The 4th edition of the hackathon conference, organised annually by the Hacklab Foundation and Stanbic Bank, is set to come off this Friday, April 19th – Saturday 21st, at the Great Hall of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi, with over 600 student developers from 18 tertiary institutions expected to participate.
This year’s conference according Patrick Quantson-Head of Digital Projects at Stanbic Bank, will address the topic ‘Can Blockchain Technology Transform the Service Industry in Ghana?’
According to him, the Hacklab Foundation picks a theme based on trending discussions/issues in technology that need addressing from grassroots engagement, as they are the relevant stakeholders in every high-level decision made at the government and corporate level.
“This year, they will be discussing and developing solutions using plausible and scalable blockchain technology cases fit for the Ghanaian and African markets.
“It is our hope that Ghanaian entrepreneurs will take advantage of this and leapfrog time-consuming infrastructure creation – demolishing roadblocks in the process,” he said.
The Hackathon challenge will task participants to develop solutions that address problems in the Education, Agriculture, Energy, Tax, Financial Service, Healthcare, Transportation and Logistics Sector using Blockchain Technology.
Hackathon participation over the years has grown exponentially since 2015. About 450+ student developers participated in the 2016 hackathon with 112 projects emerging. These projects included the Blockchain e-voting solution, which won first place; a virtual reality advertising system; a crowd-farming solution; a crowd-funding platform, and an artificial intelligence-powered virtual nutritionist.
In 2017, 15 interns were recruited from the hackathon to join the Stanbic digital transformation team. They contributed to developing epics such as the Enhanced Virtual Assistance (EVA), and developed the #SBIncubator Website as well as Welcome Emailers for onboarding new customers.
There are numerous opportunities for the participants including 10 award categories with a total of GH¢12,000 in cash prizes to be won, on-spot internships and job recruitments, and investment opportunities to scale solutions that emerge from the hackathon challenge. Other perks will also be awarded to winning teams; including IBM Cloud Credits, Google Cloud Credits, RingCaptcha Credits, and Start-up branding opportunities for the top 10 teams etc. Winning teams will also get an opportunity to participate in the Hacklab-GSBS Start-up School, a 6-week pre-incubation programme to further develop their solutions.