The founder of OJ Technologies Limited, a health tech business, Joseph Ojighoro has emerged as the winner of the maiden Innovation Makers Challenge (IMC) organised by the Telecommunications and Technology Sustainability Working Group (TTSWG), receiving a cash prize of ₦2,000,000.
The winner was selected after the top five contestants from across Nigeria vied for the grand award prize at the IMC 2023 Conference and Exhibition, which was held at the Eko Convention Center, Lagos.
The IMC is a youth-centric initiative designed to accelerate the growth of innovative, sustainable, technology-driven ideas and products.
The event had IHS Towers as the principal sponsor, with Quomodo Systems Africa and Arnergy as co-sponsors.
Valentine Nnamani, founder of OneGrid Energies and Elijah Moses, founder of Kugatel, were awarded the first runner-up and second runner-up positions, respectively, receiving cash prizes of ₦1,000,000 and ₦500,000.
Following a three-day boot camp, the top five finalists emerged after a pre-pitch from the initial 20 applicants selected from the 1,716 registered participants in the challenge.
The finalists presented innovative ideas across different technology fields, including fintech, health tech, assistive tech, and energy tech.
The boot camp provided training on business management and was conducted by industry leaders and tech specialists from NCIC, official partners of the event.
Speaking on the importance of nurturing the next generation for sustainable economic and societal development, the Vice Chair of the TTSWG Board, Dr. Wunmi Hassan, stated:
“I feel excited to observe the quality of thinking, problem-solving mentality, and skills that we have seen displayed so far. I look forward to great things in the future as we innovate and change Nigeria.”
Joseph Ojighoro, the winner of the challenge, pitched a business idea centred around utilising virtual reality to enhance clinical training and competency in Africa.
“Gratitude overwhelms me, and I am short of words to stand as the winner today. In a world where medical errors claim 2.6 million lives annually, making them the third leading cause of death in the world, my team’s journey to enhance clinical training and competency through the metaverse using virtual reality technology has taken another leap. Thank you to TTSWG for this initiative, and to the judges, I am short of words.”
Bekeme Olowola, Lead Consultant for TTSWG Secretariat and Chief Executive, CSR-in-Action, whilst delivering the opening remark, also posited that Nigeria is a country not just of endless potential but also of remarkable achievement.