Access Bank’s Africa Fintech Foundry awards $10,000 prize to startup

17 May 2019
Financial Nigeria


Gricd Frij, a cold chain startup, emerged as the winner of Africa Fintech Foundry’s startup pitch competition.

Herbert Wigwe, Group Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc

Africa Fintech Foundry (AFF), an initiative of Access Bank, has awarded $10,000 (approximately N3.6 million) to Gricd Frij, which emerged as the winner of AFF’s startup pitch competition. The prize money was given at the second edition of AFF’s Disrupt conference, which held on Thursday at the Landmark Centre in Victoria Island, Lagos.

Founded by Oghenetega Iortim, a graduate of Covenant University, Gricd Frij is an Internet of Things (IoT) startup, which has developed an affordable, portable and active cooling device for the storage of vaccines, blood and other temperature-sensitive products.

The 2019 Disrupt conference, themed, Digital Goldrush: Building a sustainable tech economy, convened over 4,000 delegates representing different sectors of the tech ecosystem. Notable speakers at the conference included Herbert Wigwe, Group CEO of Access Bank; Uzoma Dozie, former CEO of the now-defunct Diamond Bank; Bayo Adekanmbi, CTO of MTN Nigeria; Adia Sowho, Managing Director of Mines Nigeria; Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne, Segun Aina, Chairman of Fintech Association of Nigeria; Bunmi Akinyemiju, CEO of Venture Garden Group.

The event featured four masterclasses on blockchain, data analytics, digital payments and cybersecurity, and the role of agile in digital transformation. The co-founder of Element AI and former Chief Data Scientist of Facebook, Yann Lecun, gave a live presentation on artificial identity, deep learning and digital identity.

Delivering the keynote address, CEO of Moven, Brett King, who is also a futurist, said, “Technology is not only changing the world we live in but it is also moving much faster than before. In this era of rapid change, you either disrupt or get disrupted.”

King also commended the Nigerian banking and fintech industry for the different innovative solutions. He said, “Nigeria has a more efficient payment system than the United States.”

Other startups that pitched at the conference were Smart Teller – a digital banking platform for cooperatives; Kaoshi – a peer-to-peer currency exchange platform; Seso Global; and Trep Labs.

Led by Olusegun Adeniyi, AFF aims to nurture, fund and accelerate the growth of fintech startups in Africa through its mentorship and accelerators programmes and fast-track their growth and maturity to deliver relevant solutions.

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