Bright young business minds and creative university students from across the country came together in Yangon and Mandalay to celebrate the opening of the joint Ooredoo-UNDP Hackathon 2019 at the Ooredoo Myanmar Office on Friday, 18 October.

About 200 participants, including more than 60 women, from 12 cities across Myanmar have entered as either junior level or advanced level candidates, with some aspiring newcomers and others making ambitious efforts to transcend their results from last year’s Hackathon.

The Hackathon 2019 will last until Sunday when all participants will present to the Panel of Judges their solutions to development challenges faced by Myanmar in one of the three themes: 1) Rural Development, 2) Education and 3) Climate Change.

Given the country’s development challenges in rural areas, rural development has been a popular, recurrent theme since last year, attracting about 36% of all applicants this year.

Gender equality is a noticeable cross-cutting issue aimed to be addressed by this year’s Hackathon regardless of the theme, in line with last year’s Women’s Empowerment category, making it extended to all participants. This year, encouraged to include at least one female per team, each team will come up with a prototype for an innovative mobile application as well as a business model that will also contribute to the promotion of gender equality in addition to any other theme-specific Sustainable Development Goals.

Tech teams and facilitators from Impact Hub Yangon and IdeaMart are geared up for the first day of the event, preparing experts’ presentations on the three themes as well as supporting a series of ideation sessions. On Saturday, experts invited for speed mentoring sessions will provide participants with technical advice to help them move forward by adding details to their business plans and coding conceived through the ideation sessions.    

Addressing the opening event, Mr. Rajeev Sethi, Ooredoo Myanmar’s CEO said, “As part of our continued partnership with the UNDP and in support of the SDGs, The Hackathon is designed to build a bridge to the local developer community and help the young and talented people of Myanmar develop innovative services that serve their communities. We are proud to host The Hackathon once again simultaneously at our offices in Yangon and Mandalay solidifying our commitment to empowering local talents to create a better environment for the future.”

“The Hackathon is an innovative and exciting element of the UNDP-Ooredoo partnership in Myanmar. It is very encouraging to see the impressive number of participants here today and feel their enthusiasm. This year’s Hackathon is poised to be bigger and better than last year’s event and I would like to thank everyone involved in making the event possible. The next two days will be exciting, and we look forward to seeing the teams working hard to develop digital solutions. I would like to wish the teams all the best and thank them for taking on the challenge of finding innovative solutions to Myanmar’s development challenges working together with UNDP and Ooredoo,” said Mr. Peter Batchelor, UNDP Resident Representative.

On Sunday, three winning teams from both the junior and advanced levels will be awarded with cash prizes and an invitation to an incubation programme supported by Ooredoo and UNDP.

The Hackathon is a special initiative of Ooredoo Myanmar and UNDP to promote and scale up digital innovation and entrepreneurship amongst the youth in Myanmar. It aims to provide a platform for Myanmar’s youth to showcase innovative ideas to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Myanmar through digital innovation.

For more information on The Hackathon 2019, please visit: www.thehackathon2019.com.

For more information, contact:

Ooredoo Communication Team | +959 9733 33322 | mhan1@ooredoo.com.mm

UNDP Communication Team | +95 9 7916 39052 | yamon.phu.thit@undp.org  

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