The 2023 Women in FinTech Hackathon concludes on a high, with winners to be announced on Friday

After a long week of solutions’ ideation and development, the 2023 Women in FinTech Hackathon teams have today pitched their final minimum viable products – MVPs to the Hackathon Jury.

The over 30 teams were each given up to 10 minutes to demonstrate how their developed solutions work. The young and nascent innovators used this time to wow the Hackathon Jury of six judges.

Of the six judges, three attentively followed the presentations physically whilst others followed the proceedings remotely. For each developed solution, the judges were looking out for innovativeness, business value, feasibility, potential impact, and integration with Mojaloop Open Source Software.

The judges also paid a keen interest to adherence to Level One Project Principles such as Same Day Settlement, Realtime Payments, Tiered KYC, and Transaction Irrevocability.

“The fourth edition of Women in Fintech Hackathon has embodied the transformative power of women in technology. Through a systematic approach, the Hackathon has tackled real-world Fintech product development; from problem statement and business case formulation to solution design, prototyping, and MVP dry run. This structured process fostered collaboration, innovation, and skill growth, all while emphasizing inclusivity,” Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the Hackathon Lead Facilitator and CEO of Club Tangaza, adding:

“The hackathon’s success has showcased how diverse teams of women can break barriers and lead change in the Fintech sector. This event also highlighted the boundary-less nature of innovation. Such initiatives hold the key to a more inclusive, innovative future for Fintech.”

But even after the final pitches, there was still some more time for learning. Stella Lugalambi, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hamwe East Africa tipped the participants on Overcoming Challenges and Building Resilience.

Mrs Lugalambi urged the young innovators to consider formalizing their FinTech solutions through registration and in the long run, getting regulator licenses.

“Right now, Financial Technology is regulated by the Bank of Uganda. As an innovator, find out where your product falls and understand what is required to register it. Even if you don’t get a license immediately, at least you will know what is required when that time comes.”

She urged the participants to remain, firm, resilient and focused on achieving their dreams.

“There are indeed problems to do with funding and digitization. Most of your target audience doesn’t even have smartphones and computers, but this should not discourage you. For whatever you are doing, do your best to find ways of funding your businesses without seeking commercial loans fast as they put a lot of pressure on start-ups.”

Overall Winners to be known at Women in FinTech Summit.

With the Hackathon curtains coming down; there was a visible sense of anticipation; with several teams very optimistic and in high spirits while others were evidently anxious.

Even though all participants are financial inclusion champions, the overall winners of this year’s Women in FinTech Hackathon will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money at the 2023 Women in FinTech summit on Friday, 18th August at Mestil Hotel, Kampala.

This will be in addition to the winners automatically qualifying for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run from September until December 2023.

 The past week has been exciting and action-packed. We have seen teams develop their nascent ideas into minimum-viable products. The majority of the teams have indeed put in so much effort and we really appreciate this. To us, all the teams are victors. They have submitted their final MVPs and we shall tomorrow get to know the overall winners.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit and Incubator Program is implemented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Cyberplc Academy, Crosslake Technologies, INFITX, Ideation Corner and Mojaloop Foundation and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.