GITEX 2018: NITDA receives 407 start-up applications for sponsorship

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has received 407 start-up applications for sponsorship to the annual Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) schedule for October.

Hadiza Umar, the Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations Unit of the agency made this known in Abuja.

“About 407 sponsorship applications have been received by the Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE), an arm of the agency for start-ups vying to be sponsored to the GITEX Future Superstars 2018.

“NITDA plans to promote 10 start-ups to join their over 600 peers from over 45 countries at the Global Start-ups Movement in GITEX,” she said.

Umar said the theme of the exhibition would focus on start-ups creating solutions to address issues on Smart Cities, Energy, Smart Construction, Healthcare, Education, Retail, Transport and Logistics.

According to her, start-ups to be sponsored to GITEX are carefully selected by the country’s tech ambassadors consisting of officials of the agency, innovation hubs and angel investors among others criteria.

“Start-ups are a major feature of Nigeria’s participation to underscore NITDA’s agenda to expose the country’s budding tech start-ups ecosystem to global investors, mentors and venture capitalists,” Umar said.

She said that the country would be promoting issues centred on activities on information technology investment and exposure of indigenous tech companies during the programme.

The official said that the Director-General of the agency, Dr Isa Pantami, was poised to develop the ICT ecosystem of the country through internal competitions.

“Nigeria plans to promote three thematic activities this year on IT investment and exposure of indigenous tech companies.

“The activities are the Nigerian Pavilion, the Start-ups Innovation Hub and the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) put together by the Federal Government and stakeholders part of GITEX organising team.

“NITDA remains firm and committed to promoting technology deployment, building our local IT industry to world standard through participation in global events that further exposes the players to trends in the industry.

“We are committed to our mandate to build a technology ecosystem that thrives on indigenous manpower connected to the global IT community,” she said.

Umar said some of Nigerian start-ups who would win during the competition in the GITEX Future Stars would be exposed to a large pool of global venture capitalists, mentors and angel investors.

She said that the forum was designed to attract investment to Nigeria as a gateway to exploring business opportunities in Africa, particularly the ICT sector, which included technology business communities in Asia, Europe and America.

According to her, young people are a critical focus of NITDA’s agenda to develop the IT sector.

The GITEX Technology Week is a five day event showcasing the latest technology trends globally.

The event draws participation from over 140 countries every year and attracts more than 90 countries pavilions and trade visitors in excess of 150, 000.

It is an annual consumer computer and electronics trade show, exhibition, and conference that take place in Dubai.