Arriving the conference room of the hub, I found a suitable corner and settled down. On the screen was a presentation on PennySave a software developed to help the local thrifting and co-operative management. Across the table were coaches, mentors and potential investors who have been following the Startup Weekend in Uyo. This was however one of the applications developed over the weekend as the developers camped at the hub.
We had reported earlier that Startup Weekend Uyo is a 54-hour weekend event, during which groups of developers, business managers, startup enthusiasts, marketing gurus, graphic artists and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday evening.
On Friday the 24th of November 2017, 112 participants gathered to pitch 28 ideas where 10 of them came tops after voting by all participants. Teams were formed round them with complementing skills while coaches and mentors guided them through Design, Pitching, Business Modeling, and prototyping sessions. They had 54 hours between Friday and Sunday to present to investors and a panel of judges what they were able to build.
At the end of this year’s Startup Weekend Uyo, Team Emergensee came first. Emergensee is a security and safety application that forewarns users of danger within their current location. This team was able to build a working prototype and upload to Google Playstore within the 54 hours available to them. They were also able to validate their idea and backed it up with a viable business model.
First runner up was Team Cashtasy – A financial inclusion platform that allow users to carry out peer-to-peer cash transactions. Second runner up was Team MyEvendor – An event management platform.
Two teams took the fourth position, they are; Team Etibe – A collaborative contribution platform for individuals and cooperatives and Team Budgetier – An event budgeting platform for meetup and party organizers. Other ideas were iSupport, GasGo, iMedic, Quely and Scraps.
During the startup weekend in Uyo, it was a case of identifying the problems and creating solutions to solve the problems. Such engagements do not only lead to productivity, but offers the youths an opportunity to think constructively towards the development of our society. Software development is a branch of Information Technology that offers one of the highest paid opportunity in the industry. Therefore, apart from offering the developers the opportunity to collaborate, it also sharpened their skills in software development.
Recently, we have been discussing various modalities by which the government can use to engage our youths better. Information Technology offers one of such opportunities. Sometimes it does not matter the level of education but it demands one who can think creatively, finding solution to existing problems within the ecosystem. All apps developed over the weekend were strictly solutions for the ecosystem and therefore while these teams continue working on their various projects to sharpen, finish and launch these apps on a larger scale, it is imperative for other youths outside the circle to find a community in the industry and join so as to help influence the tech ecosystem in the nearest future.
I have on several occasions reminded our youths that Mark Zuckerbeg of Facebook is a man like you. Larry Page is a man like you. Coming down to Nigeria, we have the likes of Mark Essien of Hotels.NG, Iboro Otu of Alert Nigeria and a host of others we will bring up as you stay with us on this site. The industry is ripe in Akwa Ibom State and it is no longer safe for you to roam your field without thinking of the need to integrate this all-important sector in your endeavour.
Meanwhile, we must thank Alert Nigeria and Hotels.NG for constantly supporting the effort of techies in the Akwa Ibom ecosystem and pray someday more investors will see the need to partner with techies in the Akwa Ibom ecosystem for optimum results. Yes, we can do it together.