NSIA Prize for Innovation 2023


NSIA Prize for Innovation 2023

The NSIA Prize for Innovation is an annual award organized by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to recognize and support innovative ideas and solutions that can drive growth and development in Nigeria.

The prize is open to Nigerians and Nigerian-owned businesses in various fields, including healthcare, agriculture, infrastructure, and technology. The prize offers cash rewards and mentorship opportunities to winners.

The NSIA Prize for Innovation is part of the NSIA’s commitment to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria, with the aim of accelerating the country’s economic development. The prize also serves as a platform for showcasing innovative ideas and solutions that can address some of the pressing challenges facing Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

NSIA prize for Innovation Application Summary

  • NSIA launched an innovation prize with a total prize value of US$255,000 to be awarded as a combination of cash and equity investment in the underlying businesses of the winners.
  • The Innovation Prize programme is structured as a business enhancement initiative to support early-stage, scalable solutions through education, mentorship, and financing.
  • The application for the competition will open in March 2023 while the programme will run and close within Q2 of 2023.

NSIA priority Sectors

The NPI priority sectors are technology-enabled businesses in Financial Services, Agriculture, Health, Education, Manufacturing, Renewables, and Power. The listed priority sectors were selected given the appreciable impact innovations in these sectors can have on the Nigerian economy.

Eligibility of NSIA prize for innovation

The eligibility criteria for the NSIA Innovation Prize may vary depending on the specific edition of the prize and the rules set forth by the organizers. Generally, however, the prize is open to individuals, teams, and organizations that meet the following criteria:

  1. Innovation: Applicants must demonstrate innovative solutions that have the potential to create significant impact in one or more sectors, such as healthcare, agriculture, energy, or education.
  2. African-led: Applicants must be African-led, either by citizens of an African country or organizations registered in Africa.
  3. Scalability: The proposed solution should have the potential to scale across multiple regions or countries, and should have the ability to generate significant economic or social benefits.
  4. Feasibility: The proposed solution should be technically and economically feasible, and should have a clear path to implementation.
  5. Stage of development: Applicants must have a working prototype or minimum viable product (MVP) that has been tested or validated in the market.
  6. Legal requirements: Applicants must comply with all legal requirements of their respective countries, including registration and taxation.

Benefits of the NSIA prize for Innovation

  • Identify, build, and finance early-stage innovative solutions to catalyse economic growth, enhance the nation’s productive capacity, and create jobs. 
  • Provide an enabling platform to showcase early-stage innovative solutions with transformative potential.
  • Create an avenue for Nigerian innovators to raise capital and network with a universe of investors and established technology experts.
  • Strengthen the capital formation process for viable digital solutions originating in Nigeria.
  • Inspire ingenuity, creativity, innovation, and breakthrough ideas in the digital ecosystem in Nigeria through cycles of prize competitions.

Program Stages & Timelines

The program is a multi-year commitment by the NSIA to empower budding Nigerian innovators in a bid to catalyse the rise of the digital economy.

The Programme will adopt a three-staged competition at the end of which ten (10) finalists will emerge and win varied prizes.

The program will run for sixteen (16) weeks covering the following stages:

Pre-selection Stage:

At this stage, innovators complete applications through an application portal. Applicants are expected to provide details regarding their digital product/service, business model, and minimum viable product. 

Accelerator Stage:

Shortlisted innovators will participate in a technical partner-led, accelerator program designed to mentor and equip them with the tools required to succeed. The ten (10) successful and committed innovators will be adjudged by an independent panel of expert judges. 

Final Stage (Demo Day):

The ten (10) Program finalists will each be allotted a timeslot to present their pitch to the panel of judges. The judging panel will comprise the technical, and venture partners and a combination of local and foreign technology industry experts and investors.

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