REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL: MAAUN Innovation Hub Innovation Catalyst Program 2023

About The Innovation Hub

The Maryam Abacha American University of Nigeria (MAAUN) Innovation Hub under the Institute of Africa Higher Education Research & Innovation (IAHERI) is excited to announce the launch of the Innovation Catalyst Program, an unparalleled opportunity for early-stage startups and innovative projects to ignite their journey towards success.

Our innovation incubator is committed to nurturing groundbreaking ideas, providing mentorship, resources, and networking to transform promising concepts into thriving ventures.

Who can participate

Teams of 3-8 made up of

  • Students and Young Innovators
  • Local Entrepreneurs and Startups

Supported by

  • Faculty Members and Researchers
  • Industry Professionals and Investors

Key Expectations

Participants are expected to commit to the program, engage with mentors and peers, actively refine their business models, and demonstrate measurable progress.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Projects/start-ups must be based in Kano.
  2. Proposals should present a clear and feasible concept with potential for positive impact and scalability.
  3. Applicants must provide a comprehensive plan outlining project goals, methodology, timeline, budget, and expected outcomes.

Support Available:

Expert Mentorship: Gain insights from industry experts, experienced entrepreneurs, and mentors who have successfully navigated startup challenges.

Networking Opportunities: Establish connections with potential partners, collaborators, and investors to accelerate growth.

Resource Access: Access to state-of-the-art facilities, tools, and resources essential for startup development.

The Challenge

In an ever-evolving landscape, the challenge lies in turning innovative ideas into sustainable and impactful ventures. We are here to guide startups and projects towards overcoming this challenge through focused mentorship and support.

Focus Areas

Healthcare Innovation for Improved Access and Affordability

Here are some of the key challenges that healthcare innovation can address:

  • Limited Access to Medical Services
  • Scarce Medical Infrastructure
  • High Maternal and Child Mortality Rates
  • Infectious Diseases and Epidemics
  • Healthcare Financing and Affordability
  • Health Information Disparities
  • Logistical Challenges

Social Impact and Community Development:

Here are some of the key challenges that demand innovative solutions in the realm of social impact and community development:

  • Poverty and Socioeconomic Disparities:
  • Limited Women’s Empowerment:
  • Refugee and Displaced Population Support:
  • Education Disparities:
  • Cultural Preservation and Integration:
  • Community Engagement and Participation:
  • Job Creation and Economic Opportunities:

E-commerce and Digital Marketplace Solutions

Here are some of the key challenges that innovative e-commerce and digital marketplace solutions can help overcome;

  • Limited Access to Markets:
  • Logistical Challenges:
  • Lack of Digital Presence:
  • Secure Payment Systems:
  • Marketplace Fragmentation:
  • Access to Financing:
  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity:

Timetable & Deliverables


All successful project teams, regardless of the focus area they are responding to, will be expected to participate in the following stages of work:

Aug 23, 2023

Challenge Launch

Sept 6, 2023

Deadline for Submission

Sept 8, 2023

Shortlisting of Teams

Sept 10, 2023

Screening and Interviews

Sept 13, 2023

Teams Are Notified



Selected teams attend onboarding sessions and get familiarised with the incubator.

Teams are trained on various topics such as Ideation, Teams, Market Research, Customer development – (incl interviews, customer archetype landing pages), Revenue & Business Models, Mastering Pitch Decks, Mentor Idea Review sessions, Accounting, Legal & Equity, Go-to-Market & Scaling

Teams are trained in refining their prototypes and building prototypes for further testing and iterative development.

Funded founders present their solutions and companies to an audience  of investors and other stakeholders, including the press.

Participants receive ongoing support including Coaching and Technical Support.


Deadline: 6 September 2023 at 23:59 WAT

Apply via Google Forms:

Please note that you may be required to sign in your Gmail to access the form.

any questions?

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