Civic Innovation Lab, an Abuja based innovation and startup hub, on Saturday held a startup engagement with a 40-man German delegation led by the German Minister for Health Jens Spahn and the German Ambassador to Nigeria. The event which was jointly organized by the hub and German Embassy had clear objectives of introducing the German government to the start-up ecosystem in Nigeria, the quality of talents therein and the possible areas of collaboration and support. 

According to the German Minister of Health, the engagement with these startups was a strategic one aimed at amplifying the global recognition of local technology talents in Nigeria and identify critical points where the visiting country collaborate with the Nigerian technology and innovation ecosystem. 

The delegates’ chit-chat with the start-ups centered on the major challenges being faced by innovators in the country, especially those within the ideation and scaling stages. Key among the items of engagement were the three (3) identified and discussed challenges. Firstly is the access of developed solutions to the available large African market, especially the rural/underserved communities. Secondly is the funding of these locally built solutions from ideation through development and deployment stages. Thirdly is the importation of core technical skills through sponsored training in and out of the country, especially in the area of quality hardware design, operation and maintenance. 

In the buildup to the event, Civic Innovation Lab submitted a list of startups within the recommendations of the German embassy with an emphasis on startups using technology to disrupt the health sector. 10 start-ups were selected by the embassy out of which were 5 in the health sector namely: eHealth for Everyone, My Clinic, GeroCare, Smart Q and eHealth for Africa. Other selected start-ups across other sectors include Softcom, Asusu – a solution for financial inclusion in the underserved communities, FabLab (a digital/3D fabricati0n company), Farmovo and Yellow Edge Global Solutions (YEGS).

Civic Innovation Lab is a leading enabler of tech start-ups and a launchpad for emerging technologies in Nigeria and Africa. Apart from fostering local innovations by creating an enabling environment and support system for start-ups in Nigeria, the hub has significantly made strides in changing the negative narratives and clearing doubts about the presence of innovative minds and tech talents in the country. 

Last year, the organization hosted two different international investor’s meet-up with the Bavarian (German) Business Delegation and the Chinese Business Delegation led by the Chinese Billionaire Dejian Liu, Founder of NetDragon.  Numerous collaborations with international institutions and development agencies like GIZ, UNDP, JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) have also led to crowdsourcing of local talents or solutions and funding of the solutions through prototype and implementation stage