Winners Emerge At EkoClimathon 1.0 As DigitAgric Goes Home With $3,500 First Prize
Winners have emerged at the grand finale of the maiden edition of Nigeria’s first climate change mitigation Hackathon tagged ‘Climathon 1.0’ organized by the Eko Innovation Centre in partnership with the Eko Carbon and Commodity Xchange.
At the closing ceremony held on Friday, August 26, at the Eko Innovation Centre, Ikoyi, Lagos, the shortlisted 10 Teams pitched their ideas to the 5 Final Jurors for a chance to win a $7,500 prize pool and an acceleration program with up to $50K equity investment to get their products ready for the market among other benefits.
The climate Hackathon which was launched on the 8th of July 2022, had 1034 participants registered from 105 locations in 11 countries and three continents in different focus areas, forming over 314 teams of five and four.
A pitch session was held at the Eko Innovation Centre from 3rd to 5th of August where the teams after a 3-week workathon pitched their ideas to a panel of jurors spanning six focused areas (Agriculture, Energy, Industry, Transportation, Industry, Nature base, and circular economy) of the hackathon.
A total of 82 teams pitched their ideas, concepts, and prototypes to over 24 selection jurors, who selected the top 10 teams with the best concepts for a pitch for the grand prize at the closing ceremony.
The top 10 teams were trained, motivated, and stretched over the past three weeks through brainstorming sessions with their mentors.
DigitAgric led by Adegoke Adewale emerged as the overall winner from a list of 10 finalists involved in the pitch at the finals of the hackathon. DigitAgric, an impact-driven social enterprise that transforms agricultural practices won the star prize of $3,500 for converting agricultural waste into Biochar and organic fertilizers to increase the yield of farmers, increase their revenue and also renew their degraded soil.
Team Exousia led by Rahman Orewole won the second position and $2,500 prize money for innovating a new way that allows companies that give out solar systems on credit to people to easily track their customers and get their money at the due date, while Coulomb Technologies led by Victor Tomoloju emerged the winner in the third position with $1,500 for creating a power system that monitors the load usage and control of energy consumption from anywhere in the world.
The winners and finalists will also get working space at Eko Innovation Centre, with access to mentorship opportunities, among other consolation prizes.
Speaking on the initiative, Victor Afolabi, Curator, Climathon 1.0 said, the hackathon is a gathering of investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and environmental activists who wanted to see the footprints, and activities of the innovators are mitigating the effects of climate change on our planet.
He said, “Eko Innovation Centre to a large extent is the biggest promoter of civic tech in this ecosystem. Every time we do initiatives, we try to look for initiatives that will impact our common good and initiatives that make our society a better place to live. For us, it’s a way of helping to build a better society through collaborations.
“For the Climathon, we had decision-makers, environmental activists, final jurors, and policymakers from the Lagos State Government. We looked at six thematic areas (Agriculture, Energy, Industry, Transportation, Industry, Nature base, and circular economy), and we had the highest number of entries from around the world (three continents) to look at the challenges of climate change. This gives the representation that the issues we are dealing with are a global phenomenon and we as a nation, the more we begin to tackle it the more we begin to change the perception and how responsible we can be.”
Speaking at the event, the Special Adviser, Innovation and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State, Tubosun Alake said the government has been supporting various research works through Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council, LASRIC, across various sectors including the environment.
“Climate change is a big issue and the government is happy to support initiatives that want to seek solutions to these issues. Climate affects us existentially in Lagos, we are subject to large amounts of rainfall, and our environment in terms of the topography also being below sea level is also an issue. We are very much affected by whether it’s rising sea level or desertification, competition for food and all that. We are satisfied with the solutions here today and we look to supporting other climate change solutions in our ecosystem.
“The Lagos State Government has friendly policies that support investments in this area whether it’s alternative energy solution, recycling, etc. We want the activities in this sector to increase because it’s our environment and we need to keep it safe. As it is evident here today, there are opportunities in this space and I want to encourage every young innovator to keep going and trust the process,” Alake said.