A startup is an entrepreneurial venture or a new business designed to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and the success is not guaranteed. While a lot of startups never make it past the idea stage, a lot more trudge on and become more successful. Startups are now a part of our society and will continue to exist because they tackle problems that are vaguely defined and provide innovative solutions.
These are however not limited to Silicon Valley as Africa has its own share of innovative start-up ideas. Here are some of the most innovative startups in Nigeria:
Founded by three students from LAUTECH in Ogbomoso, Nigeria, Printivo is a company changing the face of print production in Nigeria. Located in Shomolu, the undisputed printing hub of Lagos, the startup is a do-it-yourself web-to-print production, providing affordable and quality print-on-demand services particularly to SMEs who cannot afford to print in bulk. Customers can place their orders on the site and have them delivered in a matter of hours or days without fail.
Printivo is a beneficiary of the Federal Government of Nigeria grant, YouWin, which went a long way in raising capital. The company started with four products but has now added about seven more. The CEO, Oluyomi Ojo stated that they intend to expand into merchandise products in the near future.
DoviLearn is a service from a Nigerian startup, Dovichi Services. DoviLearn is a digital learning portal that offers courses in skill acquisitions for those requiring a career upgrade. Their mission is simple – to make learning digital. They also believe that “learning can be facilitated when simplified, accessible and affordable.”
The startup has partnered with “some of the world’s best trainers and instructors” and they provide the training content available on the portal. Some of the content currently available range from digital marketing, human resources training and project management to android development.
DoviLearn is definitely taking on established players like Tutor.ng and Coursera.
- Delivery Science
Named the most impressive new startup of 2015 so far, Delivery Science is an experienced and competent team solving a real problem with real customers and local context. Delivery Science claims that access to data and data inferences enables consumer goods companies to plug leakages in the transport system. According to DS, these leakages can sometimes amount to as much as 25% of the total value of the goods being transported. As a result of advances in cloud computing, Internet-of-Things technology, and supercomputers in our pocket becoming readily-available commodities, a solution that abstracts away complexity while tightly integrating needed functionality into a low-friction, cost-effective model can finally be viable, and this is what Delivery Science provides.
They use a physical hardware device which is installed on the vehicle to monitors goods tampering, drivers taking on unauthorized jobs, and for people transporters, calculates approximate fare the vehicle should have received that day based on number of people who have got on the vehicle, places they’ve got off, and average fares for those routes.
The potential for success is astounding as this start-up is tackling a major problem in the transport industry.
After winning TechCabal Battlefield contest in 2014, the startup has continued to impress. Previously an online learning platform, Prepclass is now a tutor marketplace which has garnered lots of positive reviews from satisfied customers. Due to the quality of the work they deliver, Prepclass’ ‘demand is outstripping supply’ and the startup continues to work harder to keep up with the market.
According to the site, PrepClass provides access to personal home tutors trained to meet customers’ academic needs and offers quick test taking strategies and targeted examination practice for students. The programme is mobile friendly as it provides for study-on-the-go. To prove the confidence that the founders have in their project, they offer a money-back guarantee if the user doesn’t score up to 75% in the exam they are getting tutored for.
The founders, Wezam and Olumide are young people with a big dream and are working hard to see it come to fruition.
Mobile gaming is here to stay and ChopUp is joining the bandwagon. ChopUp is a leading mobile gaming company in Nigeria developing “locally relevant games that tell the African narrative”. ChopUp games are specifically designed with African themes, and the company has interestingly attracted angel funding from private individuals. Subscription to content on the site is relatively cheap at 30 Naira ($0.12) weekly.
With games like Mama Put, Sambisa Assault and Jumpology featuring Nigerian characters, it is obvious that the intent of this start-up is to put African gaming on the map. It is hoped that they succeed in their mission to tell the African narrative through mobile gaming.