hackathon 2

Last week, The Design Institute Lagos hosted its first internet-of-things workshop and a hardware hackathon at Cre8 Space in Lagos. Tagged Lagos Lab 2016, the event garnered participation from students and young professionals from not just Lagos, but other parts of the country like Akure, Abakaliki and Jos.

The workshop/hackathon was for participants to develop their hardware skills and also build solutions to infrastructural issues in Nigeria. Training coaches came from places like Welldone.org, Stanford, MIT, and of course, TDI, and they taught the participants stuff like how to build sensors and use a 3D printer.

The coaches were impressed with the workshop participation and one of them, Sean Jeffries, even went on to say, “These are some of the fastest learners we have ever taught hardware.” During the final pitch, contestants presented their prototypes for solutions in sectors such as transportation, agriculture, power and health.

Techcabal caught up with the co-founders of TDI, Toks Fagbamigbe and Lotte Elsa Goos, in an interview where they talked about the entire event and what they hope to achieve.

The first prize of the competition was a N1 Million cash prize from the Access Bank Innovation Fund. The winning idea of the competition was iGas, a monitoring system that informs users of how much cooking gas they have left by sending the information to their phone. The remaining three best teams will receive mentorship to develop their innovations better.

The winning team consisted of Odunlade Emmanuel, Balogun Tobiloba, Eyitemi Egbejule and Emmanuel Afolabi; students from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) who came from Akure with no contacts or accommodation arrangements in Lagos. They were willing to bear the odds and their determination paid off at the end. The team received assistance from Jacob Amuda, a Lagos Labs supporter who hosted them for three nights after which they spent the remaining two nights working on their iGas prototype.

With support from sponsors including Techno-Diffusion, Welldone.org, Swift Networks and Café Neo, the inaugural Lagos Labs event was a success and the organisers were pleased. In their words, “What started as a small idea grew into something much bigger in just a few months. We are excited to work towards the continued success and growth of the Lagos Labs. It’s a fantastic way to catalyze innovation in Nigeria.”

Tola Agunbiade Author

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