On November 12, 2022, Ingressive for Good (I4G) held her first physical edition of the I4G HACKFEST 2022. The event brought together techies across Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa including developers, engineers, students, designers, idea generators and other stakeholders in the ecosystem.
HACKFEST 2022 celebrated the growth of African techies and communities, while also showcasing rising talents, industry trends and insights from leading tech startups and professionals.
The event themed “No Techies left behind” saw a lot of engaging conversations with thought leaders and influencers in the ecosystem such as Odunayo Eweniyi, co-founder and COO at PiggyVest; Maya Horgan Famodu, co-founder of Ingressive Capital, Sean Burrowes and Blessing Abeng—co-founders of I4G; Adora Nwodo, a software engineer at Microsoft; Tunde Onakoya, founder of Chess In Slums, amongst others.
HACKFEST 2022 featured a hackathon, tech awards, job fairs and virtual/ augmented reality demos, panel discussions, fireside chat, breakout sessions and networking.
Topics examined in the tech conference which was held at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, focused on personal and professional growth, Web3 technology, leveraging content creation to access global opportunities, and many more.
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Tech: the ecosystem for all
During a panel session titled “transforming Africa, one techie at a time,” Maya Horgan Famodu said that "anyone regardless of their academic background, experience and even if they didn’t go to secondary school, who has the grit, hunger and focus has a space reserved for them in the technology sector."
Odunayo Eweniyi also leaned into the conversation about why the tech sector is a permissionless space. Narrating her first tech career role, Odunayo said she met her friend now co-founder, Somtochukwu Ifezue, after an interview that went badly in 2013.
He invited her to join them in building Rose Patrols as a social media manager since she was active on Twitter at the time. This was despite the fact that she didn’t have any coding or programming experience.
Leaning on the event theme—“No Techie left behind”—Odunayo said that "as the ecosystem grows and begins to thrive, you naturally see the emergence of people who think they can exclude you. That you need to meet a particular standard before you say you’re in tech. But none of that is true because you don't need anyone’s permission to learn a skill or start a tech-enabled business. The tech space is the only sector that allows you to learn on the go."
Accessing global opportunities through storytelling
In the panel session titled, “Leveraging Content Creation to Access Global Opportunities”, Alma Asinobi reiterated the need to put out content to be able to attract opportunities. After getting rejected for an interview at Cowrywise, she put out a video about her losses for the year.
The HR of Cowrywise saw the video and sent her a message if she would like another role different from the one she applied for. Alma accepted the role, joined Cowrywise and has since worked for a fintech startup based in Germany and Kenya. "If I didn’t create the content, the people of Cowrywise wouldn’t have seen her page, and would never have joined them and even attracted the global role I have today," she said.
During the HACKFEST 2022, prizes were given to winners of the hackathon sponsored by Verified Africa. Team Meraki came first and won a cash prize of ₦500,000. Team One Secure came second and Team Optimus came third place.