The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday spent a total of N34.5 million to support 12 tech startups that emerged winners in this year’s Talent Hunt Research Through Hackathon.

The telecom regulator had received 81 entries for this year’s Talent Hunt Research Through Hackathon, out of which 12 were shortlisted to participate in the tech innovation contest.

Out of the 12 shortlisted, three emerged as winners from three thematic focuses below:

In the Blockchain Solution category, Know-Now Limited emerged winner with an N10m prize.

In the Renewable Energy Solutions category, Solaris GreenTech Hub emerged as the winner with an N10m prize.

In the Assistive Technology Solutions category, Spex Care Limited emerged winner with an N10m prize.

The remaining nine innovators from the 12 were given an N500,000 consolation prize each with a certificate of commendation for their participation in the annual contest hosted by the Commission.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the panel of Judges for the Hackathon, Prof. Mohammed Hajiya, who announced the winners at the event has commended the Commission for promoting technology innovation.

He also applauded the winners and other innovators who participated and encouraged them to contribute to leveraging their solutions to develop the Nigerian economy.

The Talent Hunt Research Through Hackathon aligns perfectly with one of the core objectives embedded within the NCC’s new Strategic Vision Plan (SVP) for the years 2023-2025.

The primary aim of the Hackathon is to foster the development of cutting-edge technologies through rigorous research, thereby catalyzing sustainable economic growth and overall development within Nigeria.

Giving a keynote at the event, Engr Ubale Maska, Executive Commissioner Technical Services, noted that in a world where innovation is paramount, the Commission often witnesses the remarkable potential of Hackathons to showcase, fresh perspectives on existing challenges.

“These events serve as instrumental tools in sustaining innovation and mobilizing the collective intelligence of the innovators to tackle pressing real-world issues, both in the business realm and within our social fabric,” he said.

He explained that throughout the years, the Commission has actively promoted hackathon competitions, each with a thematic focus aimed at addressing significant challenges within our industries and society as a whole. Some noteworthy examples include hackathons that yielded innovative solutions for issues such as kidnapping and banditry, E-waste management, and strategies to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The competition is not confined to the grand prize of (N10,000,000.00) awarded to each winner from these three thematic areas for the development of their solutions, but goes beyond this, as the Commission takes a holistic approach to support these promising innovations. We closely monitor the progress of these solutions as they evolve into full-fledged prototypes.

The Hackathon will be preceded by an Incubation and Mentorship Programme, which will be designed to equip startups, innovators and tech entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to refine their ideas. This phase encompasses critical aspects such as determining product-market fit, navigating intellectual property challenges, and constructing robust business plans. Additionally, it offers us the opportunity to gauge the impact that these grants and prizes have had on the beneficiaries and the industry.

The journey does not end here. The next stage involves the Adoption of Digital Innovative Services and Products stemming from the Hackathons. In this initiative, the Commission takes the lead in sponsoring the deployment of the finalized products within select government agencies and institutions. It is with great pride that I inform you that, thus far, we have successfully adopted all three winning solutions from the 2020 Hackathon. These solutions were meticulously crafted to combat pandemics and epidemics that threatened our nation.


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