I could start this recap of the GenZTechies HackFest 2022 with an aspire to perspire about how if you put your mind to something, it will always work out or how a dream is what it takes to move mountains but I dare not, because as someone privileged to have witnessed the under workings of the organizing team, I can categorically say the mountain their dream dared to move proved immovable.
Originally slated to hold on Saturday, 9th of July 2022, the GenZTechies Hackfest 2022 held on the 11th of July at the Zone Tech Park, Ruby Hall for 8 hours of upbeat energy, packed with engaging, exciting, and educative program all throughout.
With 600+ individuals in attendance and 2000+ via her online stream, the GenZTechies HackFest treated her guests to a handful of speakers who are experts in their respective fields, and close to 20 startup products being built by GenZs and young ones alike set to disrupt the industry in the coming years.
This ladies and gentlemen is a recap of the dream of a 17-year-old backed by a team stereotyped by their age & generation and how they dared to challenge the narrative.
The Highlights of GenZTechies
It’s safe to say, every single moment of the 8-hours long event was the highlight of the day. Started out with 14-year-old Ikram Babs Lawal giving the opening keynote speech as she educated the audience on ‘Something about machine learning’. Following the keynote speech, later on, was a panel session on ‘Gen Z’s and the Advancement of Technology in Africa’ moderated by Susan, the community manager with panelists – Favour Chukwuedo, Seun Sokeye, Feranmi Okafor, and Luqman Edu.
During the course of the event, products across several industries were presented, giving the community and attendees an insight into the technologies that is being built, and angel investors & venture capitals in attendance a showcase of prospective products that could be backed.
During his speech later during the event, the title sponsor of the event – Senator Abiru commended Eniola Osabiyi – Founder, GenZTechies, and the team for putting together such an event. In his speech, he reassured attendees of his continued support for the dreams of young Nigerians. Senator Abiru informed the audience about the pending launch of the Senator Abiru Innovation Lab which will serve as an accelerator for emerging startups and a free-to-use home for young technological folks.
The main event some might say is when the one-man team of Usman Hassan was revealed as the winner of the Hackathon concluded the previous Friday. The Abuja-based Usman Hassan emerged winner out of 38 other teams after building Safepal, taking home the grand prize of N250 000 which he plans to use to get a new system. His product immediately pricked the interest of event sponsors – Filecoin.
Planning the HackFest
The conception, execution, and delivery of the HackFest certainly came with its own ups & downs, mostly downs said a member of the team. With Eniola been on call holding a series of meetings with some team members as late as 2 am on the event day. Nothing was guaranteed until the end of the event.
Catching up with some of the team members a day before the event as they tried to set up and put the event location to order, you would learn of the struggles and challenges the team faced with the organization.
Getting sponsors was not an easy feat one of them said. We got lots of nos from people because they failed to believe that we could actually pull off what we were pitching to do. We even had to turn down some partnerships because of the ridiculous conditions that they were offering us.
For an event that had attendees flying in from Abuja, Awka-Ibom, Oyo State, and other parts of Nigeria, it’s almost unbelievable that there were only a few numbers shy of 200 registered attendees the week preceding the event.
Eniola constantly acknowledged his team who had mostly organized the event remotely, and voluntarily. With just 2 months and a half of planning, if it wasn’t for these guys, there won’t be an HackFest this year.
Speakers & Product Showcase
Getting industry experts to grace and speak at the event was a major hurdle in the planning process, with some tied up in other engagements and others out of the country. Thanks to the can-do attitude of the team, attendees were treated to some of the most brilliant minds in the tech ecosystem.
Daniel Ezediniru spoke on ‘Catching up with Technology trends as a GenZ Techie’, Ijeoma Onwuka educated the audience on ‘Effective Networking: The right way’, Jennifer Ahize highlighted ‘The role of GenZ’s in crypto adoption’. Shebuel Inyang spoke on the use of ‘Community as a growth strategy’, and Opemipo Disu gave his 100th talk about ‘The accessibility of Web3’.
Ingressive for Good community manager Haneefah Abdurrahman, spoke on ‘The importance of community’ with Eniola Osabiya, Caleb Areeveso, and Uche Sussan Chigioze giving the GenZTechies Community Keynote.
Among the startup products that got showcased are; Frelapay, Myhostel, Trakka, Acceedee, Spotlyt, Threadlr, Krubbs, Mysvote, Spacialnova, Afiari, Unee, Zeddpay, Thrivee, Flixx Menu, Revetpay, Eddify, and Tix Hive.
The main goal of GenZTechies has been simple – connect like-minded individuals together, providing them with a community to learn, grow and act as a support. And this is what we intend to continue with. said Eniola.
With requests and enquires already coming in about the next HackFest, Eniola promised for sure that there will be a GenZTechies HackFest 2023, but for now, they are focused on building some of the in-house products they have.
Joining other elite tech events in the ecosystem, it’s no doubt that the GenZTechies Hackfest delivered as promised, and more than expected.