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Nat’l ICT Hackathon winners receive $20,000 start-up grant
Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance II, in a group photo with the winners.
|     Danial Norjidi     |

THE winners of the first National ICT Hackathon which concluded yesterday each received a start-up grant worth B$20,000.

Jointly organised by the e-Government National Centre (eGNC) and the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO) in collaboration with Microsoft (Brunei) Sdn Bhd, the two-month-long B{CODE} hackathon hosted 43 teams of 115 young innovators who coded at the competition with the aim of bringing solutions to current challenges faced by the community.

The closing ceremony took place at the Design and Technology Building in Anggerek Desa, and saw the attendance of Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance II as the guest of honour, who delivered a closing speech and presented prizes to the winners.

The participants competed in two main categories – namely the Student Category and the Open Category – over two stages.

In the ‘Idea-thon’ stage, each team was required to propose ideas, suggestions and concepts on how to address the issues related to their selected theme out of nine given themes, which include: Brunei communication hub; crowd funding on community and charity; intelligent emergency response; talent search centre; interactive/dynamic open data platform; property guide; public transportation; local tourism; and Brunei fitness.

A total of 84 participants comprising students from high education institutions, businesses as well as other members of the public then proceeded to the ‘Appa-thon’ stage, where each team was required to develop a mobile or web application based on their ideas in the ‘Idea-thon’.

The winners of each category received a start-up grant worth B$20,000 to develop the final product, as well as access to facilities provided at the iCentre, six months’ access to available classes offered by the Industry Business Academy, a one-month mentorship at Microsoft Brunei, a trophy and a certificate.

The winners for the Student Category were ‘Team One’ for their project under the theme of public transportation theme, while the Open Category was won by ‘Crowdsource’ under the community and charity theme.

Team One’s Muhammad Al-Akif bin Irfan, a student in his second year at Politeknik Brunei (PB) and Muhd Amin bin Haji Fauzul, a PB graduate, were named winners for their app, ‘E-Route’. The app provides people with real-time tracking of buses to find updated bus routes, bus stop locations and seat availability.

Meanwhile, CrowdSource is a one-stop shop platform for charity, which allows people to post their projects or charities for funding through an online application. Among its features will be quick and easy donations via online payment as well as verified users and projects. The CrowdSource team has five members, namely Siti Noora’zam, Ahmad Wajidi, Elven Ng, Emerson Chua and Athifah Nabilah.

According to a press release issued by the organisers, “The solutions developed through this competition will help to resolve some of the key challenges faced by the business community today as well as the public in general.

“The solutions generated can help grow our enterprises to become more competitive both in the local and overseas markets and thus ensure an increasingly conducive business environment in Brunei Darussalam. This ecosystem would in turn attract more foreign direct investments into the country, such as through the creation of new intellectual property and access to local talent and capability.”

The hackathon competition served as a platform to strengthen the collaboration between the private sector, industry and the government. Nurturing this ecosystem is essential to continue generating solutions that drive the national agenda in diversifying the economy and contributing to Vision 2035, adds the press release.

Also present yesterday were permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries from related government agencies, stakeholders, participants and other distinguished guests.

Brunei’s 1st National ICT Hackathon aimed to encourage innovation, stimulate ideas and drive creativity among students from higher institutions, local businesses as well as members of the general public through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Brunei Darussalam.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin
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