The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has awarded N30 million prize to the startups that won the recently organized Hackathon.
Engineer Ubale Maska, the Executive Commissioner of Technical Services, NCC, said this at the grand finale of the three-day 2023 Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon, organised by the NCC, on Thursday in Abuja.
Maska, who was represented by Ismail Adedigba, NCC’s Director of Research and Development, said the three winners were awarded N10million each.
He said that the winners included Solaris Greentech, which won the renewable energy thematic area; Knownow Africa Blockchain won the blockchain thematic area while Specxcare Limited won the assistive tech thematic area.
The director said that nine other startups participants were also awarded N500,000 each for their hard work and participation.
He said the commission had actively promoted hackathon competitions with thematic focus aimed at addressing significant challenges within the telecom industries and society as a whole.
Maska said hackathons had yielded innovative solutions for issues such as kidnapping and banditry, E-waste management, and strategies to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic.
He said this year’s hackathon event focused on three pivotal thematic areas that resonated with global concerns not only Nigeria.
Masks said the areas include: blockchain-enabled data protection solutions for enhancing regulatory compliance, assistive technology solutions for the elderly and people with disabilities, technology solutions for renewable energy in rural areas.
He said the commission took a holistic approach to support these promising innovations.
Maska said the hackathon would be preceded by an incubation and mentorship programme designed to equip startups, inventors and tech entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to refine their ideas.
He said that the next stage involved the adoption of Digital Innovative Services and Products stemming from the hackathons.
Maska said NCC had adopted all the three winning solutions from 2020 hackathon, which were meticulously crafted to combat pandemics and epidemics that threatened the nation.
“The Hackathon will be preceded by an Incubation and Mentorship Programme, which will be designed to equip startups, innovators and tech entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to refine their ideas.
“This phase encompasses critical aspects such as determining product-market fit, navigating intellectual property challenges, and constructing robust business plans.
“Additionally, it offers us the opportunity to gauge the impact that these grants and prizes have had on the beneficiaries and the industry.
“This year’s event focuses on three pivotal thematic areas, those that not only pertain to our great nation but also resonate with global concerns.
“Thus far, we have successfully adopted all three winning solutions from the 2020 Hackathon. These solutions were meticulously crafted to combat pandemics and epidemics that threatened our nation,” he said.
Speaking in his capacity as Ismail Adedigba, director of Research and Development, NCC, said the innovative Hackathon, if held regularly, offered invaluable opportunities to unearth and adapt to new technologies.
He said this was imperative to acknowledge that young innovators had a pivotal role to play in addressing existing industrial challenges and formulating technology-driven solutions that yield tangible social impact.
Adedigba said that innovation in Communication Technologies stood as the driving force behind the very essence of the Telecommunication industry as at today.
He reiterated the commission’s commitment to building and strengthening the bridge between Tech Hubs and the Telecom industry.
“We have every confidence that you have brought forth a plthora of creative solutions, and we eagerly anticipate the outstanding commercialisable prototypes that will emerge from your endeavours.
“Technology has emerged as the catalyst that unleashes unprecedented potential in ways we could scarcely fathom.
“Consequently, the advancement of the Telecommunication sector, and doing so in a manner that is sustainable and ethical, should be a collective concern for all of us,” Adedigba said.
The twelve startups from various geopolitical zones across the country participated at the 2023 Talent Hunt Research and three emerged winners.