The National Incubation Center and Jazz xlr8, organized and successfully conducted yet another exciting event under their flagship project Hacktivate, this time to find innovative and disruptive solutions in the Fin-tech space.
The two-day event powered by Allied Bank Limited as core partner and sponsor, comprised of a hackathon, where shortlisted startups and SMEs in the Fin-tech space pitched their ideas to a power-packed panel of judges, and an Innovation Challenge, where participants used ABL’s Open Banking APIs to build solutions on the ABL developer portal. This was one of the largest virtual events in the Fin-tech space at a national level where various partners joined hands with the organizers to foster innovation and collaboration to promote financial inclusion in the country.
Contributing to the success of the event in various ways were Allied Bank Limited (Core Partner) sponsoring cash prizes for winners worth PKR 2 million, Jubilee Life Insurance (Silver Partner); Ignite, Jazz xlr8, Ministry of IT and Telecom, Next Wallet, TIE Islamabad Chapter, and NIC Karachi as Integration Partners; ACCA, Pakistan Fin-Tech Association, Daftarkhwan and TMUC as Community Partners; and we would like to thank PhoneWorld for being a valuable media partner.
“It fills my heart with pride to see how different stakeholders, in various capacities, have joined hands with the National Incubation Center in its humble attempt to encourage innovation and build disruptive solutions across multiple industries. This is the fourth hackathon organized by the NIC, and with each hackathon, the impact is bigger and greater than before. Indeed, collaboration is the way forward and the success of events like these prove the power of partnerships in building the ecosystem.”– Zouhair Khaliq, co-founder Teamup
The global Fin-tech industry was valued at USD 5504.13 Billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at CAGR of 23.58% from 2020-2025. The key factor for the growth of the fintech market includes high investment in technology-based solutions by banks and firms.
“Innovation has always been at the core of how Jazz operates and this Fin-tech hackathon is another step in the same direction, where the best minds of Pakistan competed against each other to find solutions to Fin-Tech challenges. We need concerted efforts in this space to truly disrupt the Fin-Tech space and decrease disparities in financial inclusion,” Aamer Ejaz, Chief Digital & Strategy Officer Jazz
The event, organized with an aim to bring innovative ideas in the Fin-tech space to the forefront, attracted more than 300 applications from Africa, Finland, UK, KSA, UAE, Oman, and from 20+ cities within Pakistan. Applicants were encouraged to apply with ideas lying under the following thematic areas, derived after extensive research on the sector’s dynamics, in consultation with leading experts in the space:
- Asset Management
- Alternative Funding
- Green Finance
- Other Propositions
24 ideas were shortlisted for the Hackathon segment of the event. This segment comprised of two rounds. Successful conclusion of the first round was followed by top 8 ideas who pitched in the Grand Finale. After a rigorous competition, judged by a power-packed panel of judges from financial institutions, insurance companies, corporate sector and entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), top three winners were announced who received cash prizes worth Rs. 1.4 million. The winners of the Hackathon were: DigiKhata (1st position), BayFikr (2nd position), and Ozoned Digital & E-Khata (3rd position). The winner of the second segment of the event- ABL Innovation Challenge was DigiKhata, and received a cash prize of Rs.600,000.
Access to regulated financial services for all is essential, and in countries like Pakistan, where more than 100 million adults form the unbanked population, ensuring financial inclusion for all is a great challenge. This presents an opportunity for young innovators to create disruptive solutions that can lead to wider adoption of fintech services. – Sohail Aziz, Chief Digital Officer, Allied Bank Limited
The winners of the event, in addition to the cash prizes, will be eligible to gain a spot in the Jazz xlr8 Program. They will also be given the opportunity to connect with relevant stakeholders to practically implement their ideas including investors, public sector representatives & mentors, and to scale up with the support of donors and acceleration partners. Participants for the event will also have the chance to be introduced to the USAID Small Medium Enterprise Activity (SMEA) project through which they may receive co-funding for Business Development Services (BDS) based on the project’s eligibility criteria.
The National Incubation Center would like to thank all its partners, mentors and judges who played a pivotal role in the success of the event, by providing great insights into the Fin-tech space to both the organizers and participants, to derive meaningful impact from the initiative. The event will be followed by a detailed report on the dynamics of the sector, and the role of startups in introducing modern practices and techniques for the progressive growth of the sector and hence the economy of the country.