A new startup accelerator has been launched in Lagos, Nigeria. Launched by Honeywell Group, a leading Nigerian corporate, the new accelerator known as Itanna will also be the companies vehicle for investments.

Itanna will roll out four-month innovation programmes for tech-enabled Nigerian startups from its newly built Enterprise Factory in Lagos; with its pilot cohort of startups receiving USD $25,000 each in investment from Honeywell Group.

startup accelerator Nigeria Itanna
The team behind the new Nigerian startup accelerator, Itanna.

“Honeywell Group is entrepreneurial to its core - we have almost 50 years’ experience in building Nigerian businesses, across diverse sectors. As part of our wider portfolio, Itanna allows us to collaborate with the Nigerian tech ecosystem; we will invest patient capital into the startups we work with, and we will also provide world-class mentorship to enrich the business strategy of each cohort. As a corporate, we wanted to transform our approach and add dynamism to how we build our sector play. Itanna is the platform through which we can fulfill our mission to use enterprise to make our world better,” said Obafemi Otudeko, Executive Director at Honeywell Group’s.

Accelerating startups in Nigeria

Even before the visits of Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Sundar Pichai, Nigeria has always been seen as having the potential to be a powerhouse in Afrika as far as producing technology startups is concerned. Following this trend, several Nigerian technology startups have raised significant seed and post-seed funding rounds to help them expand beyond the borders of Nigeria.

“Itanna was conceived to be a place where Africa’s top talent can bring their ideas, visions, expertise, and resources to create a new wave of businesses that will ignite and stimulate economic growth across the country and the continent. We are thrilled to be joining an already busy and vibrant tech ecosystem, whilst adding our stamp and sharing decades of business experience. Itanna is a critical element of Honeywell Group’s innovation strategy and is well placed as we look towards building this future of tech-enabled businesses. The caliber of startups who applied to Itanna was striking, and we’re now excited to begin work with our inaugural cohorts,” said Tomi Otudeko, Head, Innovation, and Sustainability for Honeywell Group and Director of Itanna.

Itanna will launch with 4 startups as part of its initial cohort, namely:

  • Accounteer - providers of online accounting services for SMEs across Afrika

  • KoloPay - a cashless target savings mobile and web application.

  • Tradebuza - an online platform for managing and brokering commodities sourcing and outgrower scheme.

  • PowerCube - providers of the affordable power supply using renewable energy.

Chosen from over 200 applications, each startup will receive training and mentor from industry experts, as well as the opportunity to pitch to Honeywell Group’s network of local and international investors at the company’s inaugural Demo Day, which will take place towards the end of 2018.


Cover image credit: The Itanna team with the first cohort of startups.