Heritage Bank Plc has given out $40,000 grants to winners of the maiden edition of HB Innovative Lab, Punch Newspaper has reported.
During the maiden edition of Heritage Bank Innovation Lab Accelerator programme tagged, ‘Demo Day,’ which was a 12-week programme in Lagos, the bank said this was part of its efforts to support Nigeria’s aspiration to become a leading Information and Communications Technology hub in Africa.
Heritage Bank said the programme sought to provide technology start-ups seeking additional investments to progress and accelerate market introduction/adoption of their solutions with co-working and Internet resources, guidance and mentorship and seed funding.
It added that the bank’s commitment was to create an enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial inclusion/intermediation, health, automobile, agriculture, and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.
At the grand finale of the programme which comprised of seven groups, Trep Labs-Real Drip emerged the winner with the most compelling solution and won N10m, while Ladipomarket.com.ng won the N5m prize, as the first runner-up, which was equivalent of $40,000.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the bank knew it was in the best interest of the country to pay attention to the development of technology and industrial sectors.
He said, “The future of the country lies in the hands of its youth. Our youths are talented, and Heritage Bank is committed to harnessing this talent to grow the economy.”
He noted that although in Nigeria, technology startups still accounted for a relatively small share of all businesses, they had an outsized impact on economic growth because they provided better-paying, longer-lasting jobs than other start-ups, and they contributed more to innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.