Local innovators rise to the challenge at tech hackathon

Sheraa and ICT Fund in partnership with Sharjah Youth Council offer unique opportunity to 100 local youth and students to become problem-solvers at three-day hackathon



by

Rohma Sadaqat

Published: Mon 6 Jun 2022, 7:28 PM

Three teams of young changemakers have been selected as the winners of a three-day hackathon organised by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and the UAE’s Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), in partnership with the Sharjah Youth Council.

The winners were selected from a group of 10 teams, each with 10 members who came up with innovative solutions to address everyday challenges for the UAE market. While the first prize went to Targo, the second and third places were taken by Revo IoT and Suppliaza in a pitching competition on the final day of the hackathon.

Targo’s winning project was an Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence-supported website that allows small businesses to obtain, purchase, and clear international cargo space while choosing the most optimum route.

Revo IoT aims at integrating post-image recognition – through scanning incoming stocks via digital cameras – while AI helps predict demand of goods. The system is connected via the Internet of Things (IoT).

Suppliaza is an application that aims to utilise AI and machine learning (ML) to bridge the gap within the business-to-business (B2B) food supply chain while being responsible and sustainable.

The ‘Pioneers of the Future’ hackathon had received over 500 applications and was held from June 3-5. The total prize pool of Dh50,000 will help support the top teams take their winning ideas to the validation stage and accelerate the process of building the product.

Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, described the hackathon as an “exciting way” for young, entrepreneurial Emiratis to develop creative solutions through a unique human-centred approach.

“By finding novel solutions to critical issues, the winners of the ‘Pioneers of the Future’ hackathon reflect the entrepreneurial potential of the nation’s youth in emerging as disruptive, fearless, and empathetic young leaders of tomorrow. Together with ICT Fund and Sharjah Youth Council, Sheraa is committed to investing in our country’s talents, and bringing students and youth together to co-design tech-enabled innovative solutions that will help build future-proof economies.”

Looking ahead, she added that Sheraa was optimistic that some of the world’s biggest ideas will come from this region, and that the company looked forward to facilitating the younger generation in developing and designing practical and better products, services, and processes to improve lives within communities everywhere.

Omar Al Mahmoud, CEO of ICT Fund, said that the winning ideas of the hackathon demonstrates the young generation’s abilities to analyse current reality, identify problems, absorb latest scientific findings, and leverage them to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to better our society in various fields.

“ICT Fund is keen to support all initiatives and projects that develop young people’s competencies and empower and enhance their digital skills to help fulfil the country’s vision of growth and the global sustainable development goals,” he said. “Our youth have boundless creative energies, and it is our responsibility to motivate and direct them to serve the interests of the UAE community.”

rohma@khaleejtimes.com


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