In what has proven to be game changing and a first-of-its-kind in the Nigerian media and marketing space, winning innovations have emerged at the grand finale of the maiden edition of Nigeria’s first marketing and media Hackathon tagged ‘MarkHack 1.0’ organized by the Eko Innovation Centre in collaboration with GDM Group.
LiveBIc, which comprised Shadrach Akao and Ernest Ogbanefe emerged the overall winners from a list of 10 finalists involved in the pitch at the finals of the hackathon. LiveBIc won the star prize of $10,000 for developing a new platform for content creators to market and deliver their content.
Sprayme clinched the second position and $4,000 prize money for innovating a new way for social gifting and content monetization; Reelbuzz emerged the third winner with $3,000 for creating an intuitive platform that helps brands connect and command higher brand loyalty; Innovatoras took the fourth position as well as $2,000 prize money for directing the leads for businesses and turning them to paying customers and Monify Cookies, fifth position with $1,000 for developing a browser tool that provides its users the ability to block all unsolicited ads and earn money from allowed ads.
The winners and runners-up will also get working space at Eko Innovation Centre, while all ten (10) finalists will have access to join the EIC accelerator program and GITEX Global pitch event in Dubai.
Recall, that the best 10 teams with the most viable concepts went head-to-head at the finale for the $20,000 prize pool and an acceleration programme with up to $50K equity investment to get their products ready for the market among other benefits.
Speaking on the initiative and what inspired it, Victor Afolabi, Founder, of Eko Innovation Centre, and Curator MarkHack 1.0 said, MarkHack 1.0 is a gathering of innovators, entrepreneurs, Policymakers, and Marketing Professionals, to create solutions to real-life Marketing challenges in an intense period of time. Using creativity, technology, and mentoring, resulting in prototypes, fresh new concepts, and innovative usages of tech for Marketing and Media.
He added that “Seeing how technology has disrupted global industries all over the world, we perceived that the marketing and media industry was ripe for disruption. However, they are two things, it is either we collaborate with stakeholders in the industry to create the disruption we anticipate or we allow disruption to happen to us, and we choose to do the former.”
“The former involves working with over 100 organisations and representatives from the various organisations to co-create together and disrupt that which we anticipate. That co-creation gave birth to what we call MarkHack. We brought together experts in the industry across sectorial groups from clients, agencies, professionals, technology experts, venture capitalists, policymakers, regulators and we all came together to come to create the MarkHack,” he said.
On his part, Hakeem Popoola Fahm, Commissioner of Science and Technology, Lagos State applauded the organizers for the laudable initiative and stated that it is a testament to the success of Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu's commitment to making Lagos a smart city by digitalizing its operations and providing an enabling environment for technology innovations to be given birth to. He added that MarkHack 1.0 has shown that Marketers and media practitioners can digitalize operations and the state government would continue to support the ecosystem.
Similarly, the Special Adviser, Innovation and Technology to the Governor of Lagos State, Tubosun Alake said the government has been supporting various research works through Lagos State Science Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC) across multiple industries including the marketing industry and it won’t rest on its oars in actualizing the smart city agenda of the present administration.
Earlier in the programme, the President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Idorenyen Enang while delivering his keynote address at the event urged marketers to continue to innovate, and know how to use their channels effectively. He had also emphasized that marketing is not merely about integrated marketing communication, adding that innovators require to follow laid-down principles of marketing.
Similarly, in a fireside chat, Franklin Ozekhome, CEO & Head of Growth, Identiture Africa; Seyi Tinubu, CEO/Chairman, Loatsad Promomedia; and Muyiwa Aleshinloye, Head of Marketing, Wakanow called on marketers to take advantage of technology to grow their brands as Metaverse, Artificial Intelligence, and others are being deployed to ease business operations.
The organizers of the event, Eko Innovation Centre and GDM Group revealed that over 500 individuals registered to participate in the hackathon from 72 locations, 5 countries (which includes Nigeria, California- USA, Kenya, Pakistan, and London), and 3 continents (Africa, Europe, and North America).
The participants were split into teams of 5 and were required to work together for 3 weeks, brainstorm, and come up with new concepts based on their areas of focus. They were also sub-grouped into 8 focus areas which include consumer experience, media consumption, consumer recruitment & interaction, trade & retail engagement, analytics and metrics, events marketing, media monetization, and content creation.
Each team pitched their ideas to a respected Jury of experts in the subject matter, and the best 10 teams were picked by the Jurors before only five emerged winners at the grand finale. Overall, the hackathon had 21 Mentors, 30 Selection Jurors, 8 Speakers, and 8 Final Jurors who partook in the event and are the industry’s best with decades of experience in marketing, media, technology, and business management, and others.
The winners were judged by professionals which include Steve Babaeko, CEO/Chief Creative Officer, X3M Ideas & President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria; Iquo Ukoh, Director, Board of Directors, Letshego Microfinance Bank Ltd; Uwem Uwemakpan, Cofounder of Ingressive Capital; Tolulope Tomori Adedeji, Marketing Director, Anheuser-Busch InBev; and Debola Williams, Group CEO at Red Africa.
Others are Joseph Agunbiade, Cofounder, BudgIt; Kayode Oladapo, Assistant Regional Manager for Zone AOA (Africa, Oceania, and Asia), Nestle; and Jide Sipe, Head, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Ecobank Nigeria.