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Nairobi Garage to host financial inclusion hackathon

Nairobi Garage to host financial inclusion hackathon

Kenyan-based tech hub Nairobi Garage is to host the Kenyan leg of multinational financial inclusion innovation competition, DataHack4FI.

According to Nairobi Garage, the competition, now in its second year, will feature regional competitions held in six African countries. The winning team from each country will progress to the grand finale in Kigali, Rwanda, in May 2018 - standing the chance to win US$25,000 and opportunities for investment.

Hannah Clifford, Director of Nairobi Garage says the DataHack4FI Data Science Innovation Competition will also be hosted in collaboration with the insight2impact (i2i) initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, Liquid Telecom and FSD Kenya (FSDK).

She adds that the event will highlight the important role of innovation in achieving financial inclusion for all. "Not only does DataHack4FI focus on supporting local communities through inclusive financial services, it also presents the potential to develop solutions contributing to the economic empowerment of women and youth in Sub-Saharan Africa."

Nairobi Garage is inviting applications from finance, data, and technology enthusiasts to join the hackathon and event series. The hub adds that DataHack4FI hopes to bring together data enthusiasts, technologists, and financial service providers (FSPs) to develop data-driven solutions for delivering financial services to underserved communities in Africa.

"Following the launch, participants will have access to a series of webinars, and will come together for two meet-ups on February 22 and March 16 to work on their ideas with the help of expert mentors," reads a statement issued by Nairobi Garage.

"Teams will be finalised in March and will work on fine-tuning their solutions in time for the in-country final to be held on April 17. The teams will pitch to a panel of expert judges, with the winning team to be selected to fly to Kigali to participate in the grand finale in May."

According to the statement the top Kenyan team will receive US$5,000 and six months' co-working facilities at Nairobi Garage. "A prize of $2,500 will also be awarded to the team that produces the best women and/or youth-centric solution. The second and third-placed teams will each receive three months' membership to the newly opened Nairobi Garage Club space."

In August last year, Nairobi Garage announced the launch of its Business Services initiative, intended to help make the country's top professional service providers accessible to start-ups and small businesses at affordable rates.

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