AROUND TOWN: Olufisayo Akanni

Here at Kent State University, we have so many opportunities to showcase our talents and present our ideas to professionals in the fashion industry. Olufisayo Akanni participated in an event called the Hackathon this past weekend. She is a Kent State senior that has had a lot of amazing opportunities in the fashion industry. She participated in the YMA FSF scholarship, which is a foundation that supports future retail leaders by providing them scholarships and she was selected to be a YMA scholar. Being a YMA scholar, she landed an internship in Macy’s corporate office and she will be returning in July to work as a Product Assistant. If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what is! After hearing about all of her accomplishments, I couldn’t wait to hear about her product idea for the Kent State Hackathon!

Name: Olufisayo Akanni
Role: Hackathon Contestant

CollegeFashionista: What exactly is the Hackathon?

Olufisayo Akanni: The Hackathon is a weekend long competition where students from the across the country came to Kent State University with ideas for wearable technology products and garments and developed prototypes for these products within 36 hours. We were provided technology and tools to help us bring our ideas to life and presented our prototypes to a panel of judges at the end of the weekend.

CF: What is the product you were pitching at the event?

OA: My team and I created a product called EmpoweRing. It is a ring that, when activated, sends a distress signal to the wearer’s loved ones letting them know that they are in danger. It is wearable personal security that creates empowered women who can feel confident and prepared in today’s violent world. We worked very hard on bringing EmpoweRing to life and were selected as the top five finalists for the Hackathon. It was very exciting to pitch my idea that I have been passionate about for a while! And as a result, we were awarded the most aesthetically pleasing design courtesy of the Fashion Student Organization (FSO). They told us we had the most market ready product and I was very happy that people liked my idea.

CF: Are you planning on furthering your plans with EmpoweRING?

OA: This upcoming summer I will be starting a job in product development in New York City, so I will not be making EmpoweRing a company. But I am planning on selling my prototype to a potential company because I would really like to see wearable personal security implemented into the fashion industry. The violence against women is a serious concern today, and I believe women deserve a better way to be protected and prepared in their daily lives. Women should feel confident and should not fear being attacked, and I believe EmpoweRing can do that!

Learn More: Olufisayo will be graduating in May from Kent State University. Keep an eye out for EmpoweRING in the future!