VoguePay recently announced a 5-year MoU with NACOSS (a body of over 150,000 undergraduates across Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria) to sponsor their annual students’ convention. The sponsorship reflects our corporate social responsibility to help raise awareness about local talents on software development among students of tertiary institutions.
The first of such events took place at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state Nigeria on 31st July to 4th August, 2017.
We attended the event with 3 board members (including 2 co-founders) to show our commitment to the undergraduates, gave 4 presentations, awarded prizes for an hackathon, paid a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor of the University and also got an invitation from the Governor for a chat. It was time well spent and also an opportunity for amazing sight seeing in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria.
The VoguePay/NACOSS Business Solutions & Software Exhibition Hack.
Part of the sponsorship included hosting a business solutions & software exhibition hack as a major part of the event. Even though it was tempting to make the hackathon to be self-serving by asking the students to build stuffs for VoguePay, we chose a different route.
Inspired by Daniel Steeves (board advisor to VoguePay and co-author of the FINTECH book), we offered the students a unique opportunity to demo their innovative business ideas/software solutions they feel will solve real-life challenges in Nigeria across agriculture, eCommerce or any sector of the economy. We received application from 76 teams but shortlisted 50 teams for presentation in 3 batches.
Based on our analysis:
Most of the applications came from Universities as against Polytechnics and colleges of education.
97% of the application is from male with the remaining being female, however it was a female team that won the competition.
54% of the application came from team (and average size of each team was 3 people).
Most application came from 300Level students, followed by 400Level students.
Institutions with the highest numbers of teams are University of Uyo, followed by University of Ibadan, Bayero university, University of Lagos, Oduduwa university and University of Ibadan.
Here is a breakdown of major categories of the application received.
For ease of judging, the exhibition was broken into phases and judged on creativity, uniqueness, viability of the idea and ability to scale. The panel included Leke Ojikutu and Geoffrey Weli-Wosu (both co-founders of VoguePay) with support from HOD, Computer Science of the University of Uyo.
And the winners are…..
Finally, top 5 winners emerged after the final scores were computed. They are:
ExtraClassNG: 3 undergraduates from the University of Nnamdi Azikwe, Nmecha Onyinyechi, Emeto Chidimma, Uchechi won with their presentation of ExtraClass.ng; a platform that helps users to find expert tutors on subject areas and access preparatory exams questions. The team lead, Onyinyechi Nmecha commented in a blogpost that the team made history as they won the cash prize less than 3 days after they launched their website.
Alat.me: The second position went to Alat.me team. The team included Ismail Olalekan, Abolade Akintomiwa and Shuaib Oladigbolu from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho. Their app helps users to track their lost phones using their friend’s phone. The cash prize was N75,000.
Crop2Cash: Michael Ogundare; an undergraduate from University of Ibadan demo’ed Crop2Cash as a platform to help farmers sell their crops directly to buyers, thereby eliminating middle-men. It is an AI-powered Agri-Commerce platform that connects farmers and their crops to industries through a Facebook Messenger bot.
Other presentation worth mentioning include the fourth team (undergraduates from Osun state polytechnic) that who presented a platform that helps users to locate misplaced devices while students of University of Uyo were awarded the fifth position for their presentation on an eCourse platform.
As promised, the winners have all been awarded their cash prizes. The VoguePay team looks forward to do it again next year.
An unexpected benefit.
Many of the students were impressed with the opportunities of making additional revenues from VoguePay and eStoreSMS. The students believed they can improve their revenue by accepting payment with VoguePay with or without a website. Some were so excited that they can easily request payment from their local and international clients by creating a simple payment link which they can send on Whatsapp, Facebook or Twitter.
For app developers and those who design websites for client, they accepted our partnership programmes as a massive opportunity for them to earn up to 10% and 30% commission. At the event, Geoffrey Weli-Wosu had noted that affiliates earn up to 10% while developers earn as much as 30% commision fee when they integrate VoguePay to their clients’ website or by developing plugins for our platform.
Also, a large number of the students signified interest in starting bulkSMS business to supplement their allowance and got a waiver to register their bulkSMS business for free as resellers on eStoreSMS platform.