Gaming App Wins Ignite Hackathon

Over 80 applicants came together at the Ignite Hackathon in Nairobi and spent over 36 hours developing their next best app. But only one app amazed the judges.

Steven Mugo walked away with the ultimate prize of $5,000 (Kshs 400,000) when his gaming app Spot Kick was preferred by the judges. Steven told HumanIPO that this idea was born 2 years ago during the 2010 World Cup. It was supposed to publicize the World Cup by a company he worked for. The project didn’t go well and the owners got discouraged and dropped the project. But Steven had faith that it could work. “I had to buy shares into the project to keep it running,” he told HumanIPO.

Two years later and his app has finally bore fruit becoming the top app in the first ever organized Ignite Hackathon. The Ignite Hackathon brought together, eMobilis, Capital FM, Safaricom and the major sponsors Nokia. Participants had to come up with an app that can be used on the Nokia S40 series. In the end, 30 apps would be published in the Nokia Ovi store which now has over 1,000 Kenyan apps.

Spot Kick is a gaming app, that lets users play a football shoot out. The interesting bit is that it is a multiplayer game and can be extended on PCs. “The greatest challenge was to develop the multiplayer aspect,” Steven said. But he finally got a breakthrough.

Mugo now continues to develop several apps and is also pursuing his Masters at the Safaricom Academy in Strathmore University. He preferred to develop the app for Nokia because, “Nokia goes for the mass market.”

BriteSkills, a learning app took the second spot with $3,000 (Kshs 240,000). Developers Joe Okalat, Asmeret Gebre and Victor Karanja developed the app from their BriteSkills software which helps users to either teach or learn skills online. The third spot was taken by MGenie, that aggregates services and lets you communicate with industry professionals, developed by Idd Salim.

The category top media app, sponsored by Capital FM, required to develop an app for the radio station’s website. Allan Onchuru and Dickson Ng’ang’a were awarded with a contract to develop the app further.

Other winning apps as announced by the judges included Afrodiet which is a dieting app for local foods, Hush Hush that sends private messages with passwords and PC Remote which helps in PowerPoint presentation aids.
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