Honeywell Group has officially launched its Itanna, a new accelerator in Lagos. The accelerator program will be led by Tomi Otudeko, Head of Innovation and Sustainability in Honeywell Group. Itanna will roll out four-month innovation programme for tech-enabled Nigerian startups from its newly built Enterprise Factory in Lagos.
Itanna launches with four cohort companies KoloPay, a cashless target savings mobile and web application, Tradebuza, an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme, Accounteer provider of online accounting services for SMEs across Africa; and PowerCube which; provides affordable power supply using renewable energy. These four start-ups have been selected from a pool 200 applications.
Each startup will receive training and mentoring from leading industry experts, as well as the opportunity to pitch to Honeywell Group’s network of local and international investors at the company’s inaugural Demo Day, which will take place towards the end of 2018. In addition, the startups will receive USD $25,000 each in investment from Honeywell Group.
The program seeks to support and invest in tech-enabled for-profit startups with an existing Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Startups accepted into the accelerator will need to demonstrate traction, have a clear vision with technical capability, sector knowledge and the desire to scale.
The program has been developed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Obafemi Otudeko, Honeywell Group’s Executive Director mentioned, “Honeywell Group is entrepreneurial to its core. We have almost 50 years’ experience in building Nigerian businesses, across diverse sectors. As part of our wider portfolio, Itanna allows us to collaborate with the Nigerian tech ecosystem; we will invest patient capital into the startups we work with, and we will also provide world-class mentorship to enrich the business strategy of each cohort. As a corporate, we wanted to transform our approach and add dynamism to how we build our sector play. Itanna is the platform through which we can fulfill our mission to use enterprise to make our world better.”
The launch of Itanna comes as part of Honeywell Group’s mission to connect technology and innovation by transferring knowledge to start-ups. Itanna will also invest in more developed tech startups looking for growth capital. Through the direct investment scheme, the Itanna team will support investee companies to scale by leveraging on Honeywell Group’s network and industry expertise.