Learn about æHub Africa’s first blockchain hackathon.
It was a busy and exciting week for the team at æternity hub Africa. Their hackathon called, What the Hack!, commenced on the 4th and ended on the 9th of February 2019.
What The Hack! is a virtual blockchain hackathon that brought together techpreneurs, designers and developers from across the African continent.
One of the main objectives of this project was sourcing interesting business ideas that wish to integrate blockchain technology. The best among them had the chance to join the æternity Starfleet program.
Despite the virtual nature of the event, the participants were given the opportunity throughout the entire week to engage with mentors. They participated in several activities to help them navigate the hackathon. Each day, there was a daily quest that required them to identify different business aspects within their projects such as customers and the problem that they intended to solve. Other activities included both social and technical challenges. Socially, they were required to trigger a blockchain discussion on platforms such as Reddit and Steemit. The daily Q&As with prominent people in the African blockchain community were the highlight of most days.
The hackathon attracted nearly 200 sign-ups out of which 20 projects submitted further information about their projects. The judges were able to narrow down 4 ideas they felt could integrate blockchain into their solutions. Among the 4 was:
- Awarun Tunde from Nigeria with a Personal Health Token idea,
- Stephen Sunday from Nigeria with a platform that connects farmers directly with the market to cut-out middlemen,
- Brian Adams from Kenya with a platform to increase transparency in charitable organizations, and
- Eben Olese from Nigeria with a platform that allows registration of products by producers, wholesalers, and retailers on the blockchain
On the 9th of February, the finalists were given an opportunity to pitch and defend their projects. After deliberation, the judges decided that despite having strong business models, none of the projects had a solid technical execution plan to compete with projects across the world applying for the Starfleet program. Luckily the judges gave the finalist one more week to solidify the technical aspects and come up with a robust execution action plan in order to qualify for the coveted Starfleet program.
Speculation on the low number of submission in comparison to the high number of sign ups centers around the current novelty of blockchain as a concept. It is our goal to foster further enthusiasm and participate in raising the level of capable technical coding-know-how among developers on the continent specifically and the world as a whole. We hope that initiatives such as “What The Hack!” will only continue to encourage more developers to challenge themselves further to learn and become accomplished blockchain experts.
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