Two Nigerian startups have emerged winners in the final awards at #LEAP2023 to strengthen the country’s position as the leading startup hub on the continent.

Nigeria participated in six categories; and won two out of the six globally categorized pitches while taking the 2nd spot in another category. Each winner has $150,000 in their kitty to boost their startup vision among other supports that include mentorship and early exposure to wider markets.

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Sponsored by Digital Cooperation Organisation, the Nigerian team to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was led by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Prof Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami.

Meet the Nigerian winners

  1. The Into the World Award Winner (Prize – USD150,000)

Wicrypt is an innovative tech startup decentralising internet availability globally. The startup has a custom OS and hardware that allows users to share data with people around them and charge affordable rate helping to provide internet access to unserved and underserved communities.


  1. The Tech for Humanity Award Winner (Prize – USD150,000)

RiceAfrika Technologies is a tech driven agric optimisation startup that deploys IoT enabled harvester and it’s FARMEasy mobile app for smallholder farming communities in Africa. RiceAfrika believes Africa can feed itself and also feed the world.






And the 2nd spot


A global stage for startups

About 90 global startups fought for the chance to be one of the 15 nascent businesses selected to pitch before a judging panel consisting of Shark Tank India’s Ghazal Alagh, Baroness Karren Brady, aide to The Apprentice’s Alan Sugar, Saudi angel investor Tala Al Jabri, and Dragon’s Den stars James Caan and Steven Bartlett.

LEAP23 is touted as the world’s most visionary and valuable technology event with a prize purse of US$1.54 million for winning-startups. The event hosted a raft of global celebrities and tech industry luminaries ranging from music icon will.i.am and FIFA World Cup winner Carles Puyol to Amin H Nassr, CEO of Aramco, and Jae Sook Evans, Chief Information Officer at Oracle.

LEAP23 held from February 6-9 at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Conference Centre and hosted the inaugural LEAP Rocket Fuel Startup Pitch Challenge, powered by Saudi Arabia’s National Technology Development Programme (NTDP). The initiative is a collaboration between the Kingdom’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), the MiSK Foundation, and NTDP.

Pantami makes case for global collaboration at DCO

Pantami, who led the Nigerian delegation to LEAP23, made a case for collaborative strategies and initiatives to achieve digitalization across global economies at the member states conference of the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO), an important feature of LEAP23.

The minister also held series of strategic meetings with top officials of other countries including with Deputy Minister for Future Jobs & Capabilities, Saudi Arabia, Faris AlSaqabi and with the Deputy Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Mr. Tomas Lamanauskas on bridging the digital divide between the developed and developing countries.


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