While the world feels the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, which has already caused thousands of deaths, a Nigeria-based venture capital (VC) fund, Ventures Platform, is looking to do its bit to tackle the scourge.
Ventures Platform, a Pan-African early-stage VC fund headquartered in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, has announced a financial/structural intervention aimed at checking the spread of the COVID19 pandemic.
Led by Kola Aina, a founding partner, Ventures Platform is now calling on hackers, developers, enthusiasts, and founders to channel their skills, efforts, and expertise in support of the efforts of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Tweeting from his verified Twitter handle, Aina announced yesterday that Ventures Platform will be providing workspace, mentorship, and grant of $1,000 to the first five projects green-lighted by the NCDC which is currently handling at least three cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
Calling all Nigerian Hackers, developers, enthusiasts & founders – lets use our skills for some good in support of the @NCDCgov
Send ideas to email@example.com https://t.co/grkvWwha5E
— Kola Aina (@kola_aina) March 17, 2020
According to Aina, the projects/apps could be around reporting, tracing or anything else that helps in the fight against COVID-19. All entries and ideas can be sent to Ventures Platform via email.
Since the announcement, there’s been an outpouring of ideas and products from tech industry leaders, founders, developers, designers, and enthusiasts.
If you need help writing a mobile app for it, I'll be available.
Here's what I was trying to do to help.https://t.co/YHPf2eOnfv
— Temi Ajiboye (@olu_tayormi) March 17, 2020
Having originally started out as an accelerator programme for African tech start-ups, Ventures Platform has since morphed into a VC fund providing capital via VP-Fund, supporting communities of innovators via Venture Spark, and building capacity through VP-Impact.
Ventures Platform describes itself as an Africa-wide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed by offering a source of capital, capacity building, support and advocacy for under-served entrepreneurs, communities, and institutions, enabling them to enhance the creation of wealth and development in Africa. Some of its portfolio companies include Paystack, Tizeti, PiggyVest, Migo, Printivo, Kudi, ThriveAgric, and several others.
The aim of the intervention by Ventures Platform is to assist Nigerian health institutions in combating the spread of the coronavirus, especially as the country recorded its third case yesterday and investigative reports have uncovered a possible fourth case at the Dangote Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, which appears to have since been confirmed by Dangote Group.
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