Kampala witnessed the commencement of the highly anticipated 2023 Women in FinTech Hackathon on the 10th of August, bringing together an impressive assembly of thirty (30) teams from Uganda and Kenya. Carefully selected from a pool of over 100 innovative submissions spanning the last two months, these participants are set to shape the future of Financial Inclusion through their groundbreaking ideas.
Spanning from the 10th to the 17th of August, the 30 teams will be engrossed in the ideation and development of Financial Inclusion innovations across various sectors such as Payments, Savings & Loans, E-commerce, E-Health, Fundraising, AgriTech, E-Insurance, and Remittances. Day one of the event saw over 100 innovators tackling their Problem Statements and Business Cases head-on.
Charlotte Neeza, the HiPipo FinTech Events Manager, explained that the Women in FinTech Hackathon serves as a crucial intervention to bridge the gender diversity gap prevalent in the Technology Industry. Neeza highlighted, “Closing this gap necessitates empowering more women with the skills and resources to compete effectively. The Women in FinTech Hackathon not only provides training but also facilitates connections with mentors and potential investors.”
Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, CEO of Club Tangaza and the Hackathon Lead Facilitator, guided the teams through the critical steps of defining a problem statement and crafting a business case. Kanyunyuzi emphasized the importance of solving specific societal problems to ensure innovation success.
Olga Naiga, a Strategic Business Planning Expert, mentored the participants on Day One, focusing on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Naiga stressed the significance of design thinking in women-led FinTech endeavours, encouraging innovation and user-centricity to create inclusive financial solutions.
Additionally, participants were introduced to Level One Project Principles, Mojaloop Open Source Software, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. Innocent Kawooya, HiPipo CEO, and George Kasakya, HiPipo Tech Lead, introduced the Level One Project, while Paul Baker, Principle Product Manager at INFITX and Mojaloop Community Council member, presented Mojaloop, highlighting its role in supporting financial inclusion.
Running for its 4th consecutive year, this Hackathon is a central component of HiPipo’s broader Women in FinTech initiative, complemented by a Summit and Incubator program. The event will culminate in the Women in FinTech Summit on August 18th, 2023, where standout teams and individuals will be celebrated, sharing the USD 10,000 prize money. Winners will also secure a spot in the Women in FinTech Incubator program from September to December 2023.
The Women in FinTech Hackathon is made possible through the partnership of HiPipo, Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, INFITX, Cyberplc Academy, Crosslake Technologies, and Ideation Corner, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.