- Botswana Digital & Innovation Hub (BDIH) registered innovators were invited to express interest for FNB Foundation funding opportunities for business growth.
- 11 innovative companies were selected to participate in a Pitch Day that was adjudicated by a panel of experts in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Three winners were awarded funding/prize money totaling P400,000.00 paving the way for FNBB Foundation and the Botswana Digital & Innovation Hub, to work together in supporting the innovators.
Botswana Digital & Innovation Hub (BDIH) entered a partnership with FNBB Foundation to support and develop Botswana homegrown innovative solutions. This partnership was initiated to provide funding opportunities to eligible entities and encourage participation of start-ups in solving new challenges posed by Covid-19.
11 start-ups were selected from a pool of start-ups within the BDIH Incubation and Acceleration Programme where they benefit from a number of interventions such as; technical advice, coaching, mentorship, access to markets, access to partner programmes, office space, subsidised corporate tax, special dispensation of the import of skilled personnel and many other tailored interventions to help them grow.
The winners of the pitch competition are;
Existing Business Category: P250,000.00
Scooping a whooping P250,000 first prize under the Existing business category was Organic Naturals Skincare. The Founder; Didintle Moreki wowed the judges with her 3 minutes pitch. Organic Natural Skincare manufactures organic, toxic-free skincare products using indigenous plants oils found in Sub-Saharan Africa. The products range from beauty, cosmetic to personal care. Organic Natural Skin Care, a brand that exists to empower an African Woman to stand Confident.
The second prize of P100,000.00 went to Angular Creatives Labs represented by the ever-confident Founder; Thato Kasongo. Angular Creatives is a digital marketing and advertising company that has developed a solution called Mohiri. Mohiri is a personalised job alerts service that connect low-medium skilled workers to opportunities for work by sending them alerts on their phones whenever there is a vacancy that matches their profile. Mohiri sends out job alerts to a pool of registered members who depend on the application as a source of vacancy announcements and other career-related opportunities and content.
Startups with Prototype Category: P50,000.00
Under the Startups with Prototype Category, Doctors E-Consult won the P50,000.00 prize money. Doctors E-Consult was represented by the ever-energetic Co-Founder Loatile Nkala. Doctor E-Consult developed an Online Doctor Consultation mobile application, which is a doctor- patient consulting room on a phone or device. Online Doctor Consultation aims to reduce congestion in medical facilities and allow for effective social distancing. Beyond COVID 19, the App will reduce the burden of travelling to access a doctor. Doctors E-Consult takes convenience and confidentially to a whole new level as it is easily accessed within the comfort of one’s home.
“We acknowledge that innovation is a critical catalyst in driving Botswana’s Transformation Agenda, hence, supporting innovations requires collaborations between diverse stakeholders. We are glad to have partnered with FNBB Foundation as a notable player in the national innovation ecosystem to support innovators with funding and Market access opportunities” said Tshepo Tsheko, BDIH, acting CEO.
“Speaking at the event, FNBB Deputy Director of Marketing & Communications, Ms Peo Porogo said, “ The past 18 months or so, have been difficult for all of us, and entrepreneurs were not spared. It is initiatives like these, that give them renewed hope as they strive to turn their ideas and businesses into successful entities. We are proud to be part of this life changing initiative.”
The FNBB Foundation Trustee, Dr. Lesedinyana Odiseng addressing the pitchers highlighted that COVID-19 vaccine trials started first as ideas and it is through ideas that one can bring a solution or an innovation that can save the world.