In a thrilling competition for a grand prize of over N50 million, Team Ireti, a health tech app, emerged as the champion of Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 4.0, showcasing their innovative prowess and digital acumen.
The final showdown featured a group of top finalists, including Jane Agbaohwo representing Team Ireti, Raphael Fynecontry from Team Qevolt Limited, Oluwayemi Victoria Oluwapelumi representing Team Crox Technologies Limited, Daniel Babalola from Team Talo, Adeniyi Daniel representing Team TouchNut, David Campbell from Team Naija Box, and Ebulue Ifeanyichukwu Henry from Team Raptor, among others.
This high-stakes event took place on Friday, October 6th, 2023, with a format that included both a digital summit and the grand finale, making it one of Africa’s most significant gatherings of technology experts and digital innovators.
Hackaholics is Wema Bank’s pioneering initiative, focusing on youth and startups. It aims to provide a platform for young innovators with groundbreaking tech-driven ideas and products to bring their creations to life, refine their skills, and gain a competitive edge in the global technology and digital landscape.
Since its inception in 2019, Hackaholics has traversed the six geo-political zones of Nigeria and visited 37 universities across Africa. The initiative has been instrumental in sourcing creative undergraduate students, youth, and startups, challenging them to innovate and create practical tech solutions to real-life problems.
The initiative’s impact has been significant, with approximately 300,000 lives and businesses in Nigeria benefiting from it. Participants have received grants totaling over $200,000 from Wema Bank. The ongoing 4th edition, “Hackaholics 4.0: Reimagine,” focuses on participants pitching creative ideas for impactful solutions across ten different aspects of human life.
Finalists of the Hackaholics 4.0 converged in Lagos for a week-long program of strategic digital empowerment activities meticulously curated by Wema Bank. During the first few days, these finalists received valuable executive mentorship from renowned national and global technology corporations, including Microsoft, KPMG, Samsung, Paystack, Flutterwave, and Dream Space, among others. This mentorship equipped them with hands-on insights to prepare for the grand finale.
A distinguished panel of judges, including Ireayomide Oladunjoye, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Endeavor Africa; Adeoluwa Akomolafe, Chief Information Officer of Wema Bank; and Ayodele Olojede, Wema Bank’s Divisional Head, Retail and SME, assessed the finalists’ innovative solutions.
Wema Bank once again set the standard by awarding over N50 million in cash prizes across five categories. The winner secured N15 million, the first runner-up received N10 million, the second runner-up earned N7 million, N5 million was reserved for any female-led team, encouraging more women to participate in tech, and N22 million was allocated to University STEM endowments.
Wema Bank continues to lead the way in promoting a thriving financial, economic, and digital innovation ecosystem that enhances the lives and businesses of Nigerians, supports their goals, and drives economic growth and national development.