…And We Have Our Sprint Scholarship Recipients!
At the start of this month, we announced a new initiative designed to offer support to two idea-stage startups in Nigeria by way of remote sprint scholarships from MINDcapital.
As we explained in this blog post, a sprint is a process that helps teams focus on any critical challenge and find solutions to it in a short amount of time. As the name implies, it prioritizes speed alongside the co-creation of solutions to solve a problem.
Our motivation for these sprint scholarships is to help idea-stage startups — those with developed concepts, a prototype, or a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) — to prioritize time and resources in finding answers to their most critical questions needed to de-risk their venture and increase their chances of success. In a world still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this pressure has even increased amidst a contracting economy and less available funding, meaning these startups need to show a path to profitability faster than before.
Over the course of two weeks, we received a total of 51 applications from startups all over the country spanning different sectors, at various startup stages and targeting different classes of customers. These were amazing and creative ideas that prove the maxim about talent being evenly distributed, but not opportunity.
We had specific criteria for the type of startups we were looking to work with for this scholarship: those targeting big problems that can potentially scale beyond Nigeria, with a committed and competent team able to effectively build, market, and scale tech products.
With this in mind, we screened the applications and have selected two startups who most closely fit our ideal scholarship recipients: LifeBox, an e-health startup focused on using mobile technology and behavioral science to help people prevent and manage chronic diseases; and Cyro, a startup that aggregates connected car data to enable businesses make better decisions.
We shall be working for two weeks with each of these startups to identify hat challenges to prioritize and to ideate and test solutions to them using our sprint methodology and applying business design tools.
Our goal is to bring these startups closer to being launch-ready by the end of the sprint and increasing their chances of success in a shorter amount of time.
But this is not all: we are also scheduling half-hour sessions for the other applicants to provide feedback on their ideas. This is because we believe that although they do not currently meet the description of our ideal startups, their ideas still have a lot of promise and we are invested in helping them succeed.
We are excited about what the coming weeks will bring, applying our knowledge and experience in solving the challenges faced by our scholarship recipients, and learning from each other.
We shall be keeping you updated.