•Students can choose to participate as individuals or as teams with a maximum of 5 participants.
•Over 663 students from the two universities registered to take part in the 4-week virtual event.
Equity Group and Microsoft, have launched a virtual hackathon for The University of Nairobi and Meru University of Science and Technology students
The event seeks to drive innovation and crowdsource solutions to address business problems and social issues is the first of its kind to be run by the group. Registration opened on on February 4.
Speaking at the launch, Equity Group CEO, James Mwangi said the they want to explore the use of hackathons to drive new technologies and process improvement solutions for the bank.
“The hackathon promises to be a truly transformational experience for both universities and our institution," said Mwangi.
He said it will enable the bank create products and offerings that are beneficial to its customers.
Mwangi said it will also offer the students an opportunity to learn and apply their skills to solve business challenges.
The timed event set to run from February 17 to March 17 saw a total of 663 students from the two universities register for shortlisting.
It has two stages which include instructor-led and self-paced training of the participants on Microsoft Azure and the Business Problem Statements as the first one.
The second stage will see students go through coding with mentorship from representatives from Equity, the two universities and Microsoft.
Their solutions will then go through a first and second knock off stage, that will culminate in the selection of the three winners.
The grand prize winner or winning group will walk away with a cash prize of Sh600,000, three months mentorship opportunity from Microsoft, Technical Cloud certificates for all team members and a gift hamper.
The first and second runners up individual or group will take home a cash prize of Sh250,000 and Sh150,000 respectively, in addition to a three months mentorship opportunity from Microsoft and a gift hamper.
“Uncertain times call for solutions that are sustainable; solutions that bridge the gaps and challenges that Africa faces,” said Kendi Ntwiga, Microsoft country manager.
UoN vice chancellor, Stephen Kiama said together with Meru University they are endeavouring to develop closer ties with the banking and ICT industries to support students acquire practical skills.