The healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson, has announced that the two Nigerian startups, LifeBank and Crib A’Glow, as part of the six winning African businesses of the Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 at the 28th World Economic Forum (WEF) which held in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Champions of Science Africa Innovation Challenge is supported by Johnson & Johnson to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in Africa and the creation of healthcare solutions that address the critical unmet needs of the continent. The company, through the challenge, helps to bring the startups’ ideas to life and create meaningful change with long-term sustainability.
The Challenge received nearly 900 submissions from 39 countries, and the winning businesses and programs represent outstanding ingenuity and perseverance, as well as a pathway for scaling operations for long-term sustainability.
They offer bold, entrepreneurial approaches to tackling major healthcare priorities in African communities, including Blood Delivery, Healthcare Worker Burnout, Hearing Loss, Jaundice, Malaria and Ultrasound Access.
Johnson & Johnson announced a $300,000 investment in these six startups. The startups are
- LifeBank (Nigeria) _ Blood Delivery
- The Hope Initiative (Rwanda) _ Healthcare Worker Burnout
- Dreet (Botswana) _ Hearing Loss
- Crib A’Glow (Nigeria) _ Jaundice
- Uganics (Uganda) _ Malaria
- MScan (Uganda) _ Ultrasound
Along with the $300,000 award, the startups will receive extensive mentoring and connection network building, to support the expansion and sustainability of the companies and programs.
The Chief Scientific Officer and Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee, Johnson & Johnson, Dr Paul Stoffels, said, “We look forward to collaborating with and investing in them as they work to create sustainable businesses and programs that offer strong benefits to patients, families, healthcare workers and communities in markets across Africa and beyond”
The Head of Africa, WEF, Elsie Kanza further commented, saying, “The World Economic Forum is excited to partner in announcing the winners of the Africa Innovation Challenge 2.0 at this year’s congress, which is focused on Innovation, Cooperation, Growth and Stability, critical areas that the challenge embodies,
Each of the six winners brings a passion for innovation, a bold sense of purpose and a commitment to the future of their communities and the larger continent. By participation in our meeting, we hope that they will be able to gain knowledge, ideas and connections to help them take their business to the next level as well as inspire leaders to encourage and support future generations of innovators.”
The startups will each receive a yearlong mentorship and training in addition to $50,000 USD.