We’re all excited about Yabacon Valley. But startup culture is sprouting all over the country. Most recently on the Obafemi Awolowo University campus, via an initiative called The Open Technology Movement.

The Open Technology Movement is making their first and pretty audacious move: A one month Hackathon. That’s right. From May 22 to June 20, 2014, developers in resident in the university will converge daily on a space secured for that purpose. The space will be equipped with free internet access, and hopefully 24/7 power supply. No small feat for the organisers, who are just students themselves.


The movement seeks to push for and eventually create a hub on the university campus, an enabling environment for developers to create, so to speak. The hub will create a co-creation atmosphere (pun intended), and get developers to stop working in isolation, which is currently a major bane of the community.

In theory, a vibrant technology community on the OAU campus could draw investors and sponsors who can in turn provided the push and support that could see some of the developers become entrepreneurs, and their solutions, successful products/companies.

Lead representative of the movement, Yinka Elujoba said, “we had serious issues with getting a workspace that would be open for a whole month. Second was the issue of power supply. The supply on campus is only relatively dependable. Another challenge was the school calendar, which was pretty unstable.”

Getting the developers to come together on the hand was much easier. Elujoba believes that the developers in OAU had been waiting for just that sort of opportunity.

“Internally, the response to the event has been great. We have developers all over campus joining hands to make this work. Externally, we have also gotten very interesting and assuring responses, even though we didn’t really publicize the event outside school”.

The hackathon is supported and sponsored by Paradigm Initiative Nigeria

“I think this presents an opportunity to highlight something we’ve seen as part of our work with universities – students are self-organising and should be encouraged. PIN will be glad to bear the cost in the budget”, says Gbenga Sesan, head of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria.

Details of the event are as follows:

May 22nd, 10:00am – Hackathon Kick Off.

June 20, 12:00pm – Hackathon ends

June 21 – 22 — Code Cleanup

June 23 – 30 — Project Cross Examinations.

July 1 – 4 — Presentation/Pitching to potential investors.

Venue: Alumni Lab, Computer Building, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

We’re staying close to this self-organising group of undergrad techies and will be bringing you updates as the hackathon progresses.

Odunayo Eweniyi Author

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