It’s been 8 weeks since we wrapped up phase one (Idea Hack) of Culture Shift 3 and this weekend, as the second and final phase kicks off we welcome back our six finalists - Mainframe Film, Chocolate City, Tae Wool, Parresia Publishers, Nigerian National Film Corporation and Fetch Strategic Insights. Over the next three days each of the organisations will work to further develop their ideas culminating in a pitch to a panel of judges on Sunday, where three of the teams will win funding and start-up support to get their concepts market ready and launched.
It’s been 8 weeks since we wrapped up phase one (Idea Hack) of Culture Shift 3 and this weekend, as the second and final phase kicks off we welcome back our six finalists – Mainframe Film, Chocolate City, Tae Wool, Parresia Publishers, Nigerian National Film Corporation and Fetch Strategic Insights. Over the next three days each of the organisations will work to further develop their ideas culminating in a pitch to a panel of judges on Sunday, where three of the teams will win funding and start-up support to get their concepts market ready and launched.
For the last 8 weeks CcHub Nigeria have been working tirelessly to build six diverse and well-balanced teams that contain web & mobile developers, UX & UI designers, graphic designers, marketers and business folks – all of whom will collaborate to help build and realize their chosen organisations concept.
Over the next three days the teams will meet each other for the first time, be introduced to Culture Shift 3 and the mechanics of this hackathon, develop their concepts, build a prototype and pitch.
I’ll post an update below after each day so feel free to come back and see what has been going on. In the meantime, follow #CultureShift3 and @AndyYoungDesign for more immediate updates throughout the weekend.
Day 1 || Friday 21st February
We kicked off the afternoon at 5pm with an introduction and presentation by Femi, Chiagozie & myself about Culture Shift 3 including an overview and expectations for the Hackathon across the next few days.
We have the full 6th Floor as a venue at CcHub Lagos and the place was full of excitement as the teams formed for the first time. Our idea behind todays event was for the organisations to share the work that came out of the Idea Hack with their group and for each of the participants in those groups to get to know each other and share their skills, experience and areas of expertise before getting stuck into idea development.
The evening was meant to finish reasonable early at around 7pm but the teams were still in full flow, so we left them to it. Tomorrow is when we expect the majority of the work will happen. It has the potential to be a long day, with a 10am start (later than planned as there are movement restrictions on the last Saturday of the month in Nigeria) but to accommodate this, the CcHub will keep the space open throughout the night providing there are teams that want to hack into the wee hours.
It’ll be up to the teams how they manage their time and tasks. For me, that’s the beauty and sign of a successful hackathon, self-sustaining, self-regulating events, supported by a loose framework. That framework doesn’t need to be any more complicated than an agenda, open + closing times, feeding times and expected outcomes at the end.
When we left on Friday, plenty of the teams were already creating wireframes and storyboards of how they intend to build their concepts, so we’re looking forward to Saturday to see how things develop.
Day 2 || Saturday 22nd February
When the roads opened back up after the environmental sanitation no movement lock down, we made our way back to CcHub to find all of the teams here and coding.
Here’s a quick overview (Courtesy of @Cc_Hub) of what is being built:
1. Team Fetch are developing an interactive digital image bank to connect the creative industry with their target audience.
2. Team Nigerian Film Corporation want to make it super easy for you to learn the art of film production through an e-learning platform.
3. Team Parresia Publishers want to build an addictive user experience for people to spend 2hrs+ on their platform, immersed in the books they provide.
5. Team Chocolate City will build a platform to better engage with their teeming fans online using quality, targeted content.
6. Team Tae’s platform will allow fashionistas to provide feedback, inspire, pre‐order and better engage with their clothing range.
It’s good to see some of the teams pushing themselves – two of them are building more than one prototype and with just 28 hours till they present to the panel of judges for prizes of Naira 800,000 || 500,000 || 300,000 – they’ve got their work cut out.
It was unanimous – the teams (and especially the developers) want to work through the night, so the Hub will stay open with CcHub Project Manager Mayowa holding the fort.
We spent most of the afternoon supporting the teams on a 1-2-1 basis, with Femi, Tunji and myself working our way around the six groups, checking progress and giving them feedback. At 4pm Lynsey from the Creative Economy UK team and Alex from the Nigeria office came along to see what was going on.
From the other end of the room, someone yells “That’s why it’s called code!” which is followed by an eruption of laughter as a representative from one of the organizations battles to get to grips with what the developers are trying to communicate with him. But it raises an important point – in fact it raises lots – and it gives us a platform to speak with the group and emphasise the importance of being able to articulate what is happening at the most basic of levels not just within their team, but especially at the pitches tomorrow.
I’ve been doing work with Sync and a stack of awesome developers as part of their Geeks-In-Residence programme and one of the biggest learning’s from the last two years was the importance of being able to bridge a void that can often exist between cultural organisations and technology. That’s another reason why project like Culture Shift bring so much value to this market – they being to build these bridges providing experienced networks, safe spaces to learn and incentives for people at both side of the bridge to get involved.
When we spot the developers headphones going on we take an opportunity to detach the organization representatives from the group to do a quick check-in and then talk more about the presentations and pitches tomorrow. Tunji leads the conversation, he’s one of the 5 judges we have lined up and as a director as CcHub will be involved in supporting the three winning teams after the hack event. CcHub have a bespoke start-up incubator space that the teams will get to work from and with more and more success stories emerging from the 1st floor of the building the winning teams will be in good hands.
We emphasise the importance of context; what was the existing problem and what need does the idea help solve. We go on further to suggest the teams articulate how the idea fits into the existing marketplace and what competition it might have. We talk a lot about users, telling and selling a good story avoiding the trap of getting bogged down in rambling about the ideas features. Our final three suggestions explore route to market, sustainability and a proposed road map for the next 3 months should they win funding. I mentioned frameworks earlier in this post, but my thoughts are at this stage in the process and with Naira 1.6 million up for grabs, we want to ensure that the participants are clear about what to present and the judges are confident in choosing the winning teams.
Who knows what tonight will bring. We have some exceptionally talented people working hard to realise their ideas so I have every faith we’ll end up with some excellent hacks. On another note, we had some awesome t-shirts delivered today.
Day 3 || Sunday 23rd February
As Sam the driver explains en route to the CcHub, Sunday is a ‘quiet’ day – a time for visiting friends, family and of course, not working.
No such luck this morning at Culture Shift as the teams continue to push towards the finish line. With only five hours until the deadline, the tone in the room has become a bit more frantic and matter of fact. Teams debating what they can afford to drop and what are the absolute must haves for the prototype and demo to the judging panel this afternoon.
These are the magical few hours where out of a melee of laptops and hundreds of lines of code you being to see the concepts come to life for the first time. Lots still to do, but the teams are almost there!
As I mentioned last night, CcHub kept their doors open throughout the evening. It looks like a few people managed to get some rest at least…
We’ve put together a panel of judges with a range of expertise to watch the presentation and eventually pick the three winners from this years Culture Shift. On our panel, we have –
1. Subomi Plumptre – Writer & Consultant, Alder Consulting – @subomiplumptre
2. Kunle Olaifa – Head of HR, Samsung West Africa – @KunleOlaifa
3. Tunji Eleso – Director of Pre-Incubation, Co-Creation Hub – @etcho3
4. Lynsey Smith – Programme Manager, Creative Economy, Arts, British Council – @lynsey_smith
5. Akin Adesola – Managing Creative Director, The Newton Project Room – @aadesola
That’s it! Time is up, the presentations are in and the teams (most of them) are dotted around the CcHub trying to find a quiet space to practice their pitches. Our judges arrive, so Tunji and myself talk them through the past three days, the expectations we outlined at the beginning of the hack and the criteria they will be judging the teams on.
The basic template has each of the teams judged across five areas; clear need, innovativeness, quality, commitment and potential impact. Judges score 0-10 in each of these areas with a maximum possible total of 50. This just gives us some guidance to steer the conversation after all the teams have presented.
With only 30 minutes till pitching starts you can really feel the energy and excitement building in the room.
The winners have been announced!
- First Place – Mainframe Films
- Second Place – Parrésia Publishers
- Third Place – Fetch Strategic Insights
A big mention goes out to our other finalists, Nigerian Film Corporation, Taé and Chocolate City. Everyone put in an outstanding amount of effort and work to pull together the quality of what was produced and presented. Femi emphasised at the start of Culture Shift 3 that success for us isn’t just first second and third place launching concepts but for each of the six ideas to launch. Through the ongoing support and commitment of the CcHub and if the teams are up for it, I’m sure that this is possible off the back of what we saw today.
The judging was rough! The room was split on a number of the groups and it meant conversations were heated during the 45 minute deliberation it took to pick the top three. Femi and I facilitated the discussion, but left the final decision entirely up to the judges based on what the teams presented during their pitch.
All that’s left to do now is wrap things up and head on to the rooftop for a celebration drink and some food! Here are some of the members of the winning team, Mainframe Films, beaming after winning Culture Shift 3. What a blast!