Equity Group in partnership with Microsoft launched a virtual hackathon open to students from The University of Nairobi (UoN) and Meru University of Science and Technology with more than 600 students registering to be among the 100 shortlisted participants to take part as innovators.
The Hackathon, which opened for registration on February 4 is the first of its kind to be run by the Equity Group and seeks to drive innovation and crowdsource solutions to address business problems and social issues. Students from the two universities will have an opportunity to take part in a competitive event and collaborate to build proofs of concept and minimum viable products for a pre-defined problem.
Speaking during the launch, Equity Group Managing Director and CEO, Dr. James Mwangi said the Group seeks to explore the use of Hackathons as a tool to drive the discovery of new technologies and process improvement solutions for the Bank.
“We are indeed very happy to be launching our first-ever Equity Hackathon in partnership with Microsoft, The University of Nairobi and Meru University of Science and Technology. The Hackathon promises to be a truly transformational experience for both universities and our institution, as it will enable us to create products and offerings that are beneficial to our people across the markets we operate in, while at the same time offering the students an opportunity to learn and apply their skills to solve business challenges,” said Dr. Mwangi.
“The University of Nairobi and Meru University of Science and Technology endeavour to develop closer ties with the industry, such as the banking and ICT industries, to support our students acquire practical skills, beyond what universities can offer from a learning environment,” said Stephen Kiama, UoN’s Vice Chancellor.
Further, Meru University of Science and Technology Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo added, “Universities play a pivotal role in accelerating knowledge and driving research and innovation. This collaboration is bringing together like-minded organizations to innovate and create lasting change through technology. We are very happy to collaborate with Equity, Microsoft and The University of Nairobi.”
Students from the two universities taking part in the Hackathon event will stand a chance to win exciting prizes as the grand prize winner or winning group will walk away with a cash prize of Kes. 600,000, 3 months mentorship opportunity from Microsoft, Technical Cloud certificates for all team members and a gift hamper. In addition, the 1st and 2nd Runners Up individual or group will take home a cash prize of Kes. 250,000 and Kes. 150,000 respectively, in addition to a 3 months mentorship opportunity from Microsoft and a gift hamper.
Equity has been at the forefront of deepening financial inclusion through championing the development of innovative solutions that socially and economically empower consumers, businesses, enterprises and communities. Through its innovations in digital banking, the Bank has seen its customers increase transactions taking place out of the bank to 98 percent.