Eko Innovation Centre launches Nigeria’s first marketing and media hackathon with $20,000 star prize

Godfrey Elimian
*Eko Innovation Centre, GDM Group Debut With MarkHack 1.0 | *$20,000, others up for grabs, winners to be unveiled May 18
Eko innovation centre partners GDM on Marketing and Media heckathon
L-R: Managing Director, Nitro 121, Lampe Omoyele; Founder, Consumer Data Platform Institute (USA), Mr. David Raab; Chief Executive Officer, Entod Marketing Ltd.; Principal Partner, Apex Marketing UK, Dr. Rotimi Olaniyan; Founder, Eko Innovation Centre, Mr. Victor Afolabi; at the official launch of Marketing and Media Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0 in Lagos.

Eko Innovation Centre, a growth and development Hub for startups and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, has launched Nigeria’s first marketing and media hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0.

The luncheon, held at D’Podium Event Centre in Lagos, is its maiden edition and was attended by innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, marketing, and media professionals while many others across the world joined the event virtually.

In collaboration with the GDM Group, the aim is to change the marketing and media landscape with tech solutions that would disrupt and tackle some of the challenges faced in the industry.

Organisers of the luncheon revealed that over 500 individuals registered to participate in the hackathon from 72 locations, five countries (Nigeria, California, Kenya, Pakistan, and London), and three continents (Africa, Europe, and North America).

It also announced that the best ten teams with the most viable concepts would go head-to-head at the finale on May 18 for a chance at the $20,000 prize pool and an acceleration program with up to $50,000 equity investment to get their products ready for the market, among other benefits.

Marketing and Media Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0
L-R: Founder, Eko Innovation Centre, Victor Afolabi; Founder, Consumer Data Platform Institute (USA), David Raab; Chief Executive Officer, Entod Marketing Ltd., Iquo Ukoh; Principal Partner, Apex Marketing UK, Dr Rotimi Olaniyan; and Executive Assistant to Lagos Governor on New Media, Segun Fafore, at the official launch of Marketing and Media Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0 in Lagos

Speaking at the event, the Founder, Eko Innovation Centre & Curator, Art of Technology Lagos, Victor Afolabi said that marketing is the most effective engine of economic development as it can rapidly develop entrepreneurs and managers, but the industry is yet to see a technological breakthrough within the country considering the growth of Martech globally; an industry estimated at $344.8 billion in 2021, according to Martech Alliance (2021).

“The Nigerian marketing industry has started to see preliminary innovation but acceleration is slow to disrupt the future in line with changing consumer behaviour. 

“We are yet to experience notoriety for a homegrown technological breakthrough at a remarkable scale in the Marketing Industry,” Afolabi said.

A gathering of innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and marketing professionals, to create solutions to real-life marketing challenges in an intense period of time. Using creativity, technology, and mentoring, resulting in prototypes, fresh new concepts, and innovative usages of tech for marketing and media.

Victor Afolabi –  Founder,  Eko Innovation Centre & Curator, Art of Technology

The participants would be split into teams of five and would be required to work together for three weeks, brainstorming and ideating new concepts based on their focus areas.

They would also be sub-grouped into eight focus areas which include consumer experience, media consumption, consumer recruitment and interaction, trade and retail engagement, analytics and metrics, events marketing, media monetisation, and content creation.

Each team would pitch its ideas to a Jury of experts in the subject matter, and the best ten teams would be picked by the Jurors.

Overall, 21 Mentors, 30 Selection Jurors, 8 Speakers, and six Final Jurors are partaking in the event and are the industry’s best with decades of experience in marketing, media, technology, business management, and others.

Marketing and Media Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0
L-R: Special Adviser to the Lagos Governor on Innovation and Technology, Olatubosun Alake and Founder, Eko Innovation Centre, Victor Afolabi at the official launch of Marketing and Media Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0 in Lagos.

Delivering the keynote address on the topic, “Tech Disruption in Marketing: The Key to Redefining Consumer Recruitment and Interaction”, David M. Raab, Founder/CEO, Customer Data Platform Institute, urged marketers to be innovative, understand the concept of disruption and be deliberate about it, stating that change is everywhere. Usable disruption is hard to find. Look for strong benefits and good defence. Support disruption with innovative solutions for business success.”

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The Zone AOA Asst. Regional Manager (Sub Saharan Africa), Nestlé, Kayode Oladapo, and the Principal Partner, Apex Marketing UK, Dr Rotimi Olaniyan also spoke on the topics “Experiences in the Marketing Ecosystem, Responding to Modern Consumer and Retail Audiences” and “Rapid Brand Innovation Playbooks” respectively. They cited the importance of data-inspired insights, marketing innovation, disruptive marketing strategies, and technology-driven initiatives among others. 

Marketing and Media Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0
L-R: Founder, Eko Innovation Centre, Victor Afolabi; Founder, Consumer Data Platform Institute (USA), David Raab; Principal Partner, Apex Marketing UK, Dr Rotimi Olaniyan; and Executive Assistant to Lagos Governor on New Media, Segun Fafore, at the official launch of Marketing and Media Hackathon tagged MarkHack 1.0 in Lagos.

Some of the government officials at the event include Segun Fafore, the Executive Assistant to the Lagos Governor on New Media, and Olatubosun Alake, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Innovation and Technology. They applauded the initiative and restated the government’s commitment to a technology-driven economy which is in line with the smart city agenda of the current Lagos State government.


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