key factor. It was meant to bring people together.” — Engr. Wabote, Executive Secretary, NCDMB
Despite being the debut edition, NOGTECH hackathon 2020 had brilliant minds like Francisca Chiedu, the Programme Lead and Damilare Ogunleye Associate Partner, who championed it to success. This initial edition is sponsored by NCDMB in partnership with Learners Support Consultancy Company.
At the end of incubation, the NOGTECH Hackathon winners will showcase their active solutions during practical sessions on the demo day.
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