Heritage Bank Plc has launched its innovation accelerator programme tagged, “HB LAB”.
The maiden edition of HB LAB is a 12-week programme, expected to provide technology startups with enabling environment, resources and support required to innovate and accelerate impactful solutions with the potential to radically improve financial Inclusion/Intermediation, agriculture and other related problems affecting critical sectors of the economy.
The application portal which was launched on the 31st January 2019 closed on the 14th February 2019.
About 154 applicants who applied were reviewed and 24 of them scored above 60, whilst the final selection would produce seven successful applicants, which the winner would emerge.
Speaking on the HB LAB, the MD/CEO of the bank, Ifie Sekibo, was quoted in a statement to have explained that in Nigeria, technology start-ups still account for a relatively small share of all businesses, but they have an outsized impact on economic growth, because they provide better-paying, longer-lasting jobs than other start-ups, and they contribute more to innovation, productivity, and competitiveness.
He disclosed that the team with the most compelling solution would be awarded a $25,000 grant alongside access to workspace and IT infrastructure for solution testing and development for a defined period.
According to him, the HB Innovation Lab Programme is open to product development teams and technology driven startups across Nigeria.
Sekibo stated that the critical areas of focus are fintechs, agriculture, education, digital, security and power, whilst noting that the application requirements include names, age, gender, contact number, home and email addresses of the participants.