The Professor Ayodele Awojobi Design Competition (PAADC), Nigeria’s largest annual science and technology-centered innovation challenge organized for undergraduates by undergraduates, would be hosting the grand finale for the fifth edition themed “Breaking Barriers to Innovation” on Saturday, December 4th, 2021. The top five teams of the competition would pitch their ideas at this event with the aim of winning the cash prizes with accrues to 2.5 million nairas plus incubation.
Birthed in 2017 from an initiative of students at the University of Lagos Engineering Society (ULES), PAADC has established itself as a veritable platform supporting and rewarding ingenuity and creativity amongst undergraduates all over Nigeria.
The Chairman of the Competition, Oluwalana Ajayi stated: “Since the inception of the competition five years ago, we have become a reputable brand well known in 83 tertiary institutions across Nigeria for rewarding innovative solutions to societal problems using Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and have fostered the incubation of four undergraduate startups who have gone on to become our success stories.”
“This year, we received over 300 applications and 94 team registrations from 36 tertiary institutions across Nigeria during the application season which began late July and ended early September. We were blown away by the outstanding ideas and designs we received within the five sectors of application: Agriculture, Health, Education, Environmental Sustainability, and Essential Services, and have selected the best solutions from each of these sectors. These five teams would be pitching on the 4th of December, 2021.”
He stated that the vision of PAADC has and will always be around creating an enabling environment for ingenuity in Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, as such the Planning Committee of the fifth edition has organized two-panel sessions with the themes: “Breaking Barriers to Innovation: A Panacea for Nigeria’s Underdevelopment” and “Investing in the next generation: Maximizing undergraduates’ ingenuity into innovative processes”.
The Panel session which would be moderated by Chiamaka Oyintokoni a representative of Africa Fintech Foundry, which is the headline sponsor for the fifth edition, would comprise of distinguished individuals within the startup sphere in persons of Otunba Akinbo Akin-Olugbade (CEO, Kawai Technologies), Chidi Nwaogu (Cofounder, Publiseer), Gbenga Sesan(Executive Director, Paradigm Shift), Ucheoma Nwaozuru (Assistant Professor, North Carolina), Adeola Owosho (VP Growthm Utiva), Omowunmi Olarinre FCCA, Ibrahim Ogundeko (Business Development Manager, Johnson Controls), Bisola Elelu (Fund Analyst, Ingressive Capital), and Babajide Milton (Founder, iLLUMANIA).
The Competition has attracted notable sponsors such as Africa Fintech Foundry, Paga, Babban Gona, Endeavor Nigeria, Kawai Technologies, Bluechip Technologies, and Tranos. It is supported by Cowrywise, Ardova Plc, and Geoplex and has media partners YNajia and TechCabal.
Also speaking, the Deputy Chairman, Oluwatobi Adewale said: “The Grand Finale of the Competition has always been my favorite part of the competition cycle as it was the driving force which propelled me into joining the Planning Committee a few years ago.”
“This year, there would be a career fair exhibition from one of our notable sponsors Babban Gona, the startup idea pitching from the finalists, core society has driven conversations during the panel session and keynote address, awards and cash prizes for some of our lucky attendees as well as refreshments at the end of the event.”
She also stated she would particularly be looking forward to the pitch deck by the finalists which would be judged by industry leaders and professionals such as Olumide Soyombo (Cofounder Bluechip Technologies), Toyin Anjous-Ademuyiwa (Director, LASG-Office of Transformation), Lola Masha (Deputy Managing Director, Babban Gona), Femi Adeyemo (Founder and CEO, Arnegy), Rolayo Akhigbe (Senior Vice President, FCMB), and Eyitayo Ogunmola (CEO Utiva).
Asides from the remarkable Keynote Speaker, Professor Wole Soboyejo, Panelists and Judges, several representatives of the Competition’s sponsors Africa Fintech Foundry, Paga, Babban Gona, Bluechip Technologies would be attending the event which promises to be memorable.
The grand finale this year would be a hybrid with an expected audience of 1,500 offline participants and thousands more online. The tickets for the event are free and all attendees are welcome to indicate their preferred mode of attendance; either physical or virtual.
To register and reserve a seat at the grand finale, visit: visit https://tix.africa/paadc