The Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge 2020



The world as we know it is rapidly changing and Lagos, projected to become the world’s largest megacity by 2100, already faces significant challenges despite its position as a regional economic hub. These challenges present significant opportunities for entrepreneurs who leverage innovative approaches to build solutions that solve critical issues that impact residents within the city. 

The Lagos Urban Innovation Challenge is designed to support the innovators and entrepreneurs who are shaping the Lagos of tomorrow. 

What does the future of Lagos look like and how does your solution make the city better for everyone, including those in informal urban slums?

Who can participate?

01 — Urban Focus

Your urban solution or startup must operate in or focus on Lagos. Your proposed urban solution could make the city better for the many, not just the few.

02 — Stage and Team

You must be an early stage startup/team with at least a minimum viable product. There is a preference for teams with a gender mix.

03 — Solution

You must be able to demonstrate a clear business model.

Why should you participate?

01 — Expanded Profile

The Challenge is a great opportunity to build your network, gain access to key decision makers and be recognized by the media.

02 — New Growth

The Challenge can open doors for strategic partnerships to scale your solutions more broadly.

03 — Inspiring Mission

The Challenge is an opportunity to solve critical urban challenges for others in your city.

What is an urban solution?

Any innovative solution that can make the city better for the many, not just the few.

Thematic areas

We’re interested in urban innovations across various themes that affect city life. All entries will be considered though we generally place solutions in these buckets. Wildcard solutions welcome.

  • Energy and Grid
  • Food, Waste & Water
  • Govtech and Civic Solutions
  • Transportation & Mobility
  • Built Environment & Real Estate
  • Infrastructure & Industry
  • Public Health & Safety

Prizes and benefits

More benefits to be announced in the near future.

Up to 12 semifinalists will:

  • Receive $10,000 in AWS Activate Credits valid for 2 years

Up to 6 finalists will:

  • Participate in Utopia’s virtual urban accelerator programme
  • Receive curated  access to equity funding opportunities
  • Receive curated access to relevant Lagos State government agencies
  • Be eligible for workspace vouchers from Lagos Innovates
  • Get access to Utopia’s global network of experts and partners
  • Get 6 months priority access to Utopia Lagos CITYLAB space at launch
  • Get access to Utopia Studio in Silicon Valley


31st May 2020

Note: While the challenge is designed to run virtually and any major impact of COVID-19 on the dates is not seen, there is the possibility of extending the application period to allow innovators respond to the emergence of new trends that might shape the future of cities.


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