As part of its commitment to inspire developers to “build the future of Africa on Web3”, Mara, the Pan-African blockchain platform, has announced the top eight finalist teams of the “Hack The Mara” competition. These finalists have been invited to a physical hackathon in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, taking place from 17th-26th of September 2022 to determine which teams will emerge the overall winners of the hackathon.
The reveal of the finalists places a spotlight on the teams that submitted the most innovative and promising proposals to advance long term beneficial, social and environmental change in Africa and beyond. With each team’s proposal explaining the innovative solutions they would be building prototypes for during the physical hack, the finalists reflect Mara’s commitment to serve as the port of entry for blockchain capacity building in Africa.
The Mara Hackathon celebrates African Web3 developers and innovators who are working to solve last mile payment tracking challenges and strengthen the financial sustainability of ongoing conservation projects in the Mara for better livelihoods. Working in partnership with Circle (the issuer of USD Coin (USDC) and Euro Coin), United Nations Foundations, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, Ishara Mara and Antler; Mara will award the top solutions with up to $100,000 in funding, entry into startup accelerator programmes, mentorship and other resources to build out their solutions.
Meet the Finalist teams
The finalist teams from Nigeria and Kenya that will be participating in the physical hackathon include:
Team AfroLabs (Nigeria)
A team of young blockchain explorers building Web3 solutions, breeding culture and building Africa. The team is made up of Obinna Oba, a full-stack developer with an interest in building in the web3 space for startups in Africa; Anthony Nwobodo, a full-stack software engineer and blockchain developer; and Chisom Aniefuna, a 400 level Pharmacy student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka who loves blockchain and all the promises its innovation can help the world with.
Team BlockDash (Nigeria)
A team combining a wealth of experience in software development and blockchain technologies to build highly performant systems. The team is made up of Obinna Onuoha, a full-stack software engineer with experience building highly scalable user-facing applications; Hakeem Kazeem, a data scientist with a demonstrated history of working in the information services industry; and Nofisat Ayanlola, a frontend developer skilled in data science and frontend coding.
Team FedhaPay (Kenya)
A team that builds easy-to-use DeFi solutions for locals. The team is made up of Humphry Shikunzi, a software developer skilled in blockchain development and UI/UX design; Maxwell Mwangi, a full-stack software engineer with interest in Web3; and Jackline Tum, a product designer who loves to use technology to solve problems and make an impact.
Team BlockHackers (Nigeria)
A team of experienced Web3 professionals with solutions that provides 100% transparency and security. The team is made up of Solomon Ayo, an experienced software engineer with proficiency in blockchain development and backend development; Oluwayimika Oladipupo, a Mechatronics Engineering student who doubles as a full stack developer; and Chinwendu Iheanetu, an experienced project manager who has worked with several teams in various tech competitions and two startups.
Team Blocverse (Nigeria)
A team with a mission to drive blockchain adoption in Africa, through building everyday products with web3 technologies. The team is made up of Toochukwu Okoro, a smart-contract developer; Joshua Avoaja, a software developer with technical implementation skills; and Teresa Amanwachi, a researcher and technical writer.
Team Relic (Kenya)
An all-ladies team qualified to think, plan and execute solutions effectively. The team is made up of Martha Mwangi, a software developer that enjoys solving problems at the bright and crisp interface between users and business logic; Rachel Chege, a graphic designer and a product designer for web and mobile applications leveraging Web2 and Web3; and Velma Krop, a team player skilled in project management, presentations, blockchain, DAOs and community management.
Team Mastermind (Nigeria)
A team with three engineers focused on building impactful USSD blockchain solutions in Web3. The team is made up of Babatide Ayoade, a blockchain developer; Oluwasegun Abisagbo, a frontend developer and Patience Adajah, a frontend d-App engineer skilled in UI/UX design.
Team Sahara (Kenya)
A group of friends seeking to change the world by utilising the current trends in technology to build simple solutions that solve major crises. According to them, ‘Occam’s razor is still sharp’. The team is made up of Dennis Mutua, a software engineer specialising in blockchain and smart contracts development; Beatrice Kirii, a software developer skilled in code knowledge, research and testing; as well as Maina Gichuru, a software engineer skilled in smart contracts development.
Meet the Judges
The participants will be evaluated by a panel of judges based on originality, creativity, analytical skills, strategic thinking and practical implementation. The judges include:
Wei Xiao, Director of DevRel NVIDIA
Wei is the Director of the cross-geo Developer Relations team at NVIDIA. As Africa’s developer population grows across the continent, they become an engine for digital transformation in local economies. Wei is passionate about nurturing talents with her breadth of technical expertise and fostering developer development.
Dr. Bright Gameli Mawudor, CTO Xetova
Dr. Bright is the CTO at Xetova, a Data Science as a service organization and the founder of the Cyber Security collective Africahackon, the first ever Live demonstration Cyber Security Conference in East and Central Africa. He has over 10 years of professional experience in the Cyber Security industry with strong expertise in Cyber security Strategy building, Resilience, and system penetration testing. Bright has also presented at over 190 Cyber Security conferences, lectured at various universities, and contributed to cyber security publications.
Sandra Persing, VP of Developer and Ecosystem Marketing, Circle
Sandra is the VP of Developer and Ecosystem Marketing at Circle, responsible for building awareness, affinity, and scale on the Circle platform and supporting existing and future USDC developers and alliances. She is a champion of developers building for inclusion and accessibility, especially on the web. She is passionate in speaking about developer marketing strategies and women in tech; and has previously served on the advisory board for Women Who Code for 6 years.
Confrey Alianji, Innovations Strategist, WWF-Kenya
Confrey works as the Innovation strategist/Lead at WWF where he is responsible for starting up WWF Kenya Innovation program “PandaLabs”. He is an Expert Reviewer for World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Climate Justice Challenge. He has a passion for mentoring the creative talents of young people and has supported the Safaricom Blaze BYOB program as the Technology Mentor, Contributor at KamiLimu and Andela’s professional development sessions, and Entrepreneurship trainer at the Young African Leadership Initiative
Dearg Obartuin, Co-Founder & CTPO, Mara
Dearg is best known for his success in scaling financial service products from concept to delivery, serving millions of users and billions of transactions. He has focused his career in Blockchain and Crypto finance projects, payments, cross-border remittance, and digital challenger-banking, bringing a gold standard to security and scalability. Dearg advocates best-in-class adherence to local market compliance requirements, often working directly with regulators such as the FCA, CBN, FDIC, CBN, CBK and GFSC to help influence policy change and architect sandbox environments that promote Fintech innovation.
Victor Ohuruogu, Senior Africa Regional Manager, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Victor is an experienced public health and development specialist with several years of experience in strengthening national data systems and institutions for evidence-based decision and policy making. He is very experienced in brokering large and complex partnerships with several regional and global partners including the UN system, private sector actors, civil society, universities, developer communities and manages huge programs to support African nations to enhance their capacity for effective responses to development challenges.
Selam A. Kebede, Director, Antler
Salem leads Antler’s work as Marketing, Recruitment, and Partnership Director in East Africa. Before joining Antler, she worked for various start-ups, VCs, and ESOs across geographies. She holds MSc Degree in Electrical & Communication Engineering from Aalto University, Finland.
While in Kenya for the hackathon, the finalists will be hosted at Ishara. Located in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, Ishara is an immersive experience dedicated to preserving the wildlife, the communities, and the land of this globally significant conservation area.
With crypto, Web3 and blockchain education as its focal point, Mara is set to train one million people and impact one billion lives in five years.