InterswitchSPAK jury session: Which team won the innovation challenge?

InterswitchSPAK jury session: Which team won the innovation challenge?

Following the end of the Innovation Challenge presentations, Episode 11 began with the Jury session. The Jury session is the segment where all presentations are reviewed. The Jury accesses analyzes and scores each team. The team with the highest score gets the Founder’s Award.

During the Innovation Challenge, teams of nine students each were tasked to proffer solutions to select societal challenges, leveraging technology. There were nine teams with three challenges to work on, three teams worked on one topic.

The trio of Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Payments Processing, Interswitch Group; Folasade Femi-Lawal, Heads, Cards & Messaging Business, FirstBank and Ifeoma Onibuje, Divisional Head E-banking, Fidelity Bank made up the Jury tasked with selecting the winning team.

InterswitchSPAK jury session: Which team won the innovation challenge?

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The two major parameters used to select the winners were: ideas and presentation. For ideas, the Jury considered a very simple solution that is disruptive and cost-effective, engineered by an out-of-the-box solution relevant to our world today. For the presentation, the Jury considered the delivery, creativity, eloquence and overall presentation of the team.

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Analyzing the first group of three teams: Mercury, Venus and Earth. They were tasked to proffer solutions to ‘a problem in the agricultural value chain in Nigeria, leveraging technology’.

Assessing team Mercury’s solution: the presentation was great. The team’s all-inclusive assessment of the entire value chain, bringing all the service providers unto a single platform to deliver value to the industry was brilliant. A down side however, was the team’s inability to show how farmers hoping to sell their produce would access the Agro market solution portal. The jury opined that they did not consider the rural farmers’ limitations such as communication, literacy, access to the portal and transporting their produce to Lagos.

The Jury scored Team Mercury 196.

Analyzing Team Venus’s technological solution: The Jury was impressed by their presentation. The highpoint of the solution was the focus on storage. Admitting that storage was one of the biggest challenges of farmers, they agreed that bringing storage facilities closer to the farmers was a great idea. The team also proposed the use of mobile agonistics method i.e. USSD, web, thereby eliminating the need for the Internet. The Jury scored Team Venus a total of 241.

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For Team Earth, the jury thought their presentation was clear. Their content was outstanding, the needs of the farmers were well defined and their ideas were succinctly communicated. The team’s use of statistical data to drive its strategy was highly commendable. In its presentation, the team proposed the deployment of digital solutions to cover all ends of the value chain. Team Earth’s high point was the proposed leverage of the existing Quickteller’s agency network to reach and engage its customers at all levels.

Team Earth was scored 263.

For the second group comprising teams Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, their task was to ‘Identify how we could effectively adopt technology to improve transparency in our electoral processes in Nigeria’.

Team Mars’ solution demonstrated their understanding of the Nigerian electoral process and its challenges. Their deployment approach of partnering with existing partners is expected to reduce the logistics cost. The solution - the Automated Voting Card (AVC) - the jury considered a workable solution that could help improve election processes in Nigeria. Team was scored 219.

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Team Jupiter’s solution was crystal clear and the presentation simple. Their approach hinged on the use of Blockchain technology to enhance existing capability, infrastructure and data. The solution proposed the deployment of technology for effective and seamless election. The jury agreed that the solution is achievable, smart, measurable realistic and time bond. They were scored 253 points.

For team Saturn, their emphasis on solving the registering process, which was to probably address issues of multiple vote and underage voting, was a highpoint. While the team also proposed the use of Blockchain to centralize the data base and address some of the current issues of the electoral process, the jury believed that the solution looks complicated for use now, it would need some fine-tuning. The team was scored 189.

The third group of teams Uranus, Pluto and Neptune, were tasked to proffer solutions to ‘how we can maximise technology to provide financial services to the majority of unbanked Nigerians’.

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Team Uranus’s solution was simple. Their presentation was well researched and enriched with micro-loans. Major features of the solution included the creation of a wallet that offers loans and the provision to empower the girl child on the premise of bringing value to the entire community. Howbeit, the team could not convince the jury that they had a good understanding of the digital world. Their score was 244.

Team Neptune’s presentation showed they had a clear understanding of the financial inclusion situation. Their solution, named “Airbank” proposed attaching monetary value to airtime, between telcos and the consumers. The proposal also took into consideration feature phone users as they formed the majority of the unbanked population. Their focus on the rural areas was quite outstanding. While the jury thinks the name ‘Airbank’ sounds fintechy, it however thought the implementation of the ideas were still sketchy. The team scored 252.

The Jury adjudged Team Pluto’s presentation to show boldness, teamwork and confidence. The team demonstrated a good understanding of the problem statement. Their solution proposed building partnerships with different stakeholders, the use of artificial intelligence, and the use of a virtual card to select their preferred language. The Jury scored the team 227.

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In summary, the teams were assessed as follows:

Team Earth 263

Team Jupiter 253

Team Neptune 252

Team Uranus 244

Team Venus 241

Team Pluto 227

Team Mars 219

Team Mercury 196

Team Saturn 189

The next three episodes of the InterswitchSPAK TV will feature the semi-finals, where the 27 finalists will be pruned down to 9. Join us to watch the show on the following stations: Africa Magic 154 on Saturday (5pm), with a repeat broadcast on Wednesday at 3pm.

Other television stations include AIT Network on Saturday (7pm) , TVC Lagos on Saturday (8pm) and Sunday (5:30), STV Jos on Sunday, (6pm), NTA Kano on Sunday (8pm), EBS Edo on Sunday (4pm), NTA Port-Harcourt on Sunday (5pm), DBS Asaba on Sunday (7pm) and OSRC Akure on Saturday ( 6pm).

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