Kenyan startups invited to apply for DataHack4FI competition

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Kenyan startups have been invited to apply for the DataHack4FI innovation competition, with the winning team to take home US$5,000 and the chance to compete for further prize money at the global final.

Applications are open until February 21 for the competition, which brings together data enthusiasts and financial service providers (FSPs) to promote data-driven solutions to delivering financial services to emerging consumer segments in Africa.

DataHack4FI is an insight2impact initiative, which will offer participants access to a series of webinars, and bring them together for two meetups to work on their ideas with the help of expert mentors including Safaricom data scientist Chris Orwa and Google senior industry analyst Nanjala Misiko.

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 at Nairobi Garage, the in-country partner. The teams will pitch to a panel of expert judges, with the top Kenyan team receiving 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.

The winning team will also head to Kigali to participate in the grand final in May, where they will stand the chance to win the overall US$25,000 prize.

“We are very proud that Nairobi Garage has been selected to facilitate the DataHack4FI Data

Science Innovation Competition in Kenya. It is an exciting initiative, which highlights 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,” said Hannah Clifford, director of Nairobi Garage.

“Nairobi Garage, Liquid Telecom and FSDK have worked relentlessly to incorporate involvement with local experts, data scientists and regulators to ensure that we are able to engage and challenge fintechs and data fellows to develop, advocate, and collaborate to achieve a comprehensive vision for financial inclusion” said Dumisani Dube, from insight2impact (i2i).

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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