Ventures Platform and the Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) have announced their partnership to find tech-enabled solutions addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

Under this partnership, Ventures Platform—an Africa-wide network that support entrepreneurs and innovators—and LASRIC will be providing funding and rapid operational assitance to the selected teams and startups alongside other partners, including LoftyInc, ACIOE, Wennovation, Flutterwave, AGS Tribe, SilverChip Consulting, Bluechip Technologies, IROKOtv, Lakunle Runsewe, Manasseh Egedegbe, and Facebook.

Out of the many applications received for the #COVID19InnovationChallenge, which ended on Monday, six projects will be selected and they will receive $2,000 (₦734,000) equity-free grant with opportunity for further funding, as well as access to virtual workspace and mentorship from top health, business and technology leaders in Africa. Some of the mentors are Rebecca Enonchong, Alexis Roman, O.O Nwoye, Seun Onigbinde, Titi Akinsanmi, Dr Ola Brown, Dr Ifeanyi Nsofor, Dr Ebi Ofrey, and Dr Femi Kuti.

Related Article: Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council partners CcHUB to support COVID-19 projects

"We are especially pleased to welcome on board LASRIC as a partner; challenges like the one we are currently faced with will only be solved through a proactive and dynamic collaboration between the private and public sectors," Kola Aina, Founder of Ventures Platform, said.

Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus, we really do not have a moment to lose, which is why we are grateful to have assembled such a talented and influential group of programme partners and mentors, as we look to move on this very quickly.

Our partners, like us, understand the need for action today. We know the talent is out there, now our job is to provide an enabling environment as well as access to mentors and funding so that our chosen companies and innovators can focus on building the best solutions for this big challenge in support of the NCDC and other actors.

—Kola Aina, Founder of Ventures Platform

Speaking on the partnership, Olatunbosun Alake, Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State, said: "The Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council is partnering with Ventures Platform as we look to solve issues around the current COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that the State tackles issues around the pandemic in areas such as tracking, managing and solving related problems even for various health issues at large."

We believe that this partnership and the Venture Platforms’ stellar record in delivering such projects, the breadth of their technology and business networks, will help us source a number of products and services that will help vast swathes of our population stay healthy and protected. We also believe that what works here in Lagos will help the rest of Africa.

—Olatunbosun Alake, Special Adviser on Innovation and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State