Team RUTELA is the winner of the first edition of the Equity Group Hackathon in partnership with Microsoft. The University of Nairobi student team wins a cash prize of Kes. 600,000, 3 months mentorship with Microsoft, Technical Cloud certificates for all team members and a gift hamper.
The Equity Hackathon brought students from the University of Nairobi and Meru University of Science and Technology together. To deliver solutions to address business and social challenges in the Payments, Financial Inclusion and Digital Identity thematic areas. The Hackathon, which opened for registration on 4th February, saw a total of 663 students register and compete to be among the top 120 participants to take part as innovators.
Equity Group, in partnership with Microsoft, brought together the shortlisted students for the virtual Hackathon which ran from the 17th of February to the 17th of March this year. The initiative challenged the students to be innovative and collaborate to build proofs of concept and minimum viable products for predefined business problems and social issues.
The Hackathon was phased into 4 stages. The first phase involved instructor-led and self-paced training of the participants on Microsoft Azure and the Business Problem Statements. In the second stage, the students went through the coding with mentorship from representatives from Equity, the University of Nairobi, Meru University of Science and Technology and Microsoft. Their solutions then went through a 1st and 2nd knock off stage, which culminated in the selection of the 4 winners.
Kenya is emerging as an innovations hub, especially in the financial sector, and organizations need to start looking internally for solutions that will give them an edge in the market says Microsoft ADC Kenya Program Manager, Irene Githinji.
“We are indeed not surprised by the ideas we have seen these young students work on during the Hackathon. The spirit of innovation is ripe in Kenya and it is time for Kenyan corporates to start looking at local education institutions and technology hubs for the development of unique solutions for their business needs.”Irene Githinji
Equity Hackathon Winners
- Winning team – Rutela, from the University of Nairobi
- 1st runner up – team Jazia, from Meru University of Science and Technology
- 2nd runner up – Hubert Kimani, from the University of Nairobi
- 3rd runner up – Team Code Ninjas, from the University of Nairobi
The 1st and 2nd Runners Equity Hackathon winners took home a cash prize of Kes. 250,000 and Kes. 150,000 respectively, a 3 months mentorship opportunity from Microsoft and a gift hamper. The 3rd Runners Up won Kes 100,000 and a gift hamper for each team member.
“The Hackathon has enabled us to sharpen our skills and align them to the demands of the marketplace“, notes Maluki Muthusi, from team Rutela. “We are grateful for the guidance given to us by our lecturers and the teams from Equity and Microsoft throughout the competition. We look forward to applying the principles even beyond this competition“, he adds.
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