Diamond Bank Plc on Tuesday and Wednesday played host to some of Nigeria’s techpreneurs and users for Techfest 2018.
TechFest, an event organised to bring “a community of like-minded participants to showcase Nigeria’s best talent ideas and businesses with a focus on technology” was held at the Landmark Event Centre in collaboration with MTN, VISA, NIBBS, Microsoft, Interswitch, Deloitte, and The Beat 99.9FM.
The event hosted conversation around various aspects of technology and the economy in Nigeria. Here are the various facets.
Women in Tech
‘The Tech Girl Rising: Women Shaking Up the Tech World’. The panel included Titi Odunfa, founder CEO, Sankore; Oluwakemi Okunsanya, VP, VISA West Africa; Linda Quaynor, Partner & West Africa Strategy & Operations Leader, Deloitte & Touche; Lynda Saint Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN; Banke Alawaye, Program Manager, CodeLagos; and Ola Williams, Director, Solution Sales Microsoft Nigeria. The panelists shared ideas and posits based on their own experiences, they also discussed the challenges women in tech deal with, and the opportunities available in the ecosystem.
Big Data for Small Businesses
During the session tagged ‘Big Data for Small Businesses’, Diamond Bank CEO, Uzoma Dozie and Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-Founder & MD, Flutterwave; and Wale Olokodana, Director Business Development, Microsoft, moderated by Chuka Mordi, CEO, CBO Capital,covered a range of topics from big data applications for small businesses to the role banks have to play in the march for financial innovation and inclusion through options easily accessible to small businesses.
Attracting and working with Angel Investors
This was a panel session aimed at discussing the intricacies of angel investment in the Nigerian tech ecosystem. This session included Neku Atawodi-Ekun, Country Director MEST Africa; Akintunde Oyebode Executive Secretary, Lagos State Employment Trust Fund; and Collins Onuegbu, founder, Signal Alliance; it was moderated by Onyi Sunday, producer/presenter – CNBC Africa.
The panel consisted of Yewande Kazeem, founder/MD, Wandieville Media; Lois Sankey, Head, AgricFinance Diamond Bank; Onyeka Akumah, Founder CEO, Farmcrowdy; Kola Masha, MD, Babban Gona; and Dami Runsewe, Senior Manager, Segment Enterprise Unit, MTN. The panelists discussed the agriculture supply chain, technology applications and the importance of educating farmers (who aren’t typically literate) on the benefits and long term implications of leveraging technology in their operations.
“Communication, Content and Sharing in a Digital World” was the last panel session of TechFest and it featured Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Diamond Bank; Akin Alabi, founder, NairaBet; singer/entrepreneur, Dapo Oyebanjo (D’Banj); Celebrity photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi; Jason Njoku, CEO, IrokoTV; and Chris Ubosi, MD, The Beat 99.9 FM. Panelists shared ideas on world of digital media and opportunities available to creators, investors and other players in a unique market like Nigeria.
One of the highlight of the day was the startup competition which involved pitches by startups from pre-selected hubs around Nigeria with a N5 million prize at the end of the tunnel. Over the two days of TechFest, startups pitched their ideas and fought the good fight but at the end of it all, Beat Drone, a startup that provides tech solutions using drones and data, was named winner to take home the N5 million prize.
Techfest partners, who expressed excitement about the success of the event, said it would go a long way in increasing homegrown innovations from the players in the country.