Youths with innovative ideas around education, oil spillage, tourism, and security in Edo State have pitched their ideas for an opportunity to clinch start-up funding from N-Power, a part of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (SIP).
The pitch competition, which held in Government House, Benin City, is for a chance to be picked as the state’s representatives to compete with counterparts from other states in the South-South region.
The top five from the region are expected to pitch to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the launch of Edo Innovation Hub, during his 2-day visit to the state.
Managing Director, Marydel Limited, Engr. Oluwatobi Gege, who heads the South-South Innovation Hub, said that the youths from the South-South region of the country will converge on Edo State for an opportunity to pitch to the vice president and get funding.
According to him, “The youths are here to pitch their ideas to get opportunity to be part of the boot-camp. The winners will participate in the South-South boot-camp. They are to demonstrate how their ideas will impact their immediate communities. We put a call out recently and 4000 people applied. On June 6, we held the Calabar leg of the pitch competition in Tinapa.
“We are just holding that of Edo today. 20 people were selected. The best will pitch to the vice president at the opening of the innovation hub for the south-south region. Edo is hosting this hub.”
The South-South Hub is run through a partnership between the Federal Government and the Edo State Government. The State Government is providing the space and other structures for the hub at its facility at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). Youths in the state are enthusiastic about the visit, as it presents an opportunity to benefit from a well-run innovation hub in the state.
Recall that the governor Godwin Obaseki was at ICE recently to inspect the level of work at the facility, and assured that the hub would provide space to groom innovative solutions for business and social issues.
According to him, “The facility will be commissioned by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and over 25 companies will use this innovation hub for different forms of training and certification.”
The governor explained that his administration has received solicitation from major global technology companies for a space in the innovation hub.
“Those that will benefit from this facility are both the young and old residents in the state, as they will get industry-relevant skills and certification,” he added.