The EmergeOndo “Innovation in Governance Hackathon” took place over a three-day period from Thursday, December 6, to Saturday, December 8, within the three innovation hubs located in Akure, Ondo State – Akure Tech Hub, Curators Hub and Premier Hub Innovation Center.
The EmergeOndo Hackathon focused on four thematic areas, namely, agricultural accessibility, business linkages, education and renewable and clean energy.
The “Innovation in Governance” Hackathon was born out of a unique partnership between the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Make-IT in Africa programme and the Ondo State Government.
Make-IT sponsored the Hackathon and provided technical support while the Ondo State Government provided the experts across the thematic areas, that served as jurors and judges.
The hackathon sought to explore creative solutions and policy recommendations within the thematic areas that the State government could adopt and implement.
The hackathon hosted an array of 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.
After three days of working on solutions and policies, four teams emerged as the winners across the four-focus thematic areas of the EmergeOndo “Innovation in Governance” Hackathon.
Serve Consulting supported the event by giving each winning team USD 1,000 in prize money. Four other teams also went home with winning USD 250 each for the solutions with the highest social impact, most innovative use of technology, best pitch, and the highest overall score in the pitch competition.
The winning teams were: Team Gadges, who emerged winner in the clean and renewable energy category, cashing home USD1, 000 with their solution, which is to provide access to affordable solar solutions.
Team Psyche emerged the winner in the Education category cashing home 1, 000 dollars with their solution, which is a device to monitor students’ psychological state as it directly, correlates to academic performance.
Team FarmCred emerged the winner in the Agricultural Accessibility category, taking home 1, 000 dollars with their solution, which is an application that improves access to agri-finance by creating credit profiles for smallholder farmers.
Team Dunalinks emerged the winner in the Business Linkages category, taking home 1,000 dollars with their solution designed to link small scale technicians with contractors for better jobs and growth opportunities.
Other winning teams include: Team FarmCred as the team with the highest score in social impact; Team Gadease as the team with the highest score in the innovative use of technology; Team FarmSense as the team with the best pitch, while Team Podra won the award of team with highest overall score in the semi-final pitch.
All team prizes were sponsored by Serve Consulting, with a further commitment to support the teams through the incubation phase for their ideas as well as take them through a design thinking workshop processes to ensure that solutions developed fit the problem definitions across the focus thematic areas.
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.”
According to the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, “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.”
Also, in the words of the Managing Director of Serve Consulting, Mr. Deola Adejuyigbe, “Serve Consulting continues to support the development of innovative ideas and solutions that solve real problems in our economy.
“The participants in EmergeOndo Innovation in Governance Hackathon showcased many smart solutions. Serve Consulting is committed, in partnership with the organisers, to support the winners to ensure these solutions are developed to stages of commercial viability.
“Young people must embrace innovative entrepreneurship to create jobs and guarantee a future devoid of the problems we see today.”