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How GSE Partnered with Forbes Magazine to Host the First Digital Accelerator in Nigeria

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By Christine Ntim

The year 2020 is filled with unprecedented occurrences. It is during these times that institutions must truly define their values authentically and whole heartedly. The 100+ year old organization, Forbes Magazine has done just that with this historic launch.

As a pillar in business entrepreneurship, wealth and success, Forbes Magazine sought to support businesses during this time with a fully sponsored multi week digital accelerator program. The program sparked much engagement within the Nigerian landscape and has become a model case study for other countries to rally its tech ecosystem virtually online.

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About: Forbes to host the 1st Nigeria Summit (Virtual 2020 Edition)

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This is the 1st Forbes’ Nigeria Summit on June 25, 2020 (12pm-3pm EST) – Online, culminates its 1st ever Nigeria Accelerator Program for entrepreneurs and startups. The Forbes Nigeria Summit will feature 10+ iconic speakers/mentors, 100 global partners, and 50,000+ digital entrepreneurs and influencers from across Nigeria and its diaspora. Check out the video replay on Forbes.com.

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It is an initiative sponsored by Forbes Magazine in partnership with the Global Startup Ecosystem to support business resilience in Africa during this Covid-19 pandemic.The program is free and open to all entrepreneurs, investors and influencers with an interest in the future of Nigeria. Come network with the leaders of Nigeria’s Tech and Business community.

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Demo day will take place featuring the top 10 startups from the cohort. These companies competed to present their company at this week’s summit and galvanized 62,000 votes from their community. 

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About the Forbes Digital Startup Accelerator (Nigeria Edition)

The Forbes Digital Startup Accelerator (Nigeria Edition) program is a sponsored 4 weekdigital training to help businesses build and scale their companies for the future. Forbes is looking for experienced companies who are ready to scale and opened the application to all small businesses, startups, and freelancers. The program is free. No equity ask. No obligation. Accepted companies will have access to $100k in free credits and perks from AWS, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud. 

Over 5000 companies applied for the program within 2 weeks. 200+ companies were selected and you can find the shortlist of companies selected here. The program was supported by 100+ partners. You can find features and other network announcements here. During the 4 week accelerator, 40+ speakers were welcomed from the startup, investor, corporate and government community to share their expertise, resources and insights. 

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Top speakers for the accelerator program included the following: 

  1. Tom Davis Chief Growth Officer at Forbes 
  2. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard United States Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Nigeria
  3. Einstein Ntim Managing Partner at the Africa Future Fund
  4. Christine Ntim Chief Marketing Officer at Global Startup Ecosystem  
  5. Liz Walsh VP of Marketing at Forbes 
  6. Connor Davis Sales Development Representative at Forbes
  7. Parag Tolia VP of Business Operations at Forbes 
  8. Mary Baru Vice President, Content Strategy & Operations, Growth Team at Forbes
  9. Will Delehanty Senior Manager Demand Generation at Forbes
  10. Chike Ukaegbu CEO@Startup52, UN MIPAD Hall of Fame, Chief Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Advocate, Ex-Presidential Candidate@Nigeria
  11. Ty Heath Global Lead, B2B Institute @ LinkedIn
  12. Aisha Taylor Community Engagement & Partnerships | Google
  13. John-Paul Iwuoha LinkedIn Top Voice/ Founder & CEO at Smallstarter Africa
  14. Josephine Nzerem Director, Venture and Talent, Ashoka Africa
  15. Onajite Emerhor Head, Google for Startups Accelerator Africa & WomenTechmakers SSA at Google
  16. Ryan Foland Digital Speaker and Brand Consultant
  17. Busie Matsiko-Andan Global Strategy Consultant at Pont Global
  18. David Steinacker Head of SSA, Online Partnerships Group, Emerging Markets at Google 
  19. Dr Anino Emuwa FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR Avandis Consulting/ Strategy Coach Cartier Women’s Initiative
  20. Ibukun Onitiju Head of Digital, Nestlé Central & West Africa
  21. Olufunbi Falayi Passion Incubator (PI) is a technology incubator and accelerator with expertise in technology product investments.
  22. Dr Are AbdulHafiz Chief Executive Officer at The SmartHUB Nigeria
  23. UwemUwemakpan Lagos Chapter Director Startup Grind
  24. Wole Odetayo Co-Founder/Executive Director- http://wennovationhub.com/
  25. Chinedu Enekwe Co-Founder at Stealth Early Stage Growth Venture Fund
  26. Lexi Novitske Principal, Investment Officer – Acuity Venture Partners
  27. Maya Horgan Famodu Founder & Partner at Ingressive Capital
  28. Bunmi Akinyemiju CEO Venture Garden Group 
  29. Collins Nnabugwu Special Envoy, State of African Diaspora
  30. Gary Whitehill Global Transformation Maverick/ Future Sub-Saharan Africa
  31. Mimshach Obioha Executive Director at Ventures Platform Foundation
  32. Tito Ovia Co-Founder/Head of Growth at Helium Health
  33. Faiz Bashir CEO at FlexiSAF 
  34. Jennifer Foltz Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Department of State- Nigeria 
  35. Marcus Damas Founder, Fueled by Culture
  36. Marcus Noel Founder, ICON
  37. Michael Akindele Startup Advisor | Digital Transformation Specialist
  38. Jhonson Napoleon Social Media Influencer
  39. Cherae Robinson CEO, Tastemakers Africa
  40. Gary Whitehill Global Transformation Maverick/ Future Sub-Saharan Africa
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In the end, we welcomed an supportive ecosystem of 61,000 voters, 5000  applicants, 200 cohort companies, 100 ecosystem partners, and 50 global speakers. GSE has the longest track record in digital accelerators and pioneered the concept several years ago. We are proud to continue this mission of preparing individuals and communities for the digital age.

About Forbes Magazine: The defining voice of entrepreneurial capitalism, Forbes champions success by celebrating those who have made it, and those who aspire to make it. Forbes convenes and curates the most-influential leaders and entrepreneurs who are driving change, transforming business and making a significant impact on the world. The Forbes brand today reaches more than 120 million people worldwide through its trusted journalism, signature LIVE events, custom marketing programs and 40 licensed local editions in 70 countries. Forbes Media’s brand extensions include real estate, education and financial services license agreements.

About Global Startup Ecosystem: Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE): is the world’s first digital accelerator and leads today as one of the largest digital ecosystem development platforms. With a mission to educate, inspire and prepare individuals and organizations for the digital age, GSE brings together both private and public stakeholders to address humanity’s greatest challenges via exponential technologies and entrepreneurship. GSE is now the fastest growing tech and business community with an online network that accelerates 1000+ companies a year across 90+ countries and an offline network that supports 75,000+ global delegates a year via its iconic tech summits. This evolving tech community is now a source of tech talent for the remote workforce of the future; accelerating people into the fastest growing tech startups and corporate career networks.


Ntim is the Chief Marketing Officer at Global Startup Ecosystem and Forbes30Under30Entrepreneur


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