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NaijaHacks is back for 2020 edition; Uchi Uchibeke speaks on the Africa’s largest hackathon

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Uchi Uchibeke, a Nigerian-Canadian-based Engineer and Founder co-invented a novel way of using Blockchain for digital asset and identity management.

Uchi filled Canadian and US blockchain patents, and used Blockchain and machine learning to build disruptive solutions as an Engineer and researcher FinTech and Digital Identity space.

He works in the Blockchain space in Toronto, and also an On-Deck-Fellow, a Governor’s Special Scholar, serial Founder with millions of dollars raised from partners from around the world. 

He speaks to TechEconomy.ng on Naijahacks 2020:

Q: Why did you start NaijaHacks?

Uchi:

“After attending over 30 Hackathons at Stanford, Waterloo, Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and others, I knew that an impactful Hackathon was needed for African and black youth because Hackathons made an impact on me and my career.

“Today, I have worked at IBM, Shopify, RBC, Securekey, filled patents, and published papers because I worked with, learned from and competed with the best in the world at Hackathons. So I wanted to bring back the same experience to youth in Nigeria.

“NaijaHacks makes opportunities available to all young Africans to start their technology ventures or work at some of the world’s best companies. This mission is accomplished with The NaijaHacks Hackathon and The NaijaHacks Community.

Q: Tell us about the previous NaijaHacks events:

Uchi:

“We started in 2018, and we became the largest tech competition in Nigerian and became the largest in Africa in 2019. Because our mission is to enable Nigerian and African youth to create companies, we focus more on the post-event phase. So far, we have created 14 Startups: one of them uses artificial intelligence for agriculture, and yet another built an app to power connection for Nigerian campuses.

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Q: What should participants look-out for at NaijaHacks 2020?

Uchi:

“The NaijaHacks Hackathon is returning with the 2020 NaijaHacks from home (#NaijaHacksFromHome) edition on October 30 to 31, 2020. This year, the Technology Invention Competition or Hackathon, the biggest in Africa, will enable youth across the continent to create, innovate, and learn virtually from the comfort of their homes.

“All admitted teams and individuals will build creative solutions using Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Big Data, etc.

Q: What are the prizes to be won?

Uchi:

“Participants have an opportunity to win over one hundred and eighty million nairas (N100,000,000 / $300,000) in prizes and up to one million nairas (N1,000,000 / $2,300) cash. 

“This year’s virtual event will feature a virtual expo-style demo, remote virtual reality-enabled pitching competitions, a keynote speech, and an award presentation.

Q: How can people join the Hackathon?

Uchi:

“Participants can apply to NaijaHacks using the Start by AfricaHacks platform, and they get matched with teams to validate their ideas. 

“NaijaHacks is supported by Amazon Web Services, Linode, Balsamiq, STEMHub Foundation, and many others.

How to register

Register to be a mentor or participate at www.naijahacks.com or email [email protected].

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