From Judex Okoro, Calabar

An undergraduate of University of Calabar, Janet Odey, 23, has emerged winner of 2021 Nigerian Students Ventures Prize, worth N1.5 million.

Janet would also represent Nigeria in the 2022 University Startup World Cup to be hosted in Denmark with $15,000 as grand prize

Besides, Janet, a radiography student from northern Cross River State, has been selected alongside four others to enjoy a postgraduate scholarship.

Ten thousand Nigerian university students all over the country submitted their creative business ideas to Edugist, the Lagos-based organisers, and 19 of them were selected to defend and elaborate on their ideas in Calabar.

The first edition was held in 2019. This is the second edition and the third edition will be held next year.

The best four ideas were adjudged by international business experts as saleable and won the million lion prize.

The second prize of N1 million went to Iheanacho Chihazie of Babcock University in Osun State.

Daniel Balmun from National Open University, Jos Study campus, whose idea was on how to ‘borrow light’, got the third prize of N500,000.

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However, the sponsors decided on the spot to create another category called ‘Social Impact’ for the business idea. And  Comfort Omiyale of Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, won the category with cash prize of N1 million.

Two other finalists who won instant contracts from the sponsors were Isaac Ayuba of Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, and Akpainyang Precious Saviour from the University of Calabar while consolation prizes of N50,000 went to other finalists.

Speaking earlier, the principal partner of Edugist, Elvis Boniface, expressed gratitude to their sponsors, Africa Plus Partners and V-Bank, University of Sussex, AfriInvest, Windsworth Hostels Calabar and Pension Fund Operators Association of Nigeria for their involvement.

He said: “We started the Nigerian students venture prize in 2019. We are giving students across the country the opportunity to showcase creativity, innovation and explore ideas. This is the second edition and its being amazing.

“This second edition is better than that of 2019. We assure you the third edition next year will be more elaborate.”

Speaking shortly after receiving the award, Odey said: “I feel really excited to be announced as the winner of this competition.

“I pitched my ideas on what i described as virtual mart, which is a digital agricultural market for food fit for human consumption.

“What we do is to connect small holders farmers to the ready market, in order to sell their food at a subsidised rate and make quick returns.”