Dumsor Alert, Iris and JobsGh Apps Top VOTO Mobile API Hachathon
The VOTO API hackathon took place over the weekend with developers keenly contesting to come up with innovative products. It started on a bright Saturday morning inside the iSpace hub in Osu. The first day of the event was witnessed by Prince Baah-Duodu.
In all, seven promising teams participated in the hackathon with 8 apps for prize consideration. The apps represented a very diverse set of topics – epidemic tracking, utility complaint reporting, medical information access, as well as school and bank management systems. Each app used the VOTO voice and SMS platform in a variety of ways – sending out automated voice reminders, or registration information in multiple languages, or SMS confirmation of medication tracking codes. Teams took their apps in creative directions, and presented compelling problem statements and solutions to the panel of judges.
The judging panel of the Hackathon comprised Regina Agyare of Soronko Solutions, Rajnish Sharma, the CEO of RackAfrica Data Centers, Ato Ulzen-Appiah of Rancard and GhanaThink, and Rasheeda Yehuza, VOTO Mobile’s lead API developer.
Sunday saw the teams presenting their applications to the judging panel and announcement of the winners. There were three awarding categories:
The Innovation Category
For an app that causes us to step back and say, “Wow! Never thought of that!””, the winner was the Iris app, made by Osborn Kwarteng Adu and Samuel Ako. ‘Iris’ is epidemic outbreak information and monitoring tool, that allows people to both send in details of illnesses taking place, and receive information on assessing symptoms of illnesses. The Iris team combined the VOTO voice platform with a text-in SMS system, allowing them to register subscribers even without a dedicated phone line.
The Best Execution prize
The “most complete, user-friendly, ready-to-use application” went to Joojo Imbeah and Nathaniel Ofori for their “Dumsor Alert” app, which was immensely popular with the audience. This app allows users to register their phone numbers and location, in order to receive automated voice alerts ahead of scheduled ECG power outages. The two developers of Dumsor Alert joined forces to create their team on Day One of the hackathon, with great results.
The Social Impact prize
This award went to Gbeila Aliu Wahab for JobsGh, a voice-enabled jobs portal to connect employers and employees of blue-collar jobs. Aliu gave a compelling business case for the JobsGh platform, with stats on the huge number of blue-collar work opportunities taking place in Ghana. These are hampered by the difficulty of reliably connecting job seekers with job providers, and JobsGh promises to revolutionize how these connections are made and established.
Each of the three winning teams received a 1000 GHS cash prize from VOTO Mobile, $200 in VOTO platform credit to expand their apps, souvenirs from VOTO and a discounted three-month membership at iSpace.
The VOTO API Hackathon was sponsored by iSpace Foundation and RackAfrica Data Centers. Food throughout the weekend was provided by Splendid Catering.
In general, Every team t displayed remarkable talent, thoughtfulness, and skill and VOTO must be commended for such platform and to all those talented young individuals and sponsors of the event.