The tech community in Ghana is gradually growing into a promising ecosystem of a pool of talented technological geeks whose abilities could be matched up to their peers in the West.
However efforts made to harness these potential is miniature. It’s in view of this that Hacklab put together #Hacklab2017.
Hacklab is an annual Hackathon / technology conference which sees, software developers, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders in technology, come together to discuss issues arising, identifying opportunities and the way forward on making Ghana a better place using technology.
The organizers, seeing the massive lapse in the financial technology sector, consorted with Stanbic Bank (a member of the Standard Group) a brand that is passionate about technology and it’s influence in the financial industry together with DreamOval, parent group of Slydepay, to collectively “promote financial inclusion through digital solutions”.
Day One – The Opening Ceremony
The 3-day gathering commenced on Friday, 11:30 am with an opening ceremony and introduction to the main event.
The event curator, Foster Akugri welcomed all stakeholders and participants present and briefly introduced what the whole event is about and expectations people should have at the end of the event.
In attendance was the Provost of the College Of Science; Prof. Mrs. Ibok Oduro, who professed her heartfelt appreciation to all partners for making the event possible, urging participants to take full advantage of the event and explore it’s whole benefits.
Narrating the vision of Stanbic Bank and their reason for partnering with hacklab to bring to fruition such a vision was Mr. Nana Dwemoh Benneh; the Head of personal and Business Banking at Stanbic Ghana.
Nana Dwemoh declared the event officially launched after a few words of luck to all the participants.
Members from DreamOval took turns in explaining their mission for being a part of the convocation, introducing the APIs of Slydepay, which was the payment system, developed by them and every participant was required to integrate that into their inventions as well.
To relieve the participants off stress and prepare them for the long hours of coding and sleepless night, Elidior The Poet took to the stage to do what he does best – Spoken Word.
At about 7:00 GMT, the geeks were ready to go code their way to freedom.
And then the coding session began.
Day Two – Code Day
In the morning of the second day, was mostly coding and nothing else. There was no major activity
Intermittent breaks were taken by members blow off some steam. Some members proceeded to visit the labs to finish off their works, other engaged in video games to enhance their creative abilities.
In the late evening some team members began preparations for the pitch day.
Day Three – Pitch Day
And there was the final day of the hackathon, which was the ‘business’ side of the creative process. Developers were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to potential investors and VCs.
Team after team, slide after slide, wonderful ideas were presented to the panel and audience.
After the idea pitching and live demos came the moment of effort rewarding.
The categories awarded were;
Winner: We Code
1st Runner Up: Unique Gigis
2nd Runner Up:
Best Pitch: Room 63
Most Promising Developer: Mawutor
To climax the event was a panel discussion to talk about financial inclusion, it’s challenges and possible solutions with digital.