Empowering EV Entrepreneurs

Microsoft Nigeria, in partnership with Get Funded Africa, recently hosted an electrifying event at the Microsoft African Development Centre (MSADC) in Lagos: an electric vehicle (EV) hackathon. Designed to ignite innovation and creativity, this hackathon brought together Nigerian startups and innovators aiming to transform the country's EV landscape.

Spotlight on Innovation: Winners of the EV Hackathon

The hackathon showcased remarkable talent, with three standout startups clinching the top prizes:

1. Trekscotters (1st Place – N3 Million): Led by Esther Ehindero, Trekscotters introduced an IoT platform enabling convenient access to electric scooters, catering to university students and residents in densely populated areas.

2. Helgg (2nd Place – N1.5 Million): Founded by Johnson Jaiyeola, Helgg offers eco-friendly transportation solutions through app-based electric scooter rentals, targeting estates and university campuses.

3. Celloop (3rd Place – N500,000): Spearheaded by Lolade Alonge, Celloop focuses on responsible battery management, recycling end-of-life batteries for efficient reuse, a critical aspect of EV sustainability.

Insights from Industry Experts

Esteemed judges, including Temitope Edun and Samuel Ahanor, shared invaluable insights. Edun emphasized MSADC's pivotal role in fostering Nigerian innovation, while Ahanor underscored the importance of anticipating future government regulations in the expanding EV industry. Nkem Nweke, Innovation Lead at NADDC, commended participants for their contributions to shaping an e-mobility landscape "for Africans and by Africans."

Helgg: Redefining Micro-Mobility Solutions

Helgg, a winning startup, exemplifies Nigeria's response to urban transportation challenges. Co-founders Johnson Jaiyeola, Oreoluwa Oluwafemi, and Paul Jaiyeola identified a niche in Nigeria's transportation infrastructure and devised electric scooter rentals for "last-mile" needs in communities like estates and university campuses.

Innovative Approach to Urban Mobility

Operating outside stringent regulations, Helgg collaborates with communities, sharing transaction revenues. Safety remains paramount, with investments in designated lanes and informative signage. Their app-based rental system ensures user convenience, with plans to expand into electric bicycles and eventually an Uber-like model for electric cars, aiming to revolutionize public transportation.

A Promising Future for Nigerian EVs

Microsoft's EV hackathon signals Nigeria's potential in the clean energy sector. With trailblazing startups like Trekscotters, Helgg, and Celloop leading the charge and unwavering support from MSADC and NADDC, Nigeria is poised to build a sustainable and efficient electric vehicle ecosystem, driving innovation and prosperity.