Zenith Bank says it has set aside N59 million to be invested in Nigerian startups through its pitch competition tagged, Zechathon 3.0.
The hackathon program, which is being organized in partnership with accelerator firm, Seedstars, will enable young innovators pitch their ideas as well as offer business support for its participants through training, mentorship, and investor networking opportunities.
In a statement, the bank said the program is aimed at shaping the future of business in Africa, saying startups looking to participate in the program should be at the MVP stage with a full team and have raised no more than $75,000 in funding.
Additionally, they must operate within domains of retail, eCommerce, payments, lending, wellness, cybersecurity, EdTech, energy, AgriTech, entertainment, transport and logistics, and SMEs.
Commenting on the program, the Executive Director of Zenith Bank PLC, Temitope Fasoranti, said: “After witnessing the unparalleled impact and success of our previous collaboration with Seedstars, we’re thrilled to introduce Zecathon 3.0. Zenith remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering technological advancements in Nigeria. Our goal is to spotlight and uplift innovative startups that use technology to address modern-day challenges, steering us towards a brighter tomorrow.”
She added that winning participants will not only receive the cash prizes but will also gain invaluable pitch training, be part of a follow-on program, and access to Seedstars’ global network.
Also commenting, Rolake Rosijuli, Director for Partnership and Programs, Africa at Seedstars, said, “Zenith Bank’s dedication mirrors our own ambition for change. With Zecathon 3.0, we’re not just recognizing talent; we’re investing in Nigeria’s tech-driven future.”
The top prizes to be won by startups participating in the hackathon include:
1st Prize: N20m (Twenty million Naira) – plus an opportunity to pitch investors and access the Seedstars Mentorship Hub.
2nd Prize: N15m (Fifteen million Naira) – inclusive of a scholarship into the Seedstars mentorship hub.
3rd Prize: N10m (Ten million Naira) – complemented by a scholarship into the Seedstars mentorship hub.
The subsequent 10 startups (4th – 10th) will each be granted a participatory prize of N2m (Two million Naira).
Startups interested in participating in the hackathon can apply here on or before the 14th of November, 2023.
Recall of Foris Labs,an Anambra based Start-Up was took second position in the last tech competition by Zenith Bank