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FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament

FrenchWeek2023’s Startup Pitch Tournament Unveils Promising Ventures

In the pulsating heart of FrenchWeek2023, the Franco-Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) orchestrated a dazzling showcase of innovation yesterday Nov 21st, 2023, through the Start-Up Pitch Tournament, showcasing Nigeria’s thriving entrepreneurial landscape and the chamber’s commitment to Start-Ups. The event drew luminaries such as the Consul-General of France to Nigeria, Mr. Laurent Favier, and industry stalwarts including Kunle Ahmed of AXA Mansard, Guillaume Niarfeix of SPIE Nigeria and many others. Their presence highlighted the event’s significance in the broader landscape of Franco-Nigerian collaboration.

Consul General of France to Nigeria at the FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament
Consul-General of France to Nigeria, Mr. Laurent Favier giving His Opening Speech

After an opening speech by Mr Laurent Favier, the event kicked off with a dynamic panel session anchored by Mr Favour Adeleke, founder of QIQI Farms. The session was a knowledge nexus with Mr. Peter Nwofia (Tax partner, Mazars in Nigeria), Mr. Samy Chiba (Co-founder & COO, Bujeti), and Mr. Noble Obasi (Stren & Blan Partners) sharing insights on critical aspects of business sustainability.

Panel Wisdom: Nurturing Entrepreneurial Roots

Panelists at the FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament
Panel Session (Left to Right): Mr Samy Chiba, Mr Peter Nwofia, Mr Noble Obasi and Mr Favour Adeleke

The panel session, delved into key facets of sustaining businesses in the ever-evolving market. Insights from the panelists set the tone for a rich discourse that addressed critical issues such as compliance, tax, legal considerations, and financial planning specific to startups.

Mr Joshua Chibueze, Co-Founder of PiggyVest at the FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament

Mr. Joshua Chibueze, the Co-founder of PiggyVest, added a unique flavor to the session. He shared a compelling entrepreneurial journey emphasizing the resilience that propels success. His story resonated deeply, encouraging startups not to shy away from failures but to view them as stepping stones toward eventual success.

The Pitch Arena: Diverse Ventures, Singular Spirit

With the stage set by the panel, the Pitch Tournament, the event’s highlight, unfolded, featuring ten dynamic entrepreneurs across diverse sectors. Each pitch was a unique narrative, reflecting the innovation and diversity inherent in Nigeria’s startup landscape.

Pitchers at the FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament
Pitchers at the Start-Up Tournament during the FrenchWeek2023NG

These visionary innovators presented projects spanning solar energy, global recruitment, healthcare optimization, logistics, sustainable agriculture, self-defense technology, organic herbs, real estate, and bespoke fashion. The diverse ventures showcased underscored the entrepreneurial spirit thriving in Nigeria.

At the end of the tournament, Gemhands, an (innovative self-defense enterprise offering a refillable pepperspray with GPS, video, and audio features) secured the third position, Openhouse (a real estate organization spotlighting Africa as a preferred investment destination) claimed second, and MDOC (a social enterprise optimizing end-to-end care experience for individuals with chronic health needs) clinched the coveted first place. The winner was gifted with a return trip to France by of Air-France KLM and $1000 guaranteed by Access Bank.

Winner at the FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament
Winner of the Start-Up Pitch Tournament, M-Doc flanked by representatives from Access Bank Plc (Left) and Air France KLM (Right)

As the curtains drew on FNCCI’s Start-Up Pitch Tournament at FrenchWeek2023, the resonating message was clear — the future of Nigerian entrepreneurship is luminous. The event was not only as a celebration of innovation but also a catalyst for collaboration, fostering an environment where startups can thrive and established leaders can contribute to the growth narrative. In MDOC’s victory, we see the promise of healthcare innovation, symbolizing the heights Nigerian startups can reach with the right support and platforms.

FNCCI’s Vision: A Collaborative Ecosystem

FNCCI’s commitment to nurturing startups extends beyond individual events. Their commitment is evident in their established startup membership category that provides mentorship and guidance to SMEs registered with them. This collaborative ecosystem creates a bridge between emerging startups and established figures, fostering an environment where knowledge flows seamlessly.

Moses Umoru at the FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament
FNCCI Director General, Moses Umoru

FNCCI’s dedication to nurturing startups stands as a testament to the collaborative spirit that defines the entrepreneurial landscape in Nigeria. The success stories shared, the insights gained, and the connections forged during this event are stepping stones toward a future where Nigerian startups play a pivotal role on the global stage.

As we applaud the winners and celebrate the diverse ventures presented, we look forward to witnessing the continued growth and impact of these startups on the national and global entrepreneurial canvas. The journey has just begun, and the path ahead is illuminated with the entrepreneurial sparks ignited at FrenchWeek2023.

Pictures from the FNCCI Start-Up Pitch Tournament
Emmanuel Iwegbue

I am a passionate writer with a keen interest in SMEs and fostering economic growth. I focus on empowering businesses to thrive and contribute to Nigeria's economic development.

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