Since Uber launched its API last year, the engineering team have iterated it steadily, and added support that increasingly enables third party developers to do interesting things that leverage Uber technology. The new Request endpoint, which was announced in March, puts developers in “the driver’s seat, giving them the power to hit Uber’s API to request rides and dispatch driver-partners in the real world” says Ebi Atawodi General Manager for Uber Lagos.

That means, for instance, now any app that is integrated with Uber’s API can send a destination address to Uber, and would be able to display pickup times and fare estimates from right inside their own apps.

Uber is currently running a virtual hackathon to encourage developers enable real world experiences from their apps that leverage Uber’s API. Anyone from anywhere in the world can participate, and the race has begun.

Uber Lagos is partnering with TechCabal to not only encourage Nigerian app developers to participate in the global challenge, but also showcase some of the best Nigeria-relevant implementations at a hackathon event in Lagos.

For example, what about an app that not only allows you to book tickets to the movies, but also gets you a ride to and from the cinema? Or a dinner reservation that provides a convenient and safe transport option? The value add goes both ways, and increases stickiness for the app developer. Uber Lagos and TechCabal believe in Nigerian developers, and we are looking forward to seeing what you create.

In addition to the awesome cash and perk prizes for the top winners at the global level, the top three Nigerian apps that build on top of the Uber API at the hackathon will get:

1st Prize:

  • An exclusive interview with TechCabal
  • An exclusive feature on
  • Inclusion in the TechCabal announcement of Nigeria’s top three winning apps
  • Opportunity to present the Uber Engineering team their winning idea
  • Exclusive brainstorm sessions with the below Nigerian tech masterminds to help take their apps to the next level
    • Emeka Afigbo (Google)
    • Adia Sowho – Etisalat Nigeria (Head of Digital Media)
    • Jason Njoku – iROKO Partners
    • Tayo Oviosu – Paga
    • Richard Tanksley –
  • N50,000 Uber Credits

2nd Prize:

  • Inclusion in the TechCabal announcement of Nigeria’s top three winning apps
  • An exclusive feature on
  • Opportunity to have a 1-1 with an Uber Engineer, discussing their app
  • N25,000 Uber Credits

3rd Prize:

  • Inclusion in the TechCabal announcement of Nigeria’s top three winning apps
  • An exclusive feature on
  • N25,000 Uber Credits

To attend the Uber Hackathon in Lagos email a presentation of your entry to for an exclusive invitation.

The deadline for global submission is the 17th of May, so there are at just under thirty days to create cool stuff that works in Lagos and leverages the Uber API.

To participate, sign up for the Uber Global API Challenge.

Meet the tech masterminds

Adia Sowho: Adia Sowho is the Head of Digital Media at Etisalat Nigeria.  She started out her career as an engineer with United States Cellular, a CDMA operator in the US. After obtaining an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management and a stint at Deloitte Consulting, she returned home to Nigeria.  In her current role, Adia is hoping to find an app for time travel so she can go back in time to see Michael Jackson in concert.

Jason Njoku: Jason is the cofounder of iROKO Partners, an African focused media streaming platform that known for its innovative thinking in exploiting an otherwise previously unexplored market. Today iROKO is the largest Youtube partner in Africa, with over 500,000 movie licenses purchased. It has over 14 million hours of media content on its license rights and more than 800,000 registered users, making it the largest distributor of Nollywood content globally.

Tayo Oviosu: Tayo is a Stanford-trained professional and former business development manager at CISCO. He is the founder of Paga, a Nigerian mobile money operator. Paga was established to make financial services reach more Africans. Paga was founded early 2009 on the simple belief that the ubiquity of mobile phones can be leveraged to bring financial services to all Africans. Paga has over a million subscribers utilizing its mobile money services for daily transactions presently.

Richard Tanksley: Rich Tanksley is an American  entrepreneur and technology enthusiast. He has started several companies in the US and in Africa ranging from technology consulting and software/web development to real estate/construction and industrial tool import and export. Rich served as Senior Faculty for the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in Ghana and helped start, fund and grow more than 15 software companies over 3 years. He is currently the head of Pulse Nigeria, one of the largest online media properties in Nigeria.

Emeka Afigbo (Google): Emeka Afigbo is the Google Outreach Program Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa. he has worked at Socket Works, SW Global and Parkway, before joining Google in 2011.

Bankole Oluwafemi Author

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