Joshua Agboola, a 12-year-old JSS 2 student of Bellina College, Akoka, Lagos, has emerged winner of the MTN mPulse Hackathon themed ‘Beyond COVID.’ He won the competition by creating ‘Kagukar Study Buddie,’ a home-schooling, remote education and learning solution. Using Artificial Intelligence, it works as an interactive voice-activated robot that assists students to study, practice tests, learn from stories while providing entertainment with games, riddles and jokes.
Agboola received one million naira in funding support, 100,000 Naira cash voucher, portable electronic devices worth over N120,000 and mPulse back-to-school items. “I feel excited. Thanks to MTN, I have been able to show my potential towards changing the world and impact lives positively with my solution,” he said.
The first runner up, Abeedah Alabi of Jakande Estate Comprehensive Senior College, also in Lagos and second runner up, Amarahi Ogbu of Government Day Secondary School, Abuja also received 500,000 Naira in funding support, 100,000-naira cash vouchers, portable electronic devices worth over N120,000, and mPulse back-to-school items. The top ten finalists will participate at a six-week virtual MTN GAP Boot camp, an incubation program to further refine and accelerate their winning solutions to market in collaboration with TechQuest STEM Academy.
Speaking at the mPulse Hackathon finale, Bayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “Technology has bridged the gap between our children and the future, positioning them to lead the charge to a bold new world. At MTN, we believe in that future and are taking deliberate steps to guide young people in developing solutions for all. The MTN mPulse Hackathon is part of our wider contribution towards this aspiration, consistent with our commitment to champion innovation.”
In 2018, the company unveiled mPulse, a proposition for teens and tweens designed for kids between ages 9 and 15. The mPulse package comes with a voice plan and a fun, educative website which hosts a wide variety of courses and study aids to help children from Primary 1 to SS3 excel. The portal also provides a bouquet of single and multiplayer games as well as life skill videos.