By: Adedokun Seyi
Sponsored by University of Ibadan, Bovas Company Limited and “we”nnovationHUB, the Hultprize preparation which started with three days training from November 1 to November 3, 2018 by 11:00am on each day at the faculty of veterinary medicine saw 63 teams into the pitching list. At the end of collection of pitch decks, 43 teams were able to pitch on the final event day. The final pitch day event of the Hultprize came up at Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan and took off with the presence of judges, participants and attendees.
Judges present at the event were Dr. Demola Lewis: who earned first-class Bachelor of Arts degree from the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Ibadan, where he is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Dean of Student Affairs, Olawumi Olatunji: who is a co-founder of The Business Outliers, an Enterprise Development consultancy that helps SMEs with high growth and high impact potential, Emeka Ossai: who is currently on a mission of discovering and nurturing one million entrepreneurs from Nigeria campuses by 2020, Ololade Adesola: who is the founder and pioneer Managing Consultant of L.A Consult, a business management and training consultancy. She is also an astute manager. Sidiq Sairu Deen: Serves as the Lead Consultant at TCRP Limited and also as the Assistant Lead Consultant at Prinsult Global Consulting limited. He is an experienced auditor. Precious Adeho: An entrepreneur, motivational speaker with an in-born passion to mentor youths with focus on combating youth unemployment through science.
Other judges present were Dr. Bisi Olawuyi: who currently works at the Department of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He also does research in Media studies, Babafemi Adewumi: who is a team lead of AgriTech initiative at Wennovation Hub, an AgriTech Expert with over 10 years experience in both Tech and Agriculture, Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu: who is a farmer, innovator, and social entrepreneur; Executive Director of Smallholders Foundation Ltd., Babatunde Oladosu: who is a seasoned financial analyst and entrepreneur with a passion for youth engagement, education and workforce development, Pacqueens Irabor: who is a distinguished development banker with over 14 years Post graduation experience. He is currently the State Manager, Bank of Industry, Nwulia Chinedu: who is an entrepreneur with business experiences in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry spanning 15 years and Fara Fasuyi: a certified management consultant with a Bsc (Economics) graduate from Covenant University, Nigeria and with Msc. from the University of Dundee, UK, with distinguished presence of Professor Ayotola Aremu, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
After the first round of pitching, from each stage namely Gold, Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum, three teams were selected being Mr. Farm, Vinsighte, Demeter, Afriplastic, Greenhouse revolution, Smart, Wahala, Sofos, FashionAfrica, Reliers, Kwiki Kart and Madina , while from the selected twelve, only three teams qualified for the final round. The teams, Mr. Farm, Vinsighte and Smart made it to the final round of the event, with Vinsighte bagging the first position with the sum of seventy five thousand naira (#75,000), team smart bagged second position with the sum of fifty thousand naira (#50,000) and Mr. Farm came third at the final pitch with the sum of thirty five thousand naira (#35,000).
The winning Team, Vinsighte, which won the Union Bank Campus Innovation challenge, listed among the top 10 innovators at the Merck accelerator program 2018, top 35 at the Google impact challenge, pitched the idea of giving vision and creating insight with the goals of helping millions of people achieve their dreams by aiding them to read and navigate their environment. The goal is to reach out to at least a thousand visually impaired people every year, and through this, access to education would be improved in the Sub-Saharan Africa. Visually impaired people, with this project, would have employability status. The team introduced two products, VISIS 1.0 glasses which takes pictures, converts it to text, and reads the text to the user and VIRI 1.0 which can detect obstacles, Alerts the users and keeps user safe. VIRI is more compact with wider coverage of the environment compared to its competitor; ABLE CANE which is from Kenya. VISIS is more convenient to use for reading compared to Braille that is the first in Sub-Saharan Africa. The product has also been piloted in Omoyeni School of the blind where about 45 blind students who appreciated the performance were reached.