BusinessDay

Hacklab Foundation partners Blueafric Media on Hacklab Hackathon Nigeria 2022

As the tech community in Nigeria continues to grow large, different initiatives have been taken to ensure further advancement in the sector. One of the initiatives is Hacklab Hackathon, the biggest hackathon in Nigeria, whose 2022 edition was set in the massive socio-geographical area, Lagos.

The Hacklab Hackathon Nigeria 2022, organised by the Hacklab Foundation, an international non-profit organisation headquartered in Ghana, attracted over 800 participants representing the 36 states in Nigeria, a 100 percent growth from the 400+ participants in the 2021 edition.

The event was held from June 10-12, 2022, at the Africa FinTech Foundry, Victoria Islands,Lagos, under the theme, “Accelerating Artificial Intelligence & Big Data Through Edge Computing”, and Blueafric Media, one of the most prominent advertisements, communications, and multimedia agencies in Nigeria, was in the vanguard of media and communication affairs at the event.

With the influence of the media, Blueafric Media aided Hacklab Foundation’s vision to focus on preparing the youths for future digital jobs through technology education and skills development. Christian Brain Okoli, chief of operations, Blueafric Media, was also one of the speakers at the event, who, while speaking to the attendees, emphasised that he was a big believer in partnerships.

He also added that one of the goals of Blueafric Media was to work with different brands and tell their stories to gain market equity.

“Tech is the future. I can attest to this, but the position I am taking on tech is from the storytelling perspective. Most of the African products are not dominating the African tech ecosystem, but the entry of Blueafric Media into tech is to discover and partner with innovative tech platforms to help them gain market equity. We have the resources and manpower. All we need is a unique product,” Okoli said.

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He then concluded that Blueafric Media will help the companies and platforms that will emerge from the hackathon to tell stories that will position their brand as innovative in the global market.

The teams that participated in the hackathon were given a platform to exhibit their innovative products and solutions, with the average participant being 20 years old. Foster Awintiti Akugri, president of Hacklab Foundation, communicated, “They were tasked to develop solutions that address unique problems in Nigeria using big data, artificial intelligence, and edge computing.

Nigeria is known for its unique problems, and so is it known for its enormous market size/opportunities, budding tech ecosystem/talents, and becoming a home for investments. This hackathon is clear evidence of the rise of the tech community in Nigeria and we hope to do more in contributing to increasing youth participation in such skilled development programmes and breed a generation of solutionists”.

The teams went through several stages of assessment that included idea validation, pitch deck review, code assessment, and non-technical judging (grand finale stage pitch). At the end of the assessment, 12 teams qualified for the pitching stage after the code review process with SafeKids (an edge-based facial recognition system used to track kids while they are in school and keep their parents apprised through SMS alerts) emerging winner. PheraCAM (A live facial recognition AI camera used in public places to detect threats and unregistered faces) and EduScore (An edge-powered student App used to manage student information access, registration, exams, and scores) finished as first and second runners-up respectively.

Other speakers at the event included Nigerian industry experts; Lawumi Fajemirokun, executive director, Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation; Sean Burrowes, COO of Ingressive for Good; Mayowa Adeoti, senior business program manager, EMEA, Microsoft; Kenechukwu Egbue, program manager, Oladele Fajemirokun Foundation; Gbenga Onalaja, head of marketing at Kora, Haneefah, Abdurrahman Lekki; and from Ghana, Henry Badger, Agile Consultant; Sedem Balfour, Ecosystem Manager, Hacklab Foundation; and Klenam Fiadzoe, Growth & Innovation, The Tomorrow Breed.

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