Eko Innovation Centre, one of the leading tech hubs in Nigeria, recently played host to the grand finale of SecureHack 1.0, a hackathon designed to drive tech innovations across three thematic areas: Biosecurity, Physical Security, and Cyber Security.
The event was attended by innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and security professionals, while many others across the world joined the event virtually. The competition, which was launched in February, garnered over 400 registrations from participants to form 100+ teams from 62 locations in four countries and across two continents.
The hackathon brought together innovators and security experts in the fields of cyber, biology, and physical security, providing a challenging and engaging learning experience that raises awareness about security as well as drive innovation towards providing solutions to these challenges. The event’s keynote address, presented by Oluwasolape Akinde, Head of IT GRC & DPO at Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited, focused on the topic of “Strengthening Cyber Security in Africa’s Emerging Digital Economies”. In his presentation, he discussed the challenges facing Cyber Security in African’s Emerging Digital Economy, best practices for strengthening Cyber Security, collaborations, and partnerships.
Another security expert, Imeh Udofia, gave a presentation on Cyber-Physical Security, discussing Cyber-Physical attacks: An emerging threat, preventive controls, layers of security, and components of physical security, among others.
The highlight of the event was the pitching of ideas by finalists of the hackathon. The teams were split into groups of four and required to work together for three weeks, brainstorming and ideating new concepts based on their focus areas, which include cybersecurity, physical security, and biosecurity. At the end of the process, Team Nexa came third in the competition to cart home the sum of N350,000 while Team Cyber Verse clinched the second place position to win the sum of N650,000.
However, Team HealthWaka emerged as the overall winners of the competition. The trio of Omolola Oluwadara, Kehinde Abolaji, and Ozemhoya Anthonia beat allcomers to win the grand prize of the hackathon, which is the sum of one million naira and an acceleration programme investment of up to $50k equity Investment to get their products ready for the market among other benefits.
During the entire process, 31 selection jurors selected the top 10 innovative solutions from 26 teams that pitched. The teams were subjected to coaching and mentorship for two weeks. Speaking on the pitching process among other things, Ayodele Olojede, the Chief Juror of the Hackathon and Group Head, Emerging Businesses, Africa Bank Plc., said, “The underlining factor we looked at among other criteria was that ‘Civic good’. So, you are able to come up with a solution you can make money with and at the same time, you are solving a challenge that could benefit society. We looked at how great the contestants’ ideas were and also checked if there is a team that can progress this, we looked at quality of the delivery, how they responded to questions and also looked at their business models.”
She added that the winners of SecureHack 1.0 are indeed deserving of their recognition, and the Eko Innovation Centre, as the host, deserve commendation for curating yet another successful tech event in Nigeria.