The Hackaholics Digital Summit and Grand Finale by Wema Bank/ALAT ended in a grand style as Jane Agbaohwo, Founder and Creative Director of Ireti, a health tech startup that helps solve the problem of late diagnosis of breast cancer of Ireti bagged the N15 million coveted price at the Lagos event on Friday, October 6, 2023.
Announced in March 2023, more than 3000 applications to Hackaholics 4.0 were scrutinised to arrive at the final 10 that took to stage during the event. Hackaholics was birthed in 2019 to bring together a community of fintech to solve industry-identified problems following the launch of ALAT.
The two-in-one event tagged “Re-imagine: Disrupting the Ecosystem for Scale” saw top executives of Wema Bank, industry stakeholders, regulators, investors, startup founders and tech enthusiasts grace the occasion.
Delivering the welcome remarks to set the stage for the first part of the event, Tunde Mabawonku, ED, Retail & Digital Business, WEMA Bank said that the digital summit transcends boundaries to unite digital innovators, visionaries, and industry leaders from across Nigeria.
“Today, we come together to mark to embark on a transformative journey into the digital realm. Hackaholics Digital Summit is not just another summit, it’s a movement, a testament to our unwavering commitment to foster a culture of innovation, imagination, and progress in the heart of the ecosystem, and educational institution.
“It’s all about harnessing the collective potential of startup founders to redefine the boundaries of what’s possible in the digital age.”
According to Mabawonku, the theme of Hackaholics 4.0 encapsulates the very essence of the bank’s innovation program.
“It embodies our sheer belief in a world where change is only constant. Our ability to reimagine and disrupt the status quo is what sets us apart.
“It is a privilege to provide a platform where these talents can converge, collaborate, catalyze the digital revolution.
“We aim not only to expand our knowledge but to spark new ideas and collaboration that will help us change or shape the future in the digital landscape of Nigeria.
“To all our attendees. Your presence here today reflects your commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the digital world. You represent the future of transformation in Nigeria. Together, we will explore the uncharted territories of innovation, leaving no stone unturned in this pursuit of progress., Mabawonku added
In his opening address, Chief Host, Moruf Oseni, MD/CEO, of Wema Bank, expressed his appreciation to all attendees ranging from key stakeholders to startup founders.
According to the CEO, a unique blend of traditional banking expertise, and technology embedded deeply in the bank’s system has afforded them the opportunity to support the growth of the tech ecosystem in Nigeria.
“In addition to providing the playbook for all the digital banking offerings, we have built a robust open banking platform that can confidently power, things like the ecosystem in Nigeria today, we take pride in being the Bank of choice for all the critical players in the industry.
“We also recognize that any economy that is serious about sustainable economic and social development must pay serious attention to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, education and practice. entertainment and sports have put Nigeria on the global landscape in a positive light. But they cannot help to predict technology and infrastructure deficits that will see Nigeria achieve its true potential.
“And this is this is the absolute truth. That’s why this event is extremely important to unshackle the best of our minds in science, engineering, technology and mathematics. As responsible citizens, we decided to play our part. This led us to focus on hacking all these events on campus locations across the country, the hotbed of critical ideation and disruptive innovation in our country.
We believe that by providing a platform for technologically savvy and creative youngsters, we can help drive the much-needed transformation in our nation. We have gone beyond just banking, the youth to give them a launchpad for self-actualization.
“We have assembled a formidable roster of some of the leading minds and practitioners across the technology and startup ecosystem in Nigeria.
I believe that the quality of discourse and engagement that will happen here today will help shape not just the future of financial services, but other critical sectors and particles that drive our nation’s development. As a bank, we remain confident that through collaboration, we can continue to expand the frontiers of technology. So when our most enabling problems as a nation, and finally unlocking inclusive and sustainable growth.”
The keynote address of the digital summit was delivered by, Olugbenga Agboola, Founder & CEO, Flutterwave. In his speech, Olugbenga commended Wema Bank for putting in place structures to support innovation in Nigeria, especially the fintech ecosystem.
He emphasized how events like Hackaholics 4.0 can provide valuable opportunities to founders who are leveraging technology to solve both local and global challenges.
He urged the finalists to seize the opportunity presented by Wema Bank as a stepping stone to harness their creativity in being global innovators.
The second part of the day’s event was the grand finale which saw 10 finalists pitched their solutions to a teeming crowd. The judges for the pitch include Ayodele Olojede DH, Retail, Wema Bank, Adeoluwa Akomolafe CIO, Wema Bank and Ireayo Oladunjoye, MD, Endeavour Africa.
As mentioned earlier, Jane Agbaohwo emerged, while Nelson Co-founder of Grip, a fintech startup that compiles fragmented financial data in one piece grabbed N10 million as the first runner-up withTrakka another fintech walked away with N7 million as the second runner-up. In addition, the founder of Outside won N5 million for the best female-led startup.
The other finalists are Chao, Raptor, Pup Industries, University X, Naija Box, and Mum Alive.