Hack to Teach 2017 is a hackathon hosted by Ideation Social Innovation Lab. During the competition, African tech talents will be expected to design and build an ed-tech mobile platform geared towards improving the quality of basic education within the informal educational sector in Kenya.

About Us

Five million underprivileged Kenyan children are taught by untrained and unqualified informal school teachers. The first poverty trap for underprivileged children stems from the lack of access to adequate basic education. Since July 2016, our program trained teachers from 120 schools and provided education loans to lower the tuition by 41%. In addition, our business management system helped multiple teachers college achieve financial sustainability.


In order to scale our education loan program and school management system in Kenya, we hope to distribute our solution as a mobile platform to more colleges and teachers. Within the 3-day Hackathon, software engineers and developers will produce prototypes for a college accounting system, collection system for loan repayments, and post-training evaluation system for teachers.


Jan 25th  Wednesday

08:30 am                         Door Open

09:00 am  -  10:00 am      Registration

10:00 am  -  10:30 am      Opening Ceremony: Keynote

10:30 am  -  11:45 am      Hack to Teach Challenge Kick-off

11:45 am  -  12:00 pm      Team Hunting & Registration

12:00 pm  -  01:00 pm      Lunch & Learn - Design Thinking Talk

06:00 pm  -  08:00 pm      Social Event - Meet Mentors

Jan 26th  Thursday

08:30 am                         Door Open

09:00 am  -  10:00 am      Breakfast & Networking    

10:00 am  -  10:30 am      Education Panel Discussion

12:00 pm  -  01:00 pm      Lunch & Learn

03:00 pm  -  03:30 pm      Tea Time

05:00 pm  -  05:30 pm      Submission Intro

05:30 pm  -  06:30 pm      Dinner

08:00 pm                          Door Close

Jan 27th  Friday

08:30 am                          Door Open

09:00 am  -  10:00 am       Breakfast & Networking

11:00 am                           Submission Deadline

11:15 am  -  12:00 pm        Team Presentation & Judging

12:00 pm  -  01:00 pm        Lunch & Judge Discussion

01:00 pm  -  01:30 pm        Closing Ceremony: Award Announcement

01:30 pm  -  02:00 pm        Team Photo Time   

03:00 pm                            Door Close

Hackathon Sponsors


$600 in prizes

Most Innovative Award

Is this idea creative or novel? Is this idea different from existing products out there? Does this idea provide unique value?

Best Product Award

Does it fit the need of the targeted users? Does the solution address the problems at hand? Is this app easy to use?

Global Impact Award

Does this idea have the potential to reach many people at a large scale? Could it be used by different people in different areas?

Engineering Excellence Award

Can it work? Is the code quality closed to production level? Does it address some technical challenges well?

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


(1) Devpost Submission

  • Please submit your project by team with Github link on Devpost by 11am, Jan 27th. 
  • No late submission will be considered for awards!

(2) Presentation + Q&A

  • The presentation order will depend on draw lots session on Jan 26th; remote teams will present at last.
  • 7 mins presentation + 3 mins Q&A for each team


Intellectual Property: Your Submission must: (a) be your (or your Team, Small Organization, or Large Organization’s) original work product; (b) be solely owned by you, your Team, your Small Organization, or your Large Organization with no other person or entity having any right or interest in it; and (c) not violate the intellectual property rights or other rights including but not limited to copyright, trademark, patent, contract, and/or privacy rights, of any other person or entity. A Maker may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the Submission provided the Submission components are solely the Maker’s work product and the result of the Maker’s ideas and creativity, and the Maker owns all rights to them. A Maker may submit a Submission that includes the use of open source software or hardware, provided the Maker complies with applicable open source licenses and, as part of the Submission, creates software that enhances and builds upon the features and functionality included in the underlying open source product. By entering the Hackathon you represent, warrant, and agree that your Submission meets these requirements.



Benjamin Makai

Benjamin Makai
Senior Manager, Social Innovation, Safaricom

Duncun Onyango

Duncun Onyango
IBM Research

Makoba Kizito

Makoba Kizito
Dean, CEMASTEA, Ministry of Education

Kate Yuan

Kate Yuan
Secretary, Ideation Lab

Luna Chen

Luna Chen
Creative Director, Ideation Lab

Lissett Babaian

Lissett Babaian
Head of Education, Africa Digital Media Institute

Sarah Oyungu

Sarah Oyungu
Director of Digital Marketing, Standard Chartered Bank

Edoardo Biraghi

Edoardo Biraghi
CTO, BRCK Education

Frankie Onuonga

Frankie Onuonga
BRCK Education

Andrew Anampiu

Andrew Anampiu
Lead Instructor, Moringa School

Joan Njogu

Joan Njogu
Head of Programs, e-Lima

Catherine Kanana

Catherine Kanana
Director of Basic Education, KICD

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation / Ambition
    Is this idea creative or novel? Is this idea different from existing products out there? Does this solution provide unique value?
  • Product / User Experience
    Does the idea solve a clear problem for the targeted users? Is the workflow intuitive? Is it easy and pleasant to use?
  • Impact / Scalability
    Does this idea have the potential to reach many people at a large scale? Could it be used by different people in different areas?
  • Execution / Quality
    Does the app work completely from start to finish? How many and how severe were any bugs encountered?
  • Pitch / Teamwork
    Does the team explain well of their story? Does the demo show an effective solution? Does the team collaborate well?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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