• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Organisers of MarkHack boost Nigerian startups with $20,000

Organisers of MarkHack boost Nigerian startups with $20,000

…Experts chart course for marketing beyond limit

Not less than ten startups have emerged winners, benefiting from a pool of $20,000, at the grand finale of the Markhack 3.0.

The event is one of Africa’s pioneering marketing communications and technology hackathon organized by the Eko Innovation Centre (EIC), in conjunction with the GDM Group and Brand Communicator.

All winners were part of the top ten teams that qualified for the grand finale of the event after a pitching process that lasted months.

The winning team was Team Chao; Second runners up winners was Team Converse AI; followed by first runners up, Team Market AI. Asides the cheques received by the top three winners, a breakdown shows that all teams get to benefit $10,000 in AWS credits, laptops for the winning teams, access to the EIC Accelerator Program valued at $10,000, and the opportunity for seed investment from partnering investors.

Speaking on the rationale behind Markhack, Victor Gbenga Afolabi, the convener and visionary behind MarkHack, explained, “at a time where the marketing and media landscape is rapidly evolving, staying ahead of the curve is essential for businesses and organizations.

The COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally altered the landscape of marketing, pushing businesses to adapt rapidly to new realities and accelerating the adoption of technology in unprecedented ways.”

According to him, the event which focused on four primary areas shaping the future of marketing – E-Commerce Evolution, AI-Driven Personalization, Blockchain for Business, and Localizing XR, had 2,733 registrations and 75 startups from 4 countries submitting their innovative solutions for evaluation.

The initiative featured 7 pre-conversation sessions with 17 industry experts, followed by a pitch event where startups presented their ideas to a panel of 19 selection jurors.

Read also: Top 16 African startups that raised funding in five months

The top 10 teams advanced to the Mentor’s Nest phase, receiving coaching and support from 15 assigned mentors who offered valuable insights on how startups could finetune their solutions and achieve the right product-market fit.

It was the process that culminated in a final pitch event where the 10 finalists presented their solutions to 7 final jurors, who selected the top three teams.

The judging panel, comprised of industry leaders and experts, evaluated the startups based on several key factors including market relatability, scalability, cost to serve, focus area relevance, competitor and business environment analysis, team traction, pitch delivery, and disruptiveness.

Earlier in the day, Markhack featured an inaugural conference with a focus on aligning with the times and finding tech-driven solutions to problems of the marketing communications industry which is projected to reach N605.2 billion by 2028 according to a PwC report and even more staggering projection of US$2 billion by 2025 according to the TEMPLARS Market Report.

Aptly themed “Beyond Limits: Unleashing Creativity With Emerging Tech,” the event brought together marketers, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts to drive innovation and address existing gaps in the industry.

Speaking earlier in a welcome address, Joshua Ajayi, Publisher of Brand Communicator and organizing Partner of the Markhack3.0 remarked that marketing and media is evolving at an unprecedented pace.

“Artificial intelligence, big data, immersive technologies – these are not just buzzwords, but real tools reshaping our industry landscape. Today, we’ll explore how these technologies are pushing us beyond the limits of traditional marketing and opening up new frontiers of engagement and creativity.”

Speaking on the partnership for Markhack 3.0, he remarked, “For over 15 years, we have been an integral part of the integrated marketing communications industry. Throughout this time, we have been fortunate to be part of numerous partnerships that span local, continental, and global spheres”.