Winners have emerged in the 2022 Financial Inclusion for All Hackathon competition held during the Nigeria Association of Computing Students (NACOS) national conference at Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State from August 16-18, 2022.
Financial Services Innovators (FSI), a non-profit organisation committed to discovering tech talents in tertiary institutions and enabling start-ups within the technology and financial services space, organised the hackathon challenge in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), NIBSS, GDG Lagos, Flourish, AXA Mansard, and Yellow Cowries.
Team ATBU defeated eight other contestants to emerge winner and smiled to the bank with a whopping N1 million, while the 1st runner-up, Team Sauki Health went away with N750,000, and the 2nd runner-up, Team BetaLife pocketing N500, 000.
Team ATBU won with Tickety, an innovative trip-booking platform for people with or without the Internet. Team Sauki pitched an online/offline app aimed at providing health services for Nigerians, while Team BetaLife presented a Blood Bank app that addresses the challenges of blood donation in the country. Other winners of the competition included Locapay, Digi Clinic, Trowpass, Rocket, Safepay, and Dono. They all went home with consolation prizes of N100,000 each.
According to the Executive Director, FSI, Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, the hackathon challenge is borne out of her desire to groom young talents in technology. “We believe that once we start grooming young talents in technology, we’ll be able to create employment opportunities. We also want to change the narrative. We have seen youngsters coming out of Nigeria doing great stuff like Flutterwave, Paystack etc., but there is still a lot to do. What the young innovators need is support. So, we are providing them with the ladder to grow and achieve their goals and dreams. That’s exactly what we are doing with this Financial Inclusion for All Hackathon challenge,” she submitted.
Welcoming the participants to Chrisland University, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. (Mrs) Chinedum Peace Babalola, who was represented by Prof. Temidayo Akinbola, not only wished them a successful deliberation but also implored the visitors to explore the many tourist attractions in the ancient city.
NACOS president, Olamilekan Abolade, in his opening remarks emphasized the uniqueness of this year’s conference, saying it was put together to discover the power of revitalizing the economy through technology.
“One of the highlights of the event is the innovation challenge in which we have partnered with Financial Services Innovators (FSI) to make it yet another best in the history of the association,” he stated.
Prof. Adesina Sodiya, President of Nigeria Computer Society, thanked FSI for organising the event and lending its support to NACOS. On his part, keynote speaker, Prof. Olumide Longe, Dean & Head of School, Faculty of Computational Sciences & Informatics, Academic City University, Accra, Ghana, challenged the young scholars to come up with computing innovations that will have a positive impact on Nigeria and across the world. “Crisis is a breeding ground for innovation. Therefore, what you need to fire your innovation is illumination,” he posited.
Derek Nwafor moderated the hackathon while Eniola Boluogun, Gbolahan Alli, Binta Moustapha, and FSI’s Advisory Board member, Wole Odetayo, served as judges. According to Odetayo, the winners and participants should continue to innovate and not rest on their oars.
Speaking shortly after his team emerged as the overall winner, ATBU’s leader, Divine Owoyemi, expressed gratitude to FSI for providing the platform to showcase their talents. “We are all Computer Science students of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi. We travelled from Kaduna to participate in the hackathon competition. We won because we came up with something that nobody has done before. We are excited to win, and we thank FSI for giving us the platform to showcase our talents,” he said.
About 74 teams from 28 states spread over the six geo-political zones of Nigeria registered for the hackathon competition. However, 12 teams were shortlisted to pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges at the grand finale. The teams developed technological applications to solve real-life problems in suburban communities.