Social Lender, a Nigerian startup aimed at granting loans to low-income earners who can’t afford a collateral became 5 million naira richer on Friday the 20th at the IE Digital Solutions Venture Day in Lagos. Social Lender also won a trip to Spain to participate in a week long IE startup bootcamp and the South Summit start-up conference, $15,000 promotional credits valuable on Amazon Web Services and 50% scholarship for any IE University’s High Impact Online Program (HiOP) of their choice.
Pitched by Mudiaga Ogboru; product owner at the organization, Social Lender also won the audience votes via e-voting carried out on Twitter poll. The team competed against fellow finalists – InventOne which is a combo of software and hardware that help users and tech enthusiasts to create things without any coding and with little or no expertise.; E.Farms – an agri-financing and training platform dedicated to providing digital solutions to farmers; Monify – a platform that provides financial advisory services and Get It Done – an app that encourages users to get things done on time, discouraging procrastination.
A jury team consisting of Associate Director of IE Business School; Hans Kristofer Munthe-kass, Founder of TrainQuarters Stephanie Obi, Social Impact and ESG Manager at Alithea Capital; Temilade Denton and; the Deputy Managing Director of Afrinvest; Victor Ndukauba were presented with the innovative ways by which these start-ups were helping solve everyday business challenges via digital solutions.
Also present at the occasion was Lead Partner at Detail Commercial Solicitors; Ayuli Jemide who announced the winners of the pitch competition. A panel session of Businesses in Tech and Sustainability featuring Founder of Flying Doctors Nigeria, Dr. Ola Brown; Gokada Co-founder, Adedeji Oduntan; Managing Director BPL Nigeria Limited, Ajibade Oluwabiyi; Associate Director of Portfolio for Acumen (West Africa), Oluwatoyin Emmanuel- Olubake; and Senior Venture Analyst at Climate and Innovation Center, Nigeria; Adamu Garba was also one of the highlights at the venture day event. The panel was moderated by CEO of Concept to Market, Funmi Odusola.
IE Digital Solutions Venture Day themed Growth and Scalability in Business: Crafting a Winning Strategy was anchored by IE West Africa under the conglomerate of IE University, Spain. IE Venture Day is a topnotch pioneer networking event which accommodates innovators, business personnel, entrepreneurs and aspiring start-ups. IE University holds several venture day events in cities around the world such as Madrid, Shanghai, Tokyo, Miami, Bogota, London, Paris etc.; and for the first time, hosted a Venture Day event in Africa at the Zone Tech Park Gbagada, Lagos.
On why Lagos was chosen as the city for Africa’s Venture Day, Director of IE West Africa region Onyekachi Eke stated that although innovators in Nigeria face a lot of challenges, they’ve been able to rise to meet these challenges and create solutions that are very creative. With Lagos seen as a technological hub and also leading the pack in West Africa, it seemed fitting to have the first event in the metropolitan city.