A 23-year-old front-end developer and a radiography student of University of Calabar, Janet Odey, has qualified to represent Nigeria at next year’s University Startup World Cup in Denmark which grand prize is $15,000.
For her to qualify for the global students meet, Odey from northern Cross River State won this year’s Nigerian Students Ventures Prize worth N1.5m held in Calabar at the weekend.
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Odey has also been selected alongside four other best performing to enjoy a postgraduate scholarship.
She was one of the 19 out of 10,000 Nigerian university students all over the country selected to pitch their business ideas before a panel of international business jurists and entrepreneurs.
The event was organized by an educational consultancy firm, Edugist, based in Lagos.
Receiving the top prize, Odey exclaimed:. “I feel really excited to be announced as the winner of this competition.
She pitched her ideas on what she described as Virtual Mart, which is a digital agricultural market for food fit for human consumption.
“What we do is to connect small holders farmers to the ready market, in order to sell their food at a subsidized rate and make quick returns,” she said.
The second prize of N1m went to Iheanacho Chihazie of Babcock University in Osun State.
Daniel Balmun from National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Jos Study campus, whose idea was on how to ‘borrow light’ got the third prize of N500,000.00.
The sponsors decided on the spot to create another category called Social Impact for the business idea from
Comfort Omiyale of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode Ogun state, smiled away with N1m for the social impact category.
Two other finalists, Isaac Ayuba of Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, and Akpainyang Precious Saviour from the University of Calabar, won contracts from the sponsors of the event, while consolation prizes of N50,000 went to other finalists.
Principal partner of Edugist, Elvis Boniface expressed gratitude to their sponsors Africa Plus Partners and V-Bank, University of Sussex, AfriInvest, Windsworth Hostels Calabar and Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria for their involvement.
He assured that as the second edition is better than that of 2019 and the third edition next year will be more elaborate.
He said, “We started the Nigerian students venture prize in 2019. We are giving students across the country the opportunity to showcase creativity, innovation and explore ideas. This is the second edition and its being amazing.”