Following a first round of pitching that qualified twelve teams to move on to the next stage: Gadease, Farmcred, EduPsyche and Dunalinks emerged winners in the Clean Power, Agricultural Accessibility, Education, Business Linkage categories respectively at the EmergOndo Policy and Solutions Hackathon.
After a stringent process, 26 teams took to the stage on Saturday, 8th of December, 2018 to win the heart of judges and investors before the winning teams were selected, going home with a cash prize of $1000 each and an added bonus of business support from the organisers.
The team lead for Gadease, Henry Ayodeji expressed excitement about the winning the Clean Energy category, adding that they would be going back to the drawing board to work on improving their solution to be market ready by the first quarter in 2019.
According to Adebowale Oparinu who focuses on Business Developement for the team, FarmCred is a data analytics solution that aims to improve rural farmers’ access to credit finance by helping them create credit profiles. “We collect their transactional data of credit history, revenue, yield and expenses to calculate their credit score with our special algorithm…And finally, both commercial and developmental banks will be able to give the right amount of loan to the right person, thereby, reducing the credit risk associated with agriculture”, he explained.
“Our policy recommendation focused on using the Grameen credit model that will allow farmers access credit resources using social capital of peer pressure as collateral not assets like houses, farms and co as it is at the moment. This recommendation, if adopted, will definitely help farmers in Ondo State contribute to the rapid growth of the state which is already on course”- FarmCred
For EduPsyche the focus is on the psychological wellbeing of students in public schools. In a chat with Zumalo.com, one of the team members, Simeon Babarinde emphasized that they had established a connection between the mental health of students and their performance in schools, hence they developed a system to monitor the psychological state of students in schools via a database that will be handled by the Guidance and Counseling unit. It can also be deployed for monitoring enrollment and performance.
“Our innovation aims to ensure a sane and secured societyfree of crime and decrease number people who dropout as a result of frustration. We are also working to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4—ensuring quality education that is accessible to both rich and poor in the society”- EduPsyche
The judges for the first round of pitching included; Prof Ayo Ajayi (Professor of Agriculture Engineering at Federal University of Technology, Akure), Wale Akinyemi (Business Expert), Malachi Toyo (Design Thinking Expert), Wale Adegoke (CEO AgroExchange) and Babajide Akeredolu (Technical Consultant at WorleyParsons & Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA)).
Dauntless Innovators, GSI, PowerUp, FarmSense, StemTutors, EduPsyche, Dunalinks, Footlight, FarmCred, Podra, FourthRev and Gadease emerged finalists before a team of judges including Ayo Sotunrin (SAO Capital), Chiemele Umeyiora (Regional Coordinator, Make-IT In Africa), Kitan David (Cofounder Planet NEST), Della Adejuyigbe (Managing Director, Serve Consulting) and Olusola Owonikoko (Executive Director, Stanforte Edge) chose the final winners.
The Ondo State Government is committed to supporting activities that drive growth, promote efficiency, target our people and most importantly foster Job Creation. We have made it a priority in the second half of our administration to bring into focus our SMEs especially those doing innovative projects that will help move the State to one of self sustainability and facilitate our moving away from the status quo. We congratulate all winners and are looking forward to supporting their growth and development.”
– Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (Governor of Ondo State)
Some of the teams also went home with special awards that came with a cash prize of $250; FarmCred for Social Impact, Gadease for Innovative Use of Innovative Solution, FarmSense for Quality of Pitch and Podra for the Highest Overall points in Semi-Final.
The Regional Coordinator, West Africa, Chiemelie Umenyiora for Make-IT in Africa expressed her satisfaction with the event saying, “It was really something to be in a room full of young men and women, all eager to solve problems that affect them each and every day. There was so much enthusiasm and willingness from the participants and I was especially thrilled to see so many women present. I’m looking forward to how the Ondo State government responds”.
The hackathon hosted over 220 Nigerian software developers, programmers, data specialists, designers, agricultural experts, education experts, policy experts, as well as business and sales professionals who were distributed into 28 teams.
Unarguably, having more events like this in partnership with relevant development partners would go a long way to spur the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit in the technology cluster—Akure.