In a significant move to bolster the Nigerian tech sector, Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 4.0 event concluded this past weekend, awarding a cumulative sum of N37 million to four distinguished tech startups.
The health-tech initiative, IRETI, which focuses on aiding women in managing breast cancer, emerged as the top contender, securing a N15 million grant. Following closely, the fintech venture GRIP was awarded N10 million, with Trakka receiving N7 million. Additionally, the Women Led Award, aimed at uplifting women in the technological realm, saw Outsidee being granted N5 million.
Jane Agbaohwo, the visionary behind IRETI, expressed her intent to utilize the funds to expand outreach, targeting both urban and rural women. Collaborations with NGOs are also on the horizon, aiming to amplify breast cancer awareness.
In the realm of academia, three universities were recipients of the Wema Bank Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics endowment fund. Babcock University was granted N10 million, Afe Babalola University received N7 million, and Nile University was awarded N5 million.
Wema Bank’s Commitment to the Tech Ecosystem
At the Hackaholics grand finale, which coincided with a Digital Summit, Wema Bank’s MD/CEO, Moruf Oseni, emphasized the bank’s dedication to the tech ecosystem. He highlighted the synergy of traditional banking expertise with modern technology as pivotal in fostering tech growth in Nigeria.
Oseni remarked on the importance of a robust focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for sustainable economic progress. While entertainment and sports have positively showcased Nigeria globally, he stressed the need to address technology and infrastructure deficits for Nigeria to realize its full potential.
Tunde Mabawonku, Wema Bank’s Executive Director of Retail and Digital Business, echoed this sentiment. He emphasized that the theme of this year’s Hackaholics, ‘Re-imagine: Disrupting the Ecosystem for Scale’, epitomizes the bank’s innovative spirit.
A Platform for Innovators
Olugbenga Agboola, the founder and CEO of Flutterwave, delivered a keynote address, lauding events like Hackaholics 4.0. He highlighted their potential in offering invaluable opportunities to innovators addressing both local and global issues. Agboola also commended Wema Bank for its proactive approach in fostering fintech innovation.