a team pitching in Datahack4FI Season 1 last year

Last month, DataHack for Financial Inclusion (DataHack4FI) Season 2 – an initiative of insight2impact (i2i) was launched at The Innovation Village in partnership with Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (FSDU) and The Innovation Village.

DataHack4FI is an African innovation competition that encourages finance, tech and data enthusiasts to collaborate in using data and analytics to solve business challenges and extend financial services to underserved communities.

The competition is targeting existing companies that have already launched a product, have customers and are collecting data.

There are six country-level competitions, and entrants must reside in one of these countries. These include; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, and Zambia. The winning team in each country will be invited to pitch their solution at the 2018 DataHack4FI competition finals in Rwanda.

Season 2 of DataHack4FI won’t follow a traditional hackathon format. Instead of informal teams being presented with the same set of data to analyse, this year they are encouraging existing tech companies to take a fresh look at the data they are already collecting by partnering with a data science fellow.

“We believe that through analysis of this data it may be possible to develop new solutions to address the financial needs of low-income communities (particularly women and youth),” the communication says.

The grand finals will be held in May 2018 and the winning solution will be awarded US$ 25,000. But the launch date, deadline for entry and in-country competition finals differ for each country. For Uganda, the launch date was 29th December 2017 and deadline for the application is 26th January 2018.

Meet-ups will be held on different dates, and once you have signed up to participate, The Innovation Village – which is the partner hub in Uganda “will be in touch with you about these and generally, the meet-ups will be held at their offices.”

Solutions will be scored on a number of factors, including whether it: addresses financial inclusion challenges in Africa, demonstrates how data and analytics were used, shows how customers would benefit from using it, has been developed in a way that enabled capacity building for young people involved in the process and ideally benefits women and/or youth.

Season 1 was held last year and team Mobiticket from Kenya was awarded the top spot in the i2i DataHack4FI Innovation Award competition. The second and third places went to Killer Analytics from Uganda and Team Jobs from Rwanda respectively.

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