Celebrate International Women’s Day with Women In Tech Ghana at iSpace

Women in Tech Ghana in commemoration of International Women Day (IWD) will be convening two programs in Collaboration with iSpace Ghana and Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship to support women leaders and entrepreneurs.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8 every year. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political, and social achievements.

The United Nations began celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March during International Women’s Year 1975. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.

The Programs are:
Talk on Personal Branding with Otema Yirenkyi (Microsoft Ghana Country Manager) on Personal Branding and Lead Nurturing

Venue: iSpace Ghana
Date: Thursday 5th March 2015
Time: 6pm – 8.30pm

Free Event, but places are limited. Get tickets at https://egotickets.com/events/women-in-tech-ghana-march-event

Half a Day Training Session for Female Entrepreneurs on Technology for Business Growth and Marketing on a Budget by Industry experts like Ethel Cofie (CEO of Edel Tech and President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellow) and Ebenezer Amankwah (Head of Corporate Communication Vodafone Ghana)

Venue: iSpace Ghana
Date: Friday 6th March 2015
Time: 9am-2pm
Free Event, but only 25 spots are available. Please apply to be invited at http://goo.gl/forms/1glFk4ongp

Women in Tech Ghana
Women in Technology Ghana is a networking group focused on two main goals encouraging women and girls into Science, Technology , Engineering and  Math careers  and  preventing  women dropping out of technology roles and careers  through  education, providing opportunities and by sharing experiences and lessons learnt. Women in Tech Ghana is affiliated with Women in tech Africa.

Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship
Female in Mobile Entrepreneurship’s goal is to build a community of female entrepreneurs, who are connected and trained with the relevant skills, and to support and enable them to use the right tools to develop mobile applications. In doing so, we also aim to foster entrepreneurship and empower females by inspiring and encouraging them to challenge the status quo.

iSpace Ghana
iSpace Ghana is a unique environment where technology startups can start up faster. We nurture a local network of like-minded and focused tech entrepreneurs, providing space for them to work, meet, collaborate, learn and have fun. By getting the right people together in a physical space, good things happen.

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LendingSquare Digitizes The Money Lending Sector In Ghana

Lending and borrowing is part of every business environment. A lot of individuals borrow from friends and family when they fall into debts of all sorts. However, sometimes you may run out of options, and banks may not be so friendly towards you. LendingSquare has found this problem, and has created a solution for it.

Product
LendingSquare was created to offer a more efficient, transparent and customer-friendly alternative to the traditional banking system that offers creditworthy borrowers lower interest rates and investors better returns. An alternative that gives more control to money owners and decision making to those it affects the most.

We operate fully online with no branch infrastructure, and use technology to lower cost and deliver an amazing experience. We want to help individuals to save more, businesses expand, investors earn better returns and the economy grow. Today, individuals and businesses can borrow directly from a wide network of lenders.

LendingSquare allows people to invest in each other in a way that is financially and socially rewarding — it offers a web platform and framework that helps individuals and small businesses access to fast and simple finance for personal and business related purposes. 
Value

  • Unlike the traditional financial institutions, LendingSquare does not lend money. The decision to lend or borrow exclusively depends on the lender and borrower respectively. The interest rate, loan amount and the payment term of the loan is determined by the lender and borrower. LendingSquare services all payments and transfers.
  • LendingSquare’s business model also offer social and marketing benefits that are unique in the P2P Lending community, which is creating awareness of, and interest in, the Businesses that borrow on the platform among prospective and participating customers and using social media to reach such customers.
Bragging Rights
Prior to going live on 17th November, LendingSquare was a finalist in the 2013 The indus Entrepreneur (TiE) business plan competition in Dubai and also an 88mph accelerator applicant. 
Team
  • E.I.MBALAM, Co-Founder/ C.E.O
  • MARK APPIAH KUSI, Co-founder/ COO
  • BENJAMIN OPPONG-KYEKYEKU, Chief Risk Officer
  • RICHMOND DUAFAH, Chief Commercial Officer
  • Hope Avalon Gagodo Little, CTO
  • MICHAEL DUGAH, Backend Developer
Development Stack
Confidential
Contact/Social Media/Job Openings
We are located at iSpace Foundation, F618/2 Anumansa, Lokko St.146 East X’borg Estate, Osu, Accra – Ghana.
Email: contactus@mylendingsquare.com or Call us +233 (0)26 871 0270 || +233 (0)506 776 108.
Facebook: lendingsquare

Game Nerd To Celebrate Global Game Jam at iSpace (January 23 – 25)

Photo Credit: GameNerd, Inc.

Only a few game-related tech startups have been birthed in Ghana. With the successes of Leti Games, a few more game communities are springing up in Ghana. GameNerd Inc, hosted at iSpace, is one of them.
From January 23 – January 25, GameNerd will celebrate with the rest of the world as it commemorates the Global Game Jam in Ghana. The event will bring together game creators and enthusiasts countrywide to share ideas and to build the Ghanaian gaming community.

The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the world’s largest game jam event (game creation) taking place around the world at physical locations. Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal.

To participate, register on the Global Game Jam website: http://globalgamejam.org/2015/jam-sites/gamenerdispace-global-game-jam-2015
For other information, check the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/492188057587277/ or contact Paul Ziem at paulnziem@gmail.com

SHM Foundation Tackles Health at #Hack4Good Hackathon

Hackathons are beginning to be a part of Ghanaian tech culture. Just in the first half of this year, there have been about 3 of them. That’s encouraging for a country with a growing tech space like Ghana. I had the opportunity to take part in the #Hack4Good Hackathon at iSpace yesterday organized by SHM Foundation.

The iSpace Innovation Stairs

This hackathon was different in that it brought health professionals who worked with the techies all through the day. I was lucky to have Jacqueline and Kobby as part of my team. The hackathon was aimed a coming up with solutions for the health industry, an industry that can really benefit from techies in Ghana.

The event started at 9am with registrations, chat, and new people meeting each other. by 10am, a lot more people had joined and the room full enough to begin the activities planned out for the day. Josiah, co-founder of iSpace, welcomed all participants, explained the reason behind the hackathon, the rules concerning the cash prize, and wished all teams luck. For this hackathon, 50% of the cash prize would be presented on winning, and the other 50% disbursed when the prototype/MVP with the said features was completed.

Josiah of iSpace welcomes all

After that introduction, there was breakfast for all since most people had left their homes early. Team formation began after that. Team formation was different this time around. Participants numbered to 5 and people with the same numbers fell into the same groups. Later, as and when techies and health professionals arrived, the joined the groups.

The main topics for finding solutions for were as follows:

  • Sexual Health
  • Mental Health
  • Sex Education
  • Streamlining Health Policies Using Technology. 

At the end of the day, 3 teams had worked on Sexual Health, 1 on Mental Health, and another on Sex Education.

Lunch time soon came as teams were still discussing and finding practical solutions within the topic areas given. Lunch was well taken care of by the techies. Teams reconvened after that since the reporting time for pitches was 4pm. A few more hours, more prototyping, coding, and validation, time was almost up for the presentations. By 4:30, the presentations had began.

The teams and their ideas are as follows:

  1. Mentolibera: A web/SMS application which has a CSO-based approach to adopt and care for mental patients. the organizations pay through mPower Payments and are able to monitor patient’s progress online.
  2. Colorite: A mobile game that uses photographic memory of players to help them remember sexual health tips, and to find a was to engage the youth and provide useful information to promote healthy sexuality.
  3. Mentis: A gamified web/SMS application to help mental patients keep in touch with their doctors, and also provide a way for addicts to reach close people easily when they feel vulnerable.
  4. Doctor Doctor: A mobile app that simply connects patients to specialized doctors in and around their current location.
  5. Sexual Health: A web/SMS application to help people connect with doctors, and find useful information that have to deal with the very simple but negligible questions about sexuality.

After the pitches and our late snack, the stage was set for the live streaming of the Google I/O Conference Keynote. More guys from the Google Developer Group has come around. Feedback was given to each team, results were announced and Sexual Health was adjudged winners of the Hack4Good Hackathon.

Winner of the #Hack4Good Hackathon: Sexual Health

Honestly, I think the approach taken to this approach was excellent since it brought together both techies and experts. Also, the nature of the disbursement of funds encourages the techies to build the product and not just make prototypes like people have done at previous hackathons.

Congrats to all teams that participated and the organizers!

What an amazing run!

Amazing first year! Whew. What a run! We sit here today looking back at how big we have grown in such a short time. But the real credit goes to YOU. Yes you our treasured +DevCongress member. You gave life to our dreams and made it all worthwhile. So before we say thank you we would like to have a quick retrospective look that the year 2013.

In August, you came out on a limb of faith to see what this +DevCongress noise was all about. We met at MEST and delved in to new technologies that can drive our developer space in Ghana and Africa, and a very fruitful panel discussion around electronic payment in Ghana. We discussed among other things how we can drive the space and make it more effective. Not only were you guys full of wonderful ideas but you also contributed massively towards the open source projects. Special gratitude to  all who have contributed so far. We are amazed. They are still in progress and will be launching soon. Keep fingers crossed.

Then in October you came out again for the first ever e-commerce hackathon in Ghana organized by DevCongress and the able partnership of SMSGh at +iSpace. We made ourselves proud that day by building useful projects on the SMSGh APIs as well as the MPower Payments API. Kudos to all the winners. But you know that for showing up alone you are a winner in your own right, right? Yes you are. DevCongress is about inspiring confidence and if you had the guts to show up, then we have won. 😉 Does this look familiar?

By your relentless contribution, we have one of the most vibrant tech forums in Ghana. Thank you all for sharing resources, links, ideas, and answers to questions posed to the forum. In 2014 we look forward to an even more dynamic and vibrant  forum. Ours will be the Stack Overflow of Africa. Do you promise to make it so?

Also we were humbled by the massive support we enjoyed from MEST, Blogging Ghana, SMSGh, MTN and Joy FM. These organizations did not only commit resources to the DevCongress cause but showed incredible confidence in us even before we proved ourselves. How do we say “thank you” enough?

In the coming year, we plan for greater things. Full steam innovation and crazy hacking! Put on you gear and brace yourself because it is all about disruption! We will disrupt the tech space in Ghana and that is a PROMISE! We will keep you posted.

For now we just want to say a massive thank you for your immense support and unflinching confidence in DevCongress. We are truly grateful to have you on board.

Finally, to wrap it all up what should we call a DevCongress member? If your suggestion wins, we will tell you what is in store for you. It will blow your mind away. So what should we call you?


We wish you all happy holidays and the very best in the coming year.


What Happened at Ghana’s First eCommerce Hackathon

After a successful developers conference in August this year, we set an audacious task; to organize a hackathon. From the response we received from MPower during our panel discussion at DevCongress, we decided to partner with SMSGh to come up with the DevCongress MPower Payments API Hackathon.
It was a great time having developers dedicate their time to build products on the MPower Payments API last Saturday, 5thOctober, 2013. Don’t worry, we are aware the money was a major motivation too.
So we set off on our hackathon at about 10am at iSpace, mainly because of some logistical issues, and developers didn’t arrive on time. By the time we began, we had enough people to get the games going. For the developers who came early, there was breakfast to cater for any eventualities.
As expressed earlier, some people came in their teams, as others came to form teams at the event. The standard was at least 2 and at most 3 per team. In the end, almost all the teams which turned out were 3 in number.
For most of the developers, this was the first time they had taken a look at the API, something I wouldn’t advise prior to a hackathon. Look at it at least twice before the event. That’s not cheating!
The day began with an ideation session as the teams took time to find ideas which they can integrate MPower Payments with. Then the coding session began at about 11am.
So the developers hacked till about 3 pm when we took a break for a code chat. This code chat was meant to keep all participants abreast of what each team was up to. Since this was not an ideation competition, the focus was on building a product so discussing your idea was not a major hurdle. In the background, teams were called for interviews .
After the code chat, teams got back together, and continued hacking. Right about that time, the mixologists and the DJ had started setting up. DJ Adom also came in with lights. The mood for the party was already set!

At about 6pm, teams were asked to round up their work, bringing the coding session to a close. This was followed by a reminder of the rules and criteria by which the teams would be judged. So they were: 50% for MPower integration, 30% for finishing the product, 10% for UI, and 10% for the pitch itself.
At the end of the pitches, the SpeedBanking team of First Capital Plus Bank, setup up a short presentation as the teams took their rounds at the judges’ tables. In all, the developers had put in a great deal of effort to build products in such a short time.
After all the teams had gone through to the judges’ tables, they spent a few minutes on the dance floor.
It wasn’t long after that the dancing was paused for the final declarations.
At the end of the event, Fundr Africa came first, EasyFundssecond, while Caridad took the 3rd place. It was such a delight to see on-screen as the cash prizes were disbursed into the developers’ MPower accounts live. For bonus point, all teams were given the 2-week window to complete and deploy their products and win GHC 500 instantly. How cool is that!
After the team presentations, MPower took the floor to congratulate Alfred Rowe for his immense contribution to MPower Payments. The previous day, MPower Payments had swooped several awards in 5 categories at TopApps Award 2013, making SMSGh the App Company of the Year.
On the whole, there were not as many developers as one would expect at a hackathon. However, the general participation of the developers who were present was very encouraging.
We, the DevCongress team, are really grateful for the interest expressed by the developers. We are glad you have set out on this journey with us; we promise to deliver the best content for software developers in Ghana. #LetsDoThis

Build, Hack and Win at the DevCongress MPower Payments API Hackathon

We have great news. But first, we are glad you helped us in starting out with our first developer conference last August. Thank you!

We have come so far with you. And we’re asking you to join us on our next biggest move – we’re hacking on the MPower Payments API! As you remember, we talked a lot about mobile payment solutions in Ghana at our first DevCongress. We, together with MPower Payments, have decided to give you a chance to hack, build and win with the MPower Payments API. Awesome, isn’t it?
We have partnered with SMSGh for this hackathon, so come join us this Saturday, 5th October at the premises of the iSpace Foundation in Osu from 8 am till your code works! We know that most developers in Ghana would like to make use of mobile payments; this is the perfect opportunity for you to finally build that outstanding product and begin to make some real good money.
This is how it works.

You come with your team of up to 3 people, or you can form a team of at most 3 people at the hackathon. No one knows it all, so we wanted to see “trio-programming” at work this time. The teams would be required to cross some checklists, and help other teams, to build points for themselves as they create their applications. Obviously, the team with the most points, and the most efficient code, wins. That simple!

There will be guys from MPower, the developers who built the API, who will help you answer the difficult questions about the API. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a pro to join but it sure helps. Come, you may just meet your co-founder or your biggest business partner yet. Oh, and some executives will be passing through. Get those networking skills ready and your business cards. Your next job may depend on that.

Get involved, register at https://egotickets.com/events/devcongress-hackathon

Since this is the first e-commerce hackathon in Ghana, we’re making it big. It’s not just code, there’s light, camera and … #LetsDoThis