Two Nigerian startups, HelpMum and Utiva have emerged among the winners of the 2020 Facebook Community Accelerator programme.
HelpMum and Utiva, together with WomEng (South Africa) and Mental360 (Kenya) were the 4 winning startups selected from 12 Sub-Saharan Africa participants that pitched before a panel of judges at the virtual demo days.
The six-month global accelerator brought together 77 community leaders from six regions – Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Middle East North Africa, Latin America, North America and Asia Pacific.
24 winners were selected in all, with four (4) startups chosen from each of the six regions represented.
HelpMum and Utiva as well as other winners will each receive $25,000 in funding to scale their solutions in their region’s target communities.
Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Alumnus, Dr Adereni Abiodun founded Ibadan-based healthtech, HelpMum in 2017. HelpMum leverages mobile technology to reduce the mortality rate among pregnant women and infants before, during and after delivery.
HelpMum provides an e-learning platform to train community birth attendants in their indigenous languages. It also provides a vaccination tracking system where expectant mothers in targeted remote areas are registered to encourage immunisation for their babies.
The startup works to ensure safe and hygienic delivery among pregnant women in rural and underserved communities through the distribution of affordable birth kits including cleansed gloves, antiseptic soaps, sterilised delivery mats and maternity pads.
HelpMum has so far worked with over 20,000 pregnant women and nursing mothers as well as more than 500 healthcare workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the startup donated 10,000 face masks to pregnant women, nursing mothers as well as traditional birth attendants in rural health centres.
In terms of previous funding, HelpMum received a $250,000 grant in 2018 as one of the Google Impact Challenge winners. It later won a $5,000 grant from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Founded in 2017 by Edtech Entrepreneur, Eyitayo Ogunmola, Utiva is a tech talent developer digitalizing technology education across Africa.
Chevening Scholar and MIT Entrepreneur, Eyitayo started Utiva as a platform to boost premium digital skills acquisition among Nigerians and connect them to leading global employers in the tech ecosystem.
With expert instructors, Utiva trains tech talents through live virtual classes in courses including Data Analysis, Product Management, Digital Marketing, Artificial Intelligence and UI/UX Design.
The startup has so far trained over 7,000 professionals across 12 digital schools and worked with more than 350 hiring partners.
Utiva has raised a total of $58,000 in funding since it began operations in 2017.
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