Earlier this year in March, Wema Bank, one of Nigeria’s oldest financial institutions announced that the entry portal for ALAT Hackaholics 4.0 was open. Inaugurated in 2019, the Hackaholics initiative is the bank’s platform for discovering and nurturing tech talent among university students and early-stage startups.
With a history spanning over seven decades in Nigeria’s financial sector, Wema Bank recognizes the imperative of innovation as it charts a course for the next eight decades. The launch of Hackaholics 4.0 was to highlight the key role of technology and digitalization in this journey with the theme of this year’s event tagged ‘Re-Imagine.’
Since the groundbreaking introduction of ALAT by Wema Bank in 2017, which revolutionized banking in Nigeria, Wema Bank has shown no signs of slowing down. Instead, it’s diligently extending innovative solutions to everyday banking, particularly in financial inclusion.
Hackaholics 4.0 is keen on propelling finance beyond technology. With this initiative, the bank is seeking entries with radical solutions in CivicTech, GovTech, HealthTech, EntertainmentTech, Fintech, etc. Its core mission is to help aspiring young entrepreneurs and startups armed with transformative, tech-driven concepts. To not only materialize their visions but also hone their expertise. And gain an advantage in the fiercely competitive global technology sector.
Winners of Wema Bank Hackaholics 4.0
After an exhilarating journey, ten exceptional finalists representing universities nationwide vied for the top honors at the Hackaholics 4.0 event. The competition pledged a staggering ₦50 million in cash prizes distributed over five distinct categories. The grand prize of ₦15 million was presented to the Hackaholics champion. While ₦10 million went to the first runner-up, and ₦7 million to the second runner-up. Also, ₦5 million was earmarked for a female-led team. And an impressive ₦22 million was allocated to STEM grants in universities.
Out of an astounding pool of 3,000 applicants, these finalists presented their innovative concepts across ten diverse specializations of human existence. From education, climate, gov tech, health, gender-based violence, financial inclusion, entertainment, fintech, insurance, and civic-tech.
Jane Agbaohwo was the winner of Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 4.0 competition. Agbaohwo is a medical student and the brain behind Ireti, an innovative health-tech startup. Her innovative solution for early detection of breast cancer, earned her the ₦15 million cash prize, surpassing the nine other startups.
Speaking about her achievement during Wema Bank Hackaholics, Jane Agbaohwo said
“As we move forward, we’ll be able to reach out to women in urban and rural communities through our partnerships with NGOs. We’re actively creating awareness about breast cancer. It’s a deadly disease, but early detection can significantly improve chances of survival with timely treatment.”
Nelson Atuonwu, representing Team Grip, won the first runner-up position and walked away with a ₦10 million cash prize. Meanwhile, Oluwatimilehin Ogunme, representing Team Trakka, claimed the second runner-up spot, receiving the ₦7 million prize. Additional awards were presented in various categories to recognize outstanding contributions.