Winners have emerged in the 2019 Union Bank edTech Challenge, following a pitch event held at the just concluded Edu360.
The edTech Challenge provided a platform for innovators in the education ecosystem to present ground-breaking, technology-driven ideas that address educational challenges, for a chance to attract financial and mentorship support from Union Bank of Nigeria and leading social innovation hub, VHA Services.
During the one-month entry period from July 30, to August 23, over 1,000 entries were received from all over the country with innovative ideas that sought to solve various challenges faced in the education sector. Following the entry period, ten finalists were shortlisted from the vast pool of entries to go through a six-week accelerator programme.
The finalists were then invited to pitch their ideas. These ideas were judged based on the criteria of market/problem, team, proof of traction, innovation, sustainability model, and overall presentation. The panel of judges included Union Bank’s Sector Executive, Commercial Banking, Gloria Omereonye; Union Bank’s Sector Lead, Education and Religious Institutions, Adeyinka Adebola; Managing Director, TEP Centre, Modupe Adefeso Olateju; Regional Partner, African Tech Foundation, Oluseye Soyede Johnson; and Enterprise Solutions Lead, Private Sector, HP Nigeria, Francis Angbo John.
Olalekan Adeeko emerged first prize winner of N2.5 million for his initiative, EDUBOX. The first runner up was Adeola Olosho, who received N1.5 million for his project, Utiva, while the second runner up Shina Ajulo, received N1 million for his project, EXPO.
Speaking at the event, Union Bank’s chief digital and innovation officer, Lola Cardoso, explained that the Bank’s focus on encouraging innovation in Nigeria stems from the knowledge that we cannot build the future we dream of if we do not begin to innovate today. She said: “Union Bank remains committed to supporting education and innovation; two elements we have identified as being vital to national growth and sustainability. We applaud the finalists and winners for their impressive ideas.”
While expressing their gratitude to Union Bank and VHA Services, the first prize winner of the Challenge said: “We are excited at this opportunity to bring our dreams to life and we thank Union Bank and VHA Services for providing this platform to showcase our idea and win this amazing prize.”
Union Bank continues to support the development of innovative ideas which would go a long way towards shaping a better, more sustainable future for generations to come.