By Etop Ekanem
The Financial Services Innovators (FSI), a Nigerian non-profit organisation committed to enabling start-ups within the technology and financial space, has reaffirmed its commitment to creating inclusive financial solutions in suburban Nigeria with the announcement of the final round of the ‘IncludeMe’ virtual hackathon competition.
The ongoing virtual hackathon, which started March 11 with a webinar entitled MSME challenges in Northern Nigeria, facilitated by Mr Folorunsho Lukman, SMEDAN State Manager, Minna, is aimed at engendering inclusive financial solutions for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, focusing on the banking and insurance services sectors in Northern Nigeria.
Speaking on the innovative hackathon, Executive Director, FSI, Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, said: “We are excited to see this virtual hackathon moving ahead to a logical stage since we started. It has proven to be a unique platform for engaging the brain and minds of our various university students left redundant by the lingering ASUU nationwide industrial action.
“At FSI, we know that great ideas come from great minds; when tech-enthusiasts come together with a determination to ignite change with their diverse backgrounds and skill levels, the result is better excitingly impressive.
“The hackathon is team-based with a minimum of two participants and a maximum of five participants. The teams will develop technological applications to solve real-life problems in suburban communities. This particular challenge aims to identify tech talents in Nigerian tertiary institutions. A total number of 77 teams registered for the hackathon with a total number of 209 persons.
“This concluding round which began April 1 with a capacity building programme on Building Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) by Mr Osasenaga Enogieru, the Grants Portfolio Manager of Pledge Inc. 15 team with 43 members are expected to pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges on the 12th of April 2022 virtually.
“The winner of the challenge will be going home with N1,500,000, the 1st runnerup, N1,000,000, the 2nd runnerup, N750,000 whilst the 4th to 10th place will get a consolation prize of N100,000 each.”
FSI is working closely with Flutterwave, Capricorn Digital Limited, Committee of e-Banking Industry Heads and the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc and other development partners to empower these Nigerian young university innovators towards creating a highly successful ‘IncludeMe’ virtual hackathon competition designed to create a sustainable digital economy that enables financial inclusion to flourish in our suburban.
FSI is a shared infrastructure for the financial services ecosystem with the primary goal to enable financial innovation, as well as to discover and nurture talents, from tertiary institutions toward building a robust digital economy.