Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), last weekend, selected five innovative teams as winners of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Technology (NOGTECH) Hackathon sponsored by the Board.
Each of the five winning teams was given a cheque of $10,000 equity-free grant. They will also proceed to participate in a 3-month incubation programme during which they will get workspace, expert mentors, global partners and market access to the nation’s oil and gas industry, ensuring they become commercial and investor-ready.
The winning teams are Fuel Intellisense, Homefort Energy, Gricd Mote, Kiakia Gas and Airsynq. A statement from NCDMB said the five projects emerged as the most innovative and bankable by judges, after the 15 semi-finalists made presentations on their innovations.
The 3-day event started on Thursday with the teams having detailed engagement with industry experts, mentors and entrepreneurs. The executive secretary of NCDMB, Engr Simbi Kesiye Wabote said the Board would support the five firms in their product development phase, drawing from the $50 million Nigerian Content Research & Development Intervention Fund.
According to him, the Board’s support will go into helping the companies get patents for their innovations and produce prototypes, supporting them to conduct field trials, business start-up as well as provide industry linkages.
The Board’s funding, he explained, would depend on the success of the product incubation phase, stressing that “the goal is to fund bankable businesses, not charities.”
He explained that the sponsorship of the NOGTECH Hackathon is within the Board’s mandate, which includes engaging in targeted capacity and capability development interventions and conduct of studies, research, investigation, workshops and trainings aimed at advancing the development of Nigerian Content.
The Board announced the initiative through a webinar it organized in May 2020, during the height of COVID-19 lockdown. Wabote said the Board was also keen to stimulate the participants to channel their intelligence and become successful entrepreneurs, he said.
Wabote counseled the five winning teams not to put their motivation on making quick financial gains that may shut their tap in distant work towards innovating solutions, and to be clear about their vision and strategy, while retaining their passion.
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja.