The top eight teams will participate in the physical hackathon which will take place in Mara, Kenya, from September 17 to 26, 2022
As part of its commitment to inspire developers to “build Africa’s future on Web3”, Mara, the pan-African blockchain platform, has announced the top eight finalist teams for the “Hack The Mara” competition. These finalists have been invited to a physical hackathon in the Maasai Mara, Kenya, taking place September 17-26, 2022 to determine which teams will emerge victorious from the hackathon.
The reveal of the finalists highlights the teams that submitted the most innovative and promising proposals to advance long-term beneficial, social and environmental change in Africa and beyond. With each team’s proposal explaining the innovative solutions they would build prototypes for during the physical hack, the finalists reflect Mara’s commitment to serving as a gateway for building blockchain capacity in Africa.
The Mara Hackathon celebrates African Web3 developers and innovators who are striving to solve last mile payment tracking challenges and build the financial sustainability of ongoing conservation projects in the Mara for better livelihoods. Work in partnership with Circle (the issuer of USD Coin (USDC) and Euro Coin), United Nations Foundations, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, Ishara Mara and Antler; Mara will reward the best solutions with funding of up to $100,000, entry into startup acceleration programs, mentorship and other resources to grow their solutions.
Discover the finalist teams
The finalist teams from Nigeria and Kenya who will participate in the physical hackathon include:
AfroLabs Team (Nigeria)
A team of young blockchain explorers building Web3 solutions, cultivating culture and building Africa. The team consists of Obinna Oba, a full-stack developer interested in building in the web3 space for startups in Africa; Anthony Nwobodo, full-stack software engineer and blockchain developer; and Chisom Aniefuna, a 400-level pharmacy student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka who loves blockchain and all the promise its innovation can help the world with.
BlockDash Team (Nigeria)
A team combining rich experience in software development and blockchain technologies to build high performing systems. The team consists of Obinna Onuoha, a full-stack software engineer with experience building highly scalable user-facing applications; Hakeem Kazeem, a data scientist with a demonstrated track record of working in the information services industry; and Nofisat Ayanlola, a front-end developer specializing in data science and front-end coding.
FedhaPay Team (Kenya)
A team that creates easy-to-use DeFi solutions for locals. The team consists of Humphry Shikunzi, a software developer specializing in blockchain development and UI/UX design; Maxwell Mwangi, a full-stack software engineer interested in Web3; and Jackline Tum, a product designer who enjoys using technology to solve problems and make an impact.
BlockHackers Team (Nigeria)
A team of experienced Web3 professionals with solutions offering 100% transparency and security. The team consists of Solomon Ayo, an experienced software engineer proficient in blockchain development and backend development; Oluwayimika Oladipupo, a mechatronics engineering student who doubles as a full stack developer; and Chinwendu Iheanetu, an experienced project manager who has worked with multiple teams in various tech competitions and two startups.
Blocverse Team (Nigeria)
A team whose mission is to drive blockchain adoption in Africa, creating everyday products with web3 technologies. The team consists of Toochukwu Okoro, a smart contract developer; Joshua Avoaja, a software developer with technical implementation skills; and Teresa Amanwachi, researcher and technical writer.
Relic Team (Kenya)
An all-female team skilled in thinking, planning and executing solutions effectively. The team is made up of Martha Mwangi, a software developer who enjoys solving problems with a clean, clear interface between users and business logic; Rachel Chege, graphic designer and product designer for web and mobile applications leveraging Web2 and Web3; and Velma Krop, a skilled team player in project management, presentations, blockchain, DAOs, and community management.
Mastermind Team (Nigeria)
A team of three engineers focused on building impactful USSD blockchain solutions in Web3. The team is made up of Babatide Ayoade, blockchain developer; Oluwasegun Abisagbo, frontend developer and Patience Adajah, d-App frontend engineer specialized in UI/UX design.
Team Sahara (Kenya)
A group of friends seeking to change the world by using current trends in technology to create simple solutions that solve major crises. According to them, “Occam’s razor is always sharp”. The team consists of Dennis Mutua, a software engineer specializing in blockchain and smart contract development; Beatrice Kirii, a software developer skilled in code knowledge, research and testing; as well as Maina Gichuru, a software engineer specializing in the development of smart contracts.
Meet the Judges
Participants will be evaluated by a jury based on originality, creativity, analytical skills, strategic thinking and practical implementation. Judges include:
Wei Xiao, Director of DevRel NVIDIA
Wei is the director of the cross-geo developer relations team at NVIDIA. As the population of African developers increases across the continent, they are becoming a driver of digital transformation in local economies. Wei is passionate about developing talent through her extensive technical expertise and promoting developer development.
Dr Bright Gameli Mawudor, CTO Xetova
Dr Bright is the CTO of Xetova, a data science as a service organization and the founder of cybersecurity collective Africahackon, the first ever live cybersecurity demonstration conference in East and Central Africa. He has over 10 years of professional experience in the cybersecurity industry with strong expertise in developing cybersecurity strategies, resiliency and system penetration testing. Bright has also presented over 190 cybersecurity conferences, lectured at various universities, and contributed to cybersecurity publications.
Sandra Persing, Vice President of Developer and Ecosystem Marketing, Circle
Sandra is Vice President of Ecosystem Development and Marketing at Circle, responsible for driving awareness, affinity and scale on the Circle platform and supporting existing and future USDC developers and alliances. She is a champion of developers building for inclusion and accessibility, especially on the web. She speaks passionately about the marketing strategies of developers and women in tech; and previously served on the Women Who Code Advisory Board for 6 years.
Confrey Alianji, Innovation Strategist, WWF-Kenya
Confrey works as a Strategist/Head of Innovation at WWF, where he is responsible for starting WWF Kenya’s innovation program “PandaLabs”. He is an Expert Reviewer for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Climate Justice Challenge. He has a passion for mentoring the creative talents of young people and has supported the Safaricom Blaze BYOB program as a technology mentor, contributor to KamiLimu and Andela’s professional development sessions, and an entrepreneurship trainer at the Young African Leadership Initiative.
Dearg Obartuin, co-founder and CTPO, Mara
Dearg is best known for its success in scaling financial services products from concept to delivery, serving millions of users and billions of transactions. He has focused his career on Blockchain and Crypto finance projects, payments, cross-border remittances and digital banking challengers, setting a benchmark for security and scalability. Dearg advocates for better adherence to local market compliance requirements, often working directly with regulators such as the FCA, CBN, FDIC, CBN, CBK and GFSC to help influence policy change and design sandbox environments that foster fintech innovation.
Victor Ohuruogu, Senior Regional Director for Africa, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data
Victor is an experienced public health and development specialist with several years of experience in strengthening national data systems and institutions for evidence-based decision-making and policy-making. He is very experienced in negotiating large and complex partnerships with several regional and global partners, including the United Nations system, private sector actors, civil society, academia, developer communities and manages huge programs for help African nations build their capacity to respond effectively to development challenges. .
Selam A. Kebede, Director, Antler
Salem leads Antler’s work as Director of Marketing, Recruitment and Partnerships in East Africa. Prior to joining Antler, she worked for various start-ups, VCs and ESOs across all geographies. She holds a master’s degree in Electrical and Communication Engineering from Aalto University, Finland.
While in Kenya for the hackathon, finalists will be accommodated in Ishara. Located in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve, Ishara is an immersive experience dedicated to preserving the wildlife, communities and lands of this globally significant conservation area.
With crypto, Web3, and blockchain education as its focal point, Mara is poised to train one million people and impact one billion lives in five years.