Ireti, a health tech startup, emerged as the champion of the Hackaholics 4.0 competition organized by Wema Bank/ALAT, securing the top prize of N15 million following a highly competitive pitching process.
The victory was achieved at the Grand Finale of Wema Bank’s Hackaholics Digital Summit, which recently took place at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos. Ten finalists stood out among the participants, with Ireti, founded by Jane Agbaohwo, leading the way. Ireti focuses on addressing the issue of delayed breast cancer diagnoses.
The organizers of the event, Wema Bank/ALAT, designed this initiative to provide a platform for young innovators with groundbreaking tech-driven ideas and products to bring their creative concepts to life, refine their skills, and gain a competitive edge in the global technology and digital landscape.
It’s worth noting that the event received and reviewed approximately 3000 applications before selecting the 10 finalists. In addition to Ireti’s victory, Nelson Nelson-Atuonwu, representing Team Grip, a fintech startup that consolidates fragmented financial data, secured N10 million as the first runner-up. Oluwatimilehin Ogunme, representing Team Trakka, a fintech startup, received N7 million as the second runner-up. Tochukwu Ifeanyi, leading Team Outsidee, was awarded N5 million for the best female-led startup.
The list of other finalists includes Nelson Nelson-Atuonwu for Team Grip; Ebulue Henry for Team Raptor; Bonojo Adedayo for Team Pup Industries; Olukayode Fadairo for Team MumAlive; David Campbell for Team Naija Box; Damilare Ololade for University X, and Gift Akobundu for Chao.
Hackaholics was inaugurated in 2019 with the aim of bringing together the fintech community to tackle industry-recognized challenges, following the launch of ALAT.
The two-in-one event, themed “Re-imagine: Disrupting the Ecosystem for Scale,” drew industry stakeholders, business leaders, regulators, investors, startup founders, tech enthusiasts, and more.
During his welcome address, Moruf Oseni, MD/CEO of Wema Bank, affirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting the growth of the tech ecosystem in Nigeria. He stated, “We believe that by providing a platform for technologically savvy and creative youngsters, we can help drive the much-needed transformation in our nation. We have gone beyond just banking, empowering the youth to give them a launchpad for self-actualization.”
Similarly, Tunde Mabawonku, ED, Retail & Digital Business at WEMA Bank, emphasized the transformative nature of Hackaholics Digital Summit and its role in fostering innovation and progress within the ecosystem and educational institutions.
Olugbenga Agboola, Founder & CEO of Flutterwave, delivered a keynote address at the digital summit preceding Hackaholics. He commended Wema Bank for its initiative and called for more support to nurture the ecosystem. He stressed that platforms like Hackaholics 4.0 would help innovators using technology to address local and global challenges and provide opportunities for funding and investor engagement. Agboola encouraged finalists, innovators, and founders to continue developing innovative solutions that tackle global challenges.
The event also featured a panel session titled “Pioneering a Transformational Path: Empowering an Ecosystem via People, Processes, and Technology,” with panelists including Dr. Ola Brown, General Partner at HealthCap Africa; Adaobi Okerekeocha, Chief Innovation Officer at Interswitch Group; Wole Odeleye, Financial Services Technology Lead at Microsoft. The session, moderated by Tunde Mumuni, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at WEMA Bank, explored how to nurture the ecosystem using technology.
Furthermore, a syndicate session included discussions led by industry experts on topics such as “The Future of Financial Services: Exploring Emerging Trends, Technologies, and Business Models Reshaping the Financial Services Industry”; “Venture Capital and Funding Viable Innovation for Scale”; and “Strategic Technology for Impact & Societal Change: Transforming Today & Tomorrow’s World.”