Ten finalists on Monday, emerged at Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 4.0. grand finale pre-pitch competition.

The finalists won over N50m cash prizes, aimed to boost innovation and technologies to create a solution-driven environment.

“Wema Bank’s youth & start-up-focused initiative is designed to provide a platform for young innovators with game-changing, tech-driven ideas and products, to bring their creative ideas to life, hone their skills and gain a competitive edge in the global technology and digital space,” according to the bank.

The finalists included Jane Agbaohwo for Team Ireti; Nelson Nelson-Atuonwu for Team Grip; Ebulue Henry for Team Raptor; Bonojo Adedayo for Team Pup Industries; Olukayode Fadairo for Team MumAlive, David Campbell for Team Naija Box; Oluwatimilehin Ogunme for Team Trakka, Tochukwu Ifeanyi for Team Outsidee; Damilare  Ololade for University X; and Gift Akobundu for Chao.

Speaking at the pitch tagged, ‘‘Hackaholics 4.0: Reimagine,’ in Wema Bank Headquarters in Marina, the financial institution’s Head of Innovation and emerging technologies, Solomon Ayodele, stated that since the launch of Hackaholics in 2019, the initiative had toured the six geo-political zones in Nigeria including 37 universities across Africa.

According to him, at least 300,000 lives and businesses across the country had leveraged the visionary hackathon to make their big break into the tech industry, and transform their passion for technology into sustainable sources of income, earning grants of over $200,000 from Wema Bank.

According to the bank, the participants pitched compelling creative ideas for impactful solutions including education, climate, gov tech, health, gender-based violence, financial inclusion, entertainment, fintech, insurance and civic tech.

He said, “Over the first few days, finalists received one-of-a-kind executive mentorship from renowned national and global technology corporations like Microsoft, KPMG, Samsung, Paystack, Flutterwave and Dream Space, among others.  This equipped them with hands-on insight and prepare them for the Hackaholics 4.0 grand finale pre-pitch.”

One of the panel of judges at the event, Startup Fund Manager at Google, Femi Awoniyi, said part of the things that were considered were how strong the team was, how innovative the solution was, how sound the business model was, and its propensity for scale.

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