Paddy Cover and Pricepally.com have emerged top winners in the Lagos zone of the North Star Pitch Competition of GITEX holding in Dubai, UAE from 10-14 October 2022 and organised by the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
The winners in the Lagos zone joined those of the Abuja one: FLOEWS, and Medtech Africa adjudged a day earlier as best in their zone.
The four Nigerian startups grabbed the all-expense paid trip to GITEX, Dubai where they will further be able to pitch their idea to over 400 investors and other stakeholders in the global startup economy.
Winning the Abuja and Lagos GITEX Pitch Competition also offers the Nigerian tech innovators the rare chance of making a go at the $200,000 prize for grabs at GITEX 2022.
Paddy Cover is an insuretech firm co-founded by Mayowa Owolabi and Tobi Obasa while Pricepally, founded by Luther Lawoyin,, is a food sourcing and distribution tech firm.
FLOEWS is a flood early warning system and Medtech Africa enables doctors to monitor and plan treatment for patients with heart diseases by using patients’ data gotten from different devices.
The judges for the Lagos pitch include: Oguntade Adeseye, Unit head, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ONDI; Akeem Hassan, TA to the special adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology; Segun Cole, Co-founder Fund the Gap Alliance; Amos Udok, Representative NITDA; Ireayo Oladunjoye, Head, Startups Lagos state employment Trust fund; and Olorunnisomo Olaoluwa, Co-Founder, Seedbuilders Innovation and Foundation.
About 40 startups were shortlisted for the final selection process out of over 500 applications received by the organisers, the DWTC.
Nigerian startups had the option to apply through Abuja or Lagos for the final selection of four startups to represent the country at the GITEX Future Stars (GFS) now rebranded as North Star, the largest Pitch gathering for startups, mentors and innovation investors from over 120 countries.
Lagos recorded the highest number of applications from more than 200 startups while Abuja had above 160.
The successful four winners from Nigeria will join their peers from other parts of Africa to be spotlighted in front of global audiences at the world’s largest tech + startup event this October.
The Nigeria selection process is part of the GITEX Startup West Africa Roadshow in four cities namely Lagos, Abuja, Accra and Dakar. The GITEX East Africa roadshow was anchored in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. With four winning slots, Nigeria has the largest set aside for any country to underscore its importance as the continent’s leader in startup economy.
According to the DWTC, the roadshow “is designed to scout for and support promising entrepreneurial business startups in Africa.”
A DWTC team was in Nigeria to oversee the selection formality in Lagos and Abuja.
The DWTC is partnering with the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); and other local partners including Lagos State government, Art of Technology, and Pinnacle International LLC for the Nigeria’s end of the initiative in West Africa.
Addressing journalist at the Lagos event, the Director General of the NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, assured the startup community of continuous support and international exposure.
“As regards this particular programme, the North Star is trying to further expose our startups and the NITDA is glad to partner with GITEX on this,” said Abdullahi. He was represented by Head of Corporate Planning & Strategy, Dr. Aristotle Onumo.
He added: “They have come to Nigeria to be able to harness the innovative skills already within Nigeria to start early marketing of the those to be selected and connecting them with various investors across the globe, so that even before they get to GITEX proper, they would have had a kind of visibility.”
According to the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology, Tumbosun Alake, the programme will “give opportunities to our ecosystem startups with better access to local and foreign markets.”
He added: “the finalists will be participating in the North Star programme in Dubai in October, and we hope they are able to get more international investors and access to the UAE market. If the UAE is here, it is a signal to other partners across the globe. It also helps our startups here to get access to their market internationally and with that they can expand their revenue base.
The Director, Commercial Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, Zarko Ackovik, who led the DWTC delegation, said even though the DWT recognises Nigeria has the largest ecosystem in the whole Africa, there has not been as much impact as should be expected of the country in Dubai during GITEX outside of government-led support for startups.
The competition is designed to create awareness for startups across the region, notably Nigeria for international opportunities, said Zarko.
“We decided to come to the region to offer the opportunity for the startups,” he added.