By Esther Onyegbula
TEAM Nigeria has emerged winner in Technovation Challenge world pitch which held at San Francisco, USA. The winning team comprised of four brilliant girls: Praise David-Oku, Sonam Kumar, Nmesoma Ogbonna, and Grace Akpoiroro as they developed a mobile app to tackle waste disposal challenge in Nigeria. They pitched their app called, ‘Discardious’.
Grace Ihejiamaizu, an International Exchange Alumni and founder of iKapture Networks, who mentored the winning team said they faced a lot of challenges on their way to success but overcame.Mrs. Martha Alade, Founder of WITIN and Coordinator of the program in Nigeria enthused that this years’ team was exceptional and has done Nigeria proud. Their solution solves a major problem in Nigeria. This is the first time a Nigerian team would come first globally in Technovation World Pitch.
64 countries participated in the competition with 380 apps submitted, 10 teams from all over the world were given the opportunity to explain their project in form of a pitch and tell their app story in a creative way. The girls also attended life-changing workshops including a networking session.
One of the team members, Praise David-Oku, who spoke for the team, said the competition has totally changed their views of technology. “It has given our team a platform to use technology to solve problems in our community.
It has also motivated us to think outside the box. It has boosted my self-confidence and helped me build new relationships and networking skills. I have met new people from different parts of the world and shared ideas. It has also made me realize that I am not too young to start achieving my goals.
Sonam, one of the team members said: “It was wonderful, tough and very competitive. It was challenging for us, as we met and listened to people from different parts of the world tell their stories and share their powerful ideas. Above all, we learnt a lot of things about coding, networking and public speaking.
It was a very wonderful experience. She emphasized that Parents should enrol their girls in computer programmes at a tender age. Provide technology gadgets for use at home. Allow and encourage them to participate in technology competitions and programs. Encourage them to pick and study science related courses
The team unanimously professed that this is only the beginning of something big. “We are going to empower, build and guide young girls to participate in the next Technovation competition. We will launch our app and work on our project to solve pressing challenges in Nigeria. Technovation in Nigeria has come to stay for good”.