Hi there! NaijaHacks 2019 came and is now gone but it’ll forever be a memorable day for me and for everyone else that participated in or attended the event. Now let’s go back in time… In a flash
Registration for Africa’s biggest hackathon started on the last day of October 2019, 31/10/2019 to be precise. Young tech enthusiasts from all over the country started submitting applications, most got accepted, partnered other applicants to form indomitable teams of four… and that’s how the journey began.
Okay, back to present day. It’s is the 18th day of December 2019 and the final event for NaijaHacks 2019 edition was supposed to hold yesterday. Of course, It did!
In this article, I’ll be sharing my review and experience at the event, how it started, what I learnt, who I met, what I didn’t like, and more. It’s going to be a lengthy one so you can grab a cup of coffee already.
I left home by 6:00AM in order to avoid Lagos traffic. On my way, I decided to try Oride for the first time so I booked a ride.
Long story short, I still had to take a danfo because of some irregularities with Oride, I think I’ll be writing about my first experience with Oride soon, so do check back on my blog before weekend to read.
I used lara.ng to get directions and route to follow and what buses to board. Also, google maps helped me in knowing my exact position and how much time it will take to my destination.
NaijaHacks 2019: I Arrived At The Venue
At exactly 10:00AM, I got to ZoneTech park. The surroundings was well nursed to suit the purpose of the event and the red carpet stage was being setup
Now, NaijaHacks 2019 was scheduled for 8:00AM so obviously, the event started a bit late. In the process of interviewing some participants, some complained about the lateness and I believe NaijaHacks team will work on that by next year’s edition.
I was able to get my ticket cleared and got a press tag. I also got a tote bag that contained swags. There was a Linode branded t-shirt, three stickers and four tiny tickets in it. I had to take off shirt and put on the branded one because there’s no way i’ll have myself looking all different from everyone else.
NaijaHacks 2019 Officially Begins
After the opening speech by Uchi Uchibeke, it was time for the elite speakers to throw in some words. I particularly enjoyed listening to Chude Jideonwo.
While the speakers were giving their speeches, the participants were getting ready to present their NaijaHacks 2019 projects. I even noticed some participants preparing their slides at the last minute!
Just before the Naijahacks 2019 exhibition started, we learnt that the four tiny tickets in our tote bags were food tickets. I looked behind the back of the hall and there was breakfast all set for everyone. The coordination for food this time was way better than last year’s and everyone got breakfast of sandwiched bread and coffee or tea.
While breakfast was going on, the first fifty teams took positions at the tables prepared for exhibition.
NaijaHacks 2019 Team Interviews With Techkadet
Ok, this is my favourite part of the whole event. I got to interview some of the teams before the judges came. Compared to last year’s 300, there were a total of 1000 participants this year who were selected from over 2000 applications.
Of all these numbers, 120 teams made it to the NaijaHacks 2019 finals. I spoke to representatives of so many teams but I’ll be listing just a few spectacular ones (IMO).
#Team Flash Learners
Team flash learners is a team that was formed by total beginners! I was amazed just as you are now. They were able to learn the basics of programming and build a project in less than a month!
They built a web application called Scholar’s Bridge.
Scholars’ Bridge is an initiative that aims to bridge the gap created by lack of curriculum review in the educational system and help prepare individuals with skills and knowledge that will enable them add value to the society.
Team Diamond! This team really surprised me with their ideas and their project concept as a whole. The amazing thing is that they were just two of them, two girls!
So, team diamond came up with project Savelife under the Naijahacks 2019 citizen safety category. Savelife is an app built with Google’s flutter. It has an emergency message system and also an inbuilt tracker feature. The savelife app lets you send a distress message to your contacts by tapping a button when you feel endangered.
The app has lots of powerful features that I can’t outline here so I think I’ll be writing another article to tell you more about the app as soon as it is officially launched.
I’ll still add more teams in this article as I’m preparing online interview sessions for some other NaijaHacks 2019 team members.
Lunch – NaijaHacks 2019 Vs NaijaHacks 2018
In my previous article on why you shoudn’t miss this edition of Naijahacks , I made mention of food and yes! there was food for everyone in abundance. Unlike 2018’s edition where some people complained of not being served, there was food in abundance for everyone at Naijahacks 2019.
The four tickets contained in the tote bags were a really nice idea and I’ll urge other event planners to adopt same method to avoid irregularities.
How the tickets works? Okay, there were four tickets in total all of different colors. One was used to get breakfast, the second one to get popcorn, the third one to get lunch and the fourth to get either water or soft drinks.
Overall, I think the coordination for food was superb cus I don’t think anyone left ZoneTech park without getting filled. Thanks to Redbull, there was extra drinks for everyone at the after party. There was also Kilishi for everyone courtesy; @kilishi_by_shims
The Judges & Speakers
For a start, most of the judges arrived late. Notwithstanding, the Judges were just in time for the exhibition and were able to access the various teams with transparency; thanks to the Gavel app.
Some of the judges present at the event include:
- Jackye Madu ( Ex BBNaija Housemate, Co-founder TCMN, Convrsah & DBA, The Content Man Network)
- Sam “SuperGeek” Uduma (Serial Entepreneur/Investor)
- Stanley Chukwuma (CEO, Bankspace Corp. Canada)
- Ayodeji Razaq (Marketing and Experiential Events Lead, Riquesa Africa)
- Yinka Obebe (MD/CEO, Popcentral TV)
- Chude Jideonwo (Founder Joy Inc.)
There are also a host of others not listed here. Overall, the NaijaHacks 2019 judges were all looking glamourous and did a good job.
NaijaHacks 2019 Winners And Prices
In my opinion, everyone was a winner because we all gained one thing or the other from this experience. Well, it’s a competition so there must be a winner, the ones who get the price.
There were prices in the various categories which includes Housing, Education, Job creation and Citizen safety. Some of the prices include laptops for each team members, $500 worth of linode credits for the team members, NaijaHacks 2019 printed backpacks and more!
Some of the participants complained about the selection process because the winners were announced while some demos were still on going. How is this possible? Well, in defence of a tweet posted by an unsatisfied participant, NaijaHacks 2019 Official twitter handle replied and said pointed out the use of Gavel app for the judging process and thus, there were no mistakes or frauds in the selection of winners.
Now I have a question, does the Gavel app really guarantee 100% transparency in judging a competition like this one? We’ll find out in my next article about the Gavel app and how it works.
Overall Ratings For NaijaHacks 2019
NaijaHacks 2019 is over and did it meet up to our expectations? In my opinion, it did, I really enjoyed every minute of my time spent at ZoneTech Park and I commend the organising team for their efforts although, some attendees think y’al really need to work on keeping to time in the next edition.
If i were to rate the event on a 0 – 10 basis, I’ll give it a 7.5 and I believe NaijaHacks 2020 will be a whole lot better and more action packed!
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