Nigerian startup, Grant Master, has won the award for best pitch at the recently held Global Investment Summit (GIS) that concluded the 2020 GSE digital accelerator program.

The grant writing startup was the only West African startup to make it to the finals despite hundreds of applicants coming in through the first stage. Earlier this year, Grant Master had hosted a masterclass on grant writing.

The Global Investment Summit is one of the world’s largest digital accelerators, supporting over 1,000 companies from 90 countries. The summit is hosted by the Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE) and focuses on 7 key regions - Africa, America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The GSE digital accelerator program is typically open to small businesses, startups, and freelancers to apply.  Every year, 100 companies from every region are selected to take part in the investment summit. The startup accelerator is free to apply for, and all finalists get perks worth $250,000 from the organization’s partners.

Read: Four Nigerian Startups to watch from Q3 2020

Grant Master is a grant writing agency that aims to connect ambitious organisations in need of debt-free and equity-free funding with the top 5% of grant writers. The company’s pitch at the Global Investment Summit had a rocky start due to poor network reception.

Despite pitching last and having to deal with poor reception, Grant Master CEO and cofounder, Gbenga Ogunbowale, delivered an impressive presentation on the company and its unique role in the Nigerian business ecosystem.

Funding is one of the most pressing problems that Nigerian entrepreneurs face. Grants are an ideal solution to the funding problem, as loans are expensive, and equity is hard to find. Grants can, however, be complicated to apply for. Business grants typically get hundreds of applicants, meaning they are very competitive. Grant sponsors also create steep application conditions to ensure that the funding only goes to the most deserving companies.

Also read: 80% of Nigerian startups have less than six months of cash left says Endeavor, Stears

Grant Master says its aim is to make applying for funding as easy as buying a cup of coffee. The company matches organisations with professional grant writers that can help them achieve their goals of finding equity-free and interest-free funding. It prides itself in being the first B2B marketplace for grant writers anywhere in the world

The agency started officially in August 2020 with 18 writers and 13 paying clients. Its minimum viable product (MVP), the Grant Master Website, was launched in October with 54 grant writers on board. In that same month of October, the startup’s grant writers won $15,0000 for three clients. Altogether, Grant Master claims its onboarded writers have been able to win $4.5 million in grants.

At the Digital Accelerator finals, Grant Master went up against 17 startups from countries across the world, including the USA and UK. For winning the best pitch, the company wins access to $250,000 in perks from Google Cloud, SendGrid, IBM cloud, AWS, Digital Ocean, Zendesk & Hubspot. The startup is bullish on the future and hopes to grow to serve 600+ clients over the next 12 months.

You can watch the award winning pitch here.

Cover image courtesy F6S