Future Academy Africa has emerged the winner of Engineer Simon Agu Prize for Best Software Entrepreneur 2021.
The winners were announced at this year’s National Information Technology Merit Awards (NITMA) organised by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS).
However, the prize money (cheque) of N250,000 was officially received by Aboluwarin Olaoluwa David, founder of Future Academy Africa at ISPON office, Ikeja – Lagos with attendance from the finalists, ICT Journalists, the Agu/Neptune family and Institute of Software Practitioners in Nigeria (ISPON).
Speaking at the prize giving ceremony, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu, president of ISPON, lauded the lifetime achievement of the late Engr. Simon Agu who was the CEO of Neptune Software Group.
According to the ISPON President, Agu was a major catalyst for Nigeria’s ICT development ecosystem especially in driving significant cases for the use of indigenous software by government parastatals.
“In commemoration of his lifetime achievement and to continue his legacy in building indigenous software solutions in Nigeria, ISPON in conjunction with Neptune Software Group and his family, an annual startup innovation challenge was set up to award the best software entrepreneur in Nigeria.”
Also speaking on the prize, David Majomi, managing director, Neptune Software Group revealed that the whole process of selection, shortlisting and final picking of the winning startup was handled by ISPON.
On how Neptune will ensure that the prize won will make the right impact, Majomi said,
“So we are basically working with ISPON as it is the umbrella body that is projecting software in Nigeria.
We are behind them, working with them, and we believe they have been doing a great job and will continue to do more.
They are pushing at various levels for local software to be recognized. Even the content policy of today is actually the handwork of ISPON.
What ISPON is doing is to encourage startups to be able to project whatever they come up with and by this projection, I believe, and anybody who wins it may succeed.”
As explained by the MD, winning the award in the first place shows that the individuals have put in so much effort into what they are doing, thus they will definitely succeed.
Aboluwarin Olaoluwa David, the winner of the Simon Agu Prize for Best Software Entrepreneur 2021 expressed his delight on the prize award as he explained why he started his edtech startup.
“I started reaching out to kids independently, my friends training them to code, and it was impactful. So we found the structure called Future Academy Africa, where we teach user experience design, data science, artificial intelligence, and mobile software development. We groom them from junior level, through executive and professional level and then place them for jobs locally and internationally.”
Photos from the NITMA presentation:
As explained by David, the startup trains kids in schools during the summer holidays, while also training graduates from Secondary school and higher institutions on a regular basis.
Future Academy Africa is a Virtual Training System that has been operational since 2016, however, it also operates a physical campus and according to David, the startup trained over 2000 individuals.