NaijaHacks Mentorship 2019

Who is a Hackathon Mentor?

Hackathon Mentor's are Experienced developers, Designers maintainers who enjoy working with beginners, Intermediate or Advanced Teams, are also open and patient and like to help. They will come up with newcomer-friendly projects and ideas and, during the whole weekend, work with groups of about two to six newcomers, to help them with the whole process, and make their way through the Hackathon Process as easy and as much fun as possible.

Rapid Support system

Mentors Should be availabe to answer every question placed by any Member.
A Mentor is not a BUDDY

A mentor is not a buddy, It's advised to actively avoid the use of the term "buddy" in the Mentoring Program, as a way to distinguish the guided mentoring role from the self-organized buddy-role and also demonstrate the differences in the roles (being a mentor requires more commitment than being a buddy). It will certainly happen that participants and maybe also team uses this term, and it’s of course no problem, but let’s not use it in our official communication to avoid confusion!

What are Hackathons and
How do they work?

Watch this video to understand more

Apply now

Meet The Current Mentors

Patrick Emmanuel is a Software Engineer at Zone Tech Park with 3 years working with technologies such as Python, Django, React and Java.

Patrick Emmanuel
Software Engineer at Zone Tech Park

Shodipo Ayomide is basically a Dev Ninja, He is a Speaker / Developer Avocado and Software Engineer at VanHack & CosmicJs / Founder at Fremer Inc. Leading NaijaHacks, FbdevClagos, GDG.

Shodipo Ayomide
Software Engineer & Developer Advocate

Ehinze Emeka is the Product lead at and also a community builder at and also technical writer at and Ypf.

Ehinze Emeka
Senior Product Developer

Emmanuel is a Software Developer currently living in Lagos, Nigeria. He is primarily focused on Frontend engineering. He partners with software teams to execute and build scalable systems, with a strong focus on design, usage, and accessibility using the best tools and techniques. He currently works with Amplify Digital where we tackle some of the biggest task in the financial sector.

Emmanuel Chilaka
Software Developer

Christian Lasbery is a Full Stack Web Developer {PHP}. He possess great design skills and currently run my own Software Company

Christian Lasbery
Web Engineer

Daniel Temitayo is a Mobile App Developer Android/IOS. with over 2years of experience in Web Technologies

Daniel Temitayo
Software Developer

Abdulazeez Adeshina is a software developer using JavaScript to implement every instance of life into software. He barges into web projects, making clones, destroying and fixing - it's part of learning. He is also interested and always excited in learning new technology and how they work, building new things that shapes the future.

Abdulazeez Adeshina
Software Developer

Oluwatobi Owolabi is a Product Marketer at EventPlog, a event planning and management application for learning based events.

Oluwatobi Owolabi
Senior Product Marketer

Taiwo Adebayo is a Android Developer at ITEX, and Founder at Novael.

Taiwo Adebayo
Senior Mobile App Developer

Kole-Ibrahim AbdulQudus
Software Engineer

Your Main Role as a Mentor

  • To help to brainstorm ideas on the challenge and the solution
  • To give advice on the topic that mentor is qualified or skilled at
  • To keep an eye on the time, the schedule is usually quite intense
  • To help divide roles inside the team
  • If they get stuck, help to get them moving again
  • To help to pick out a person who is going to do the pitch
  • Apply now

    Make sure you know where the teams needs to get

    Is the goal of the hackathon a clickable prototype? A low-level prototype with only wireframes? What business-critical questions they need to have answered? How do they need to present their ideas at the end of the hackathon? With or without slides? Make sure you know where to focus. And focus is often something the teams need the most.

    Do some pre-work

    If you somewhat know the topics the teams will be working on and if you’re not an expert on that specific field (for example, you’re a design mentor at a health tech event but work in another industry), take 30 minutes prior to the event to do some research on what companies and startups are doing on the same field. I’ve seen a lot of teams to get stuck in their heads and a mentor getting them unstuck after giving some examples how other companies are handling similar issues. Yes, you could argue that the teams should be doing that job themselves, but they simply don’t, sometimes they just don’t know what and where to look for. That’s when mentor’s comments come in handy.

    Show up and stay there

    Often mentors are available for the teams only for a limited amount of time. Even worse, they help at their own schedule and not according to the event or team’s schedule. If you have promised to be there, be present as much as you can so that the teams can ask you questions if needed. If you cannot be there the whole time, tell the teams how they can reach you.

    You may not be needed

    Be around, visible and approachable, but don’t disturb the teams by being with them too much. They’re getting a lot of different advice from different mentors anyway so they need time to digest, make decisions on their own and just work. Tell them when you will be stopping by to see how they’re doing and if they say they don’t need help, leave them be.

    It’s ok not to have answers, but ask the right questions

    Even when you’re really skilled at what you do and a really good mentor, you only have a certain framework how you see the world. But your most important skill when mentoring is asking smart questions. Avoid giving very strict answers at all times, help them to come up with answers on their own.

    Don’t push on your own ideas

    One of the most crucial aspects mentors sometimes don’t get is that the hackathon is not about them and getting their ideas come to life, it’s about helping the team through the maze. It takes the ability and willingness to put your ego in the background and think what’s best for the team, how they can learn the most. For example, I’m a business mentor and the teams often ask me “what kind of revenue model should we use”. I give them a couple of hints but usually direct them to a resource where they can find revenue model examples and pick their own favorite. That’s the only way they can make a conscious decision and not just rely on what the mentor has been saying. Different mentors give them different advice anyway.

    Don’t make the teams change direction halfway

    If they’re halfway through and you think they should change a critical part of their idea or prototype, hold yourself back and don’t do it, they won’t have time. Instead, help them to make the most of what they have been working on so far.

    Help them to make their own decisions.

    Often teams expect mentors to give them ready-made answers because “you’re the expert, tell us what to do”. It’s good to tell your rules for mentoring the very first time you meet the team. Specifically tell them to be critical of mentor’s advice and to make their own decisions about their team, their product, and their business. We all know that the best way to learn is to experience firsthand what implications different decisions have. Don’t rob them of that opportunity.

    Don’t be the discourager, be the empowerer

    Encourage the teams, acknowledge their passion, don’t kill their ideas, however, crazy they may sound. When they’re low on energy or otherwise stuck, try to get their spirits back up. Celebrate successes, big and small, with them.

    Apply now