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Hackathon, a global problem-solving event

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By Mercy Kelani

Coders get the opportunity to assemble, design & code ideas to solve problems.

Globally, disruptive innovative Technology incidents are created through hackathons for non-profit organizations, SMEs and start-up industry. The objective of this is to solve societal issues through developed digital technology in achieving global mobility to change the present narratives in the ecosystem, and in fields of technology-driven solutions. The Hackathon is an occasion where a number of coders assemble, design and code an idea through the use of technology within a given time to solve complicated problems. This is known as coding, during which coders frequently compete for a prize.

The idea or project behind it is called “hack”. On June 4, 1999, a group of developers around the globe converged in Calgary, Canada and coined the word “hackathon” during development of the first IPSEC and IPv6. Hackathons, over time, functioning as the melting pot for creativity, have come to be the incubation or nursery platform for the establishment of the development of innovative solutions and million-dollar start-ups which provide solutions to day to day societal problems. They are prominent for the crowds and prestige they attract.

Many brands owe their existence to the creative proficiency of coders.

Due to the popularity of coding, corporate organisations and schools have enthusiastically grown interest in supporting them as their contributions to development and societal growth. In addition, non-profit organizations, universities and companies host these programmes to employ the best talent in order to grow their business by solving problems and also assemble like-minded people to code. The objective is to create an avenue that will support start-up founders and innovators with game-changing ideas to scale and grow their initiatives. This has helped creative thinkers, problem solvers and a number of tech innovators on the decision to develop the skills, enhance and boost its Productivity for up and coming social entrepreneurs and brands.

According to the Senior VP of Engineering, inDrive, Alexander Lobashev, the hackathons are the world leading top ideas of tech start-ups that seek the need to make available innovative tech solutions for SMEs, entrepreneurs and growing organizations to promote performance in critical sectors of the world Economy, while developing services of the corporate sector. Lobashev asserted that many growing brands have their existence dedicated to the technical and creative proficiency of coders and software developers who envisage, design, and develop world products with user-friendly interfaces and dependable algorithms.

This programmes has birthed many iconic brands.

He affirmed that the technical innovators would foster Sustainability through hackathons in corporate sectors to drive inclusive and collaborative emergence of ideas. Executive director of Financial Service Innovators, Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, traced the record of financial inclusion coding in Nigeria to October 2021. She stated that this will aid the discovery of tech talents in higher institutions and change the narrative of digital ecosystem in the nation. She said that the changing of Nigerians’ lifestyle from cash to cashless transactions is the objective of the financial inclusion for all, and also to improve digital platforms for seamless business.

Executive officer of Electronic Settlement Group, Olaolu Awojoodu listed few of the challenges encountered by startup business and SMEs in Nigeria which includes inaccessibility to affordable technology, hence emphasizing the efficiency of hackathons to provide the required business technology. Carousel, an app that makes buying and selling seamless, was birthed in 2012 during the coding event, Start-up Weekend Singapore. Years later in Series C Funding, the business made the sum of $70-80m. With standard associations and top brands, this event has birthed many iconic brands. Hack Zurich is the European largest and most honoured coding event, established in 2014.

Winners of an innovative challenge were awarded $3000.

Additionally, NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge, the world largest and best global coding programme, was founded in 2012. It is held yearly across more than 320 locations for 48 hours with the aim of addressing realistic problems concerning earth and space with the aid of NASA’s free and open data. In Nigeria, software developers and coders engaged in an activity — Innovation Challenge, a technology-based challenge — which tasked students on innovative solutions. ENGIE Energy Access, as a contribution for budding developers, provided the sum of $3000 (N2.1m) as a financial reward for winners of the Innovative Challenge with the following division: first-place team PERIHELION, $1500, the second-place team TEMT, $1000 and the third-place team, AGROLL $500.


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