21st August 2019. Itanna, the corporate venture capital platform of Honeywell Group, has officially announced the launch of the second edition of its accelerator and investment programme. As communicated when it launched its first accelerator programme in 2018, Itanna’s objective is to stimulate economic growth in Africa by investing and supporting tech-enabled, for-profit startups to scale up. Itanna also aims to ignite enterprise by championing disruptive technology and promoting entrepreneurial talent through acceleration, investment, networking and mentorships.
Four startups have been selected for the second accelerator programme from over 200 applications received across nine African countries. The four startups selected for Itanna’s second accelerator programme are: Gerocare, a company that leverages technology and traditional African family values of adult children taking care of their parents to provide a structure for medical care for the elderly; Simbi Interactive, which uses interactive questioning and answering to help students learn, master and evaluate themselves in any subject; E-Estates, a mobile/web solution that helps estate managers coordinate their affairs and interaction with residents effectively; and, finally, Carido, an on-demand automobile service technology platform that aggregates automobile maintenance demands through mobile devices and thereafter facilitates their fulfillment through select competent and credible service providers. These startups would receive investments to the tune of thirty thousand US dollars ($30,000) from Itanna.
These startups will also have the opportunity to pitch to Honeywell Group’s network of domestic and international investors at a Demo Day to be organised at the end of the programme.
Speaking about the second accelerator programme, Executive Director, Honeywell Group, Obafemi Otudeko said, “given Honeywell Group’s five-decade history of establishing thriving, world-class businesses, Itanna is another avenue for the Group to further create value by helping startups to transform into impact-making, profitable and socially relevant businesses.”
On the success of Itanna’s maiden accelerator programme in 2018, Head of Innovation and Sustainability, Honeywell Group and Director, Itanna, Tomi Otudeko said, “the success of the first programme has encouraged the team to further invest in promising startups.”
On the specific progress recorded by the startups from last year, Tomi Otudeko said: “Accounteer, providers of online accounting services for SMEs, have expanded into other African markets including Ghana and Kenya. Powercube, providers of the affordable power supply using renewable energy, has closed one investment round to fund their production and deployment activities. Finally, TradeBuza, an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme, has grown its user numbers by over 100% and has launched its commodities trade service to help link outgrower schemes to a network of off-takers.”
Also speaking on how the cohorts for the 2019 accelerator programme were selected, Tony Idugboe, Vice President and Head of Investments at Itanna, noted that the four startups for the second edition were selected because they had recorded significant traction from their inception till date. He said a review of the companies’ trajectory and their respective market growth rates showed that they were uniquely positioned to expand and acquire more market share over the next few years. Finally, he said all the startups have management teams that have the ability to drive execution of the companies’ individual objectives.
Itanna operates from the Enterprise Factory located in Iganmu, the heart of industrial Lagos where businesses are built. The state of the art 627 square metres collaborative space boasts workspaces, offices, meeting rooms and conference space.