DataHack for Financial Inclusion Season 2
insight2impact’s DataHack for Financial Inclusion (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.
Enter Season 2 of the competition if you from Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda or Zambia and either:
- An existing tech company that collects data (a fintech or other tech solution provider) or
- An emerging data scientist (data fellow)
Entries are open, and the finals will take place in Kigali in May 2018, where the winning solution will be awarded US$ 25,000!
"The datahacks have had a big impact on our progress. I had the initial idea last year … but I wasn’t working on it until we got selected for the DataHack and then I really got serious about it."
“It was a great learning experience – you meet others in the industry and can also find potential co-workers or employees.”
“Before the data hack we were looking at ourselves at a ticketing company, but now we are looking at ourselves as a data company. It really changed the way we look at everything… Without the data hack I don’t think we would be having these kinds of conversations with our partners and other stakeholders. It has opened up a lot of opportunities for us.”
There are six country-level competitions, and entrants must reside in one of these countries. The winning team in each country will be invited to pitch their solution at the 2018 DataHack4FI competition finals in Rwanda.
- Ghana, Accra
- Register now
- Kenya, Nairobi
- Register now
- Tanzania, Dar es Salaam
- Register now
- Rwanda, Kigali
- Register now
Frequently asked questions
Q.How does DataHack4FI differ from other competitions?
There is no traditional hackathon planned for a specific day or weekend. Teams will contribute their own data and will have a few months to work with a data fellow and explore how that data can be used to develop a new product/solution that has a financial inclusion element.
Q.How does Season 2 differ from the Season 1 competition?
DataHack4FI Season 2 won’t follow a traditional hackathon format. Instead of informal teams being presented with the same set of data to analyse, this year we are encouraging existing tech companies to take a fresh look at the data they are already collecting by partnering with a data science fellow (a young data enthusiast). 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).
Q.When does the competition start and end?
The grand finals will be held in May 2018 but the launch date, deadline for entry and in-country competition finals differ for each country. Please check your country page for these details.
Q.When (and where) are the meet-ups?
Meet-ups will be held on different dates in each of the six countries. Once you have signed up to participate, the innovation hub partner in each country will be in touch with you about these and generally, the meet-ups will be held at their offices. There will be three webinars that are open to everybody. You will get an email inviting you to join the webinar.
Q.What are the judging criteria?
Solutions will be scored on a number of factors, including whether it:
Eligibility and entry requirements
Q.How do I know whether I am eligible to enter?
Each application to enter will be individually assessed. We are looking for the following:
Existing companies that have already launched a product, have customers and are collecting data. The companies should either have an employee/team member that is capable of doing data analysis or they should be willing to work with a data scientist fellow. The company should have an interest in exploring solutions related to financial inclusion. For other criteria, see the questions asked during the registration process.
Data science fellows
These data enthusiasts should either have a relevant qualification (e.g. programming, statistics, maths, etc) or some experience in data analytics or data science. The fellows will be mentored by more experienced data scientists. Applicants should be willing to partner with a tech innovator for the duration of the competition to analyse its data and develop a solution.
Q.How many people can participate in a team?
As we are working with existing tech companies, the company can include as many of its staff members (or founding members) as it requires.
Q.If I don’t have a team can I enter by myself?
Yes, if you have an existing tech company that has already launched a product and has customers or users of the product.
Q.When is the deadline for entry?
The date will be confirmed soon. Please check your country’s Meetup link for more information.
Q.My country isn’t listed, can I enter?
As the competition runs over a number of months, requiring numerous in-person meet-ups, we are only able to accommodate entries from these six countries at the moment. You are welcome to send an email to email@example.com, letting us know why you think your country should be included next time.
Q.I have an idea for a product but haven’t launched it yet, can I enter?
No, unfortunately we are looking for registered companies that are already collecting data.
Data requirements and data sharing
Q.Do I need to share my data with everyone?
If you are using the data collected by your tech company, that data itself will only be shared with the data fellow (and possibly a data scientist who is mentoring the fellow). You can ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). When you are pitching your solution, you will present the use case and possibly some examples, but don’t need to share the raw data.
Q.How do I know if my tech company has enough data?
It is difficult to offer a number/fixed volume, but you need to have enough data to enable the data fellow to draw meaningful insights into a particular community/group of people.
Q.What kind of data is applicable?
Any data that you are collecting and are able to use to gain insights about low-income consumers and the products or services that would be beneficial to them.
Q.My data isn’t related to financial services, how can it be used to improve financial inclusion?
If you are collecting information on the demographics, behaviour or consumption patterns of people who are typically underserved by the financial sector (e.g. those living in rural areas, youth, women, self-employed or informally employed) it is possible that information could be valuable in enabling financial service providers better understand the challenges people face or the products that would appeal to them.
Need another question answered?
The Datahack4FI is open to partnerships and sponsorships. These partnerships provide us with venues, snacks, prizes, drinks, stationery and other resources that make a hackathon possible.