Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 5.0 Returns to Empower African Youth Entrepreneurs

In a bid to foster innovation and empower young entrepreneurs across Africa, Hackaholics, the continent’s largest youth-focused startup competition, is back with its fifth edition, themed “Meta-Idea.” An initiative spearheaded by Wema Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading digital financial institutions, this initiative has consistently provided a platform for tech-driven game-changers to propel their ventures to new heights.

Since its inception in 2019, Hackaholics has played a crucial role in nurturing Africa’s tech ecosystem. Stemming from the success of Wema Bank’s digital banking platform, ALAT, the competition was designed to catalyze the development and launch of groundbreaking solutions across the continent.

Hackaholics 5.0, themed “Meta-Idea,” embodies a commitment to empowering the next generation of audacious innovators and problem-solvers poised to tackle Africa’s most pressing issues. With a focus on diverse verticals, including education, climate, civic tech, insurance, gov tech, health, gender-based violence, financial inclusion, entertainment, and fintech, the competition seeks disruptive solutions that harness the power of technology for societal impact.

Speaking at the opening lunch, held at the bank’s Head Office, Wema Bank’s Head of Innovation, Solomon Ayodele said;

“The theme for this year is ‘Meta-Idea: DigiTech Solutions for Africa’s Prosperity,’ anchored on two principal factors—The Meta Idea and African Prosperity. We are challenging the youth to develop extraordinary ideas that will proffer practical solutions to our local problems as Africans.”

Participation in Hackaholics is open to individuals from all backgrounds and levels of expertise. Whether you’re a young entrepreneur, a seasoned professional, or a student, we encourage everyone to apply. Programming skills or a degree in computer science are not prerequisites, ensuring inclusivity and a level playing field for all aspiring innovators.

Pitch centers across Africa offer accessible engagement opportunities for participants. Locations span various universities and regions, including Afe Babalola University, University of Ado-Ekiti, Uniport, IMT Enugu, Nile University Abuja, and centers in Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, among others.

With a total prize pool of N70 million up for grabs, Hackaholics 5.0 promises substantial rewards for the winning teams. The top prize amounts to N30 million, with N20 million for the first runner-up, and N15 million for the second runner-up. Special recognition, with prizes totaling N10 million and N15 million, respectively, is reserved for women-led teams and university STEM initiatives.

Beyond monetary rewards, participants can expect grants for scaling solutions, product support, enhanced visibility, and access to a vibrant community of founders. Additionally, coaching and mentorship from industry experts will be provided to help participants navigate their entrepreneurial journey.

In the words of Mr. Tunde Mabawonku, Executive Director, Retail and Digital at Wema Bank;

“Hackaholics is a crucial platform for exploring digital transformation and innovation. Our ambitious vision is achievable through embracing innovation.”

Registration for Hackaholics 5.0 is now open, offering an opportunity for African youth to shape the continent’s future through technology and entrepreneurship. Visit the registration page to apply.

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