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ZENITH TECH FAIR 2.0 AWARDS FINALIST 53 MILLION

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Exhibitors, participants have emerged victorious at the second edition of the zenith tech fair tagged ” future forward 2.0″, held on Tuesday and Wednesday the 22nd-23rd of November at Eko Hotel and Suites,

present at the second day of the fair 11 pitches were presented by different brands to the audience and the panel of judges were keen about investing in the best and most qualified brand ,

after timed turns in pitches the judges were left to decided who would emerge “future forward 2.0” , while the judges were presiding over the pitches, a few minutes were taken by Ndidi Nwuneli an expert on African agriculture and nutrition, philanthropy, and social innovation gave insight on what was and should be expected from a pitch although a winner was at the corner, she made it known that the presentations did’nt quite provide all the judges expected to hear.

she further emphasized using her businesses and how she begun as examples, life changing situations that sparked up the tech ideas which became to solution to those situations

before the winner of the hackathon was announced, Chris Lu, the Managing Director Huawei Tech Nigeria took to the stage to congratulate the winners of the Huawei giveaways, the yabatech student who went home with a Huawei device and others,

his presentation was themed “5G Opportunities in Nigeria”, starting with a question “who is interested in 5G ? “, Lu portrayed his conversation with his mother, explaining the difference and benefits 5G was going to bring amidst its previous versions,

he mentioned that 5G was going to connect people to machines, and machines to machines making work faster and efficient.

adding to his concluding words Lu presented the latest version of the Huawei cloud and promised to give it to the winner of the hackathon free of charge.

following Chris Lu’s time on the stage the judges were ready to cut short the suspense, hence all eleven finalists were called up, eight were selected and rewarded with ( ₦‎1M ) one million Naira each, those brands were Sanwo, Eduvacity, Itinu Ev, Green Bii, Sono Care, Zion Robotics, Base and I grow Africa

and then the finalists that were to shake the hackathon was announced , The first runner-up, Foris Labs, an app-based platform that allows students to conduct science experiments individually and in groups interactively via their mobile phones, won N15m and a mentorship programme with Seedstars, while the second runner-up, Finver, a start-up which helps creditors offer credits at low risk, won N10 million as well as a mentorship programme with Seedstars. Other finalists who took home N1m each include Sanwo, Itinu -Ev, Eduvacity, Green Bii, Zion Robotics, Sono Care, Base, and I grow Africa.

Presenting the prizes to the winners, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc, reiterated the bank’s readiness to support the budding entrepreneurs succeed. 

According to him, “all finalists would be enlisted into our incubation lab for grooming and mentorship. Our expectation is that we are going to scale and grow them just like the zenith brand. So, looking at what we have gone through, I can tell you that so much iron has been loaded on fire. The only thing left is to activate the digital talents, tech skills and entrepreneurship that would culminate in a new digital economy for Nigeria”.

The event also featured a goodwill message by Jim Ovia, Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank. 

Also, there were opening remarks by Ebenezer Onyeagwu, Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of Body of Banks’ CEOs, Nigeria.

Other eminent IT practitioners from top global brands who also made presentations include; Tarik Alatovic, Senior Partner, McKinsey; Juliet Ehimuan, West Africa Director, Google; Ola Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft Inc.; Andrew Uaboi, Vice President/Head, Visa West Africa; Mrs Rakiya Mohammed, Director of Information Technology, CBN; Chris Lu, Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Nigeria, and Dame (Dr.) Adaora Umeoji, Deputy Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, amongst others.

The fair featured three panel sessions. The first panel, which examined “The future of payments: what next and how can we get there”, had Prof. Yinka David West of Lagos Business School as the host, with four discussants, including Agada Apochi, Managing Director, UPSL; Olu Akanmu, Managing Director, Opay; Premier Oiwoh, Managing Director, NIBBS; and Kari Tukur, V/P & Head of Products East/West Africa, MasterCard.

The second panel explored the theme “What are the main challenges of digital transformation in the financial industry? How do we solve them?”. It was hosted by Brett King and had four discussants, including Tosin Eniolorunda, Managing Director, TeamApt; Obi Emetarom, Managing Director, Appzone; Dr. Babatunde Obrimah, COO, FintechNGR; and Olugbenga Agboola, Founder/CEO, Flutterwave.

The third panel discussion, titled “Driving the global trade revolution with technology: current transformation trends”, was hosted by Samuel Eze, Founder/CEO, Ourpass, and had five discussants, including Mike Ogbalu III, Managing Director, PAPSS; Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch; Massimiliano Spalazzi, Country Manager, Jumia; and Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, Director of Trade & Exchange, CBN.

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