By Dipo Olowookere
On Monday, Facebook, in partnership with Co-Creation Hub, launched the start of FbStart Accelerator programme in Nigeria.
This is part of Facebook’s commitment to supporting and empowering students and entrepreneurs to build locally relevant solutions using technology.
Made up of 11 students and five Startup teams, the six-month bootcamp aims to aid innovative and visionary teams in creating solutions with advanced technologies.
The research and mentorship-driven accelerator programme will provide the teams with access to product and industry experts to gain valuable insight, as well as deeper knowledge in how to optimize value driven products, and solutions which leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science, Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
The FbStart Accelerator Programme, announced earlier this year during the opening of Facebook’s first hub space on the continent, NG_Hub, will be the focal point for the bootcamp.
Designed specifically for two categories of participants – Students and Startups, the student teams will be provided with equity free funding of between $5,000-$15,000, whilst having the option to work virtually to transform their ideas or research into working prototypes.
Startup teams will be provided with $20,000 in equity free funding and like student teams will have access to technical and business mentors from the Facebook and the CcHUB network as well as free working space at NG_Hub.
Commenting on the start of the FbStart Accelerator programme, Emeka Afigbo, Developer Programmes Manager at Facebook said: “We believe technology provides expansive opportunities to engage young, creative Nigerians, the use of cutting edge technologies as a basis show that Africans can leverage these technologies to build solutions that are both locally and globally relevant. I’m excited to see how these teams will develop and learn throughout their time with us, and ultimately what the will build and create.”
Speaking on the partnership with Facebook, Bosun Tijani, the co-founder Chief Executive Officer of CcHub said that it is part of a commitment to developing the use of technology in Nigeria, and at the same time empowering young Nigerians to realise their dreams.
“There is no denying that technology has a part to play on every facet of our lives, and that is why we are deeply involved in training young Nigerians to rise up to the challenges of building a technology driven society.
“Providing training, mentorship and equity-free funding for the students and startups involved further outlines our collective commitment and we’re excited to see how they will utilise advanced technologies to solve problems and build solutions for the future of Nigeria and Africa.” he said.
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