“BRACathon”- BRAC’s first ever hackathon attracted more than 120 budding app developers and students to compete for prize and developing useful mobile applications to contribute in social innovation. The 36 hour long BRACathon took place from 4-5 December 2015 in BRAC University. 27 teams including IT students and tech start-ups participated.
The theme of BRACathon was technology for social good. The participating teams were given 11 problems including TB prevention, micro-learning, microfinance data access, crowdsourcing information for city roads improvement, bKash user interface etc. Students from BRAC University, NSU, IUB, BUET, Ahsanullah University and technology start-ups including EMPOWER, Miyaki participated in this competition.
After the marathon 36 hours of coding, each team gave a presentation on their mobile app solution, in front of a jury board of 12 members. The jury board members included senior management from BRAC, representatives from DFID and Australian High Commission, faculties from BUET and BRAC University.
Based on the quality of the proposal, impact, innovation, functionality and presentation seven teams were announced as winners on 6th December 2015. Each of these seven teams will be given up to USD 3000 in order to help them to finalise their apps. BRAC IT specialists will provide further assistance and guidance to these young developers to scale up. In addition to this, BRAC will also help them implement these apps to enhance its operational efficiency.
The winners of the competition are Reboot, Miaki, AMITIE ,mPower Rangers, TRIUMPH IT, BUET Gamechangers and Technolive.
The award giving ceremony started with a panel discussion. Mr Anir Chowdhury, Policy advisor of prime minister’s office, Paul Whittingham, Deputy Country Representative, DFID Bangladesh were present among the other sector specialists. The discussion was moderated by BRAC and BRAC International’s senior director Asif Saleh.
Appreciating BRAC’s initiative at the prize giving ceremony, Mr Anir Chowdhury said, “Digital Bangladesh allows one person to do a lot of innovation. Digitalisation gives empowerment if used correctly. Digital Bangladesh provides the opportunity of young leadership.”
Deputy country representative of DFID Paul Whittingham, “We are committed to bring more young people in this field, so the voices are heard across. The best way to ensure that is through technology.”