Three different teams of tech innovators and hackers emerged joint winners of the first official Hackaton of DITCh Plastic Project, Nigeria.
The event, which kicked off at the NITDA Information Technology Hub, UNILAG, on Thursday, 15th July 2021, was a blended one (physical and virtual). It had participants from all over the country with varied skillsets all brainstorming and working hard to solve “the plastic problem”. It afforded them a unique opportunity to use their skills to “Hack for Good”.
Hosted by Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa, Co-Investigator and Country Lead of the DITCh Plastic Project in Nigeria, the aim of the event was to bring together aspiring and ambitious teams, challenging the physical and digital boundaries of the circular plastic economy. It was part of the effort of the DITCh Plastic Project Team to stimulate and encourage the use of digital innovations for transitioning to a circular plastic economy.
For many of the participants, the DITChPlastic Hackathon was their first hackathon experience and some of the seasoned professionals who were on hand to groom and guide them over the course of three days include: the DITCh Plastic Lead, Dr. Muyiwa Oyinlola, who introduced the participants to what the event was about and to the activities of the DITChPlastic network ; CEO of CCHub, Mr. Bosun Tijani, who gave the participants a very stimulating talk on “Hacking for Good: What, How and Why”. There was a presentation on the “Circular Plastic Economy” by Engineer Afolasade Nubi, a Senior Environmental Engineer at the University of Lagos. Dr. Victor Odumuyiwa gave the presentation on “Why are We Here?” and gave the participants a detailed brief of what was expected of them at the Hackathon.
The Lead Mentor and Convener of Data Science Nigeria, Dr. Bayo Adekanmbi, took the participants on “Business Model Concept – Building with Meaning”, emphasising to the participants that their projects are expected to be sustainable and profitable. Dr. Seun Kolade, an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and International Development at De Montfort University, UK, presented on “How to make a Winning Pitch” which properly equipped the participants for their pitches.
For the three days, the other knowledgeable and experienced mentors that the participants had the privilege to meet were Dr. Abdulganiyy Adelopo, Olufunto Borrofice, Victor Amusa, Victor Boyle-Komolafe and Dr. Olasupo Ajayi who were all present to offer invaluable guidance, evaluations and mentorship.
Each competing team presented their solutions live to a jury of experts composed of Engr. Sade Nubi, Dr Chika Yinka-Banjo, Dr. Oladipupo Sennaike and Dr Barry Rawn who engaged them in question-and-answer sessions before their respective evaluation.
After the series of evaluations, the jury concluded that there was a tie among three teams and that they all emerged joint winners:
The teams are:
- TEAM ESSENCE: Emmanuel Ibukun, Daniel Afam-Akpor, Okafor Angela, Fagoroye Ayomide
- TEAM BINNOVATION: Toluwalope Oni, Oluwayemi Samuel
- TEAM CYCLE-AI: Akpan Victor, Adeoye Timilehin, Oke Gideon, Somoye Christopher
They will share in equal proportion the total prize money of N450,000 which was apportioned to the First, Second and Third positions as N250,000, N150,000 and N100,000 respectively.
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Services), Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa, while giving her opening remark at the final pitch event, enthused over the innovative projects and solutions that the participants had worked on and expressed the big hopes that the nation has for their ideas to mutate into globally successful products and services.
DITCh Plastic is a multisectoral, international and interdisciplinary project aimed at utilizing digital innovations to accelerate the transition to a circular plastic economy (CPE) in Africa funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Global Challenges and Research Fund.
The project is led by De Montfort University in the UK. It brings together Africa’s leading technology hubs (Co-Creation Hub, Lagos; iHub, Nairobi and BongoHive, Lusaka), top UK Universities (University of Warwick, University of Birmingham, and Aston University), leading African Universities (University of Lagos, Kigali Collaborative Research Centre and University of Namibia) and third sector organisations such as (Chatham House and Plastic Oceans).