Inaugural hackathon draws bright young minds

Dr Yu (second from right) presenting a mock cheque of RM10,000 to team GarGeon for being the champions in the Forest City Hackathon.

Dr Yu (second from right) presenting a mock cheque of RM10,000 to team GarGeon for being the champions in the Forest City Hackathon.

JOHOR BARU: It was a memorable moment for brothers Jacky Tee and Darren Tee when they emerged winners in the Forest City Hackathon competition.

The duo along with three other team mates Sam Young Chin, 28, Ng Chee Lim, 29, and Cheong Hoong Jun, 28, beat 11 other teams to walk away with the first prize of RM10,000.

Calling themselves GarGeon, the team came up with an innovative automated solution that could promote recycling.

Sam, Ng and Cheong met the brothers, both Southern University College students, for the first time but came up with the winning project in the 24-hour hackathon.

The two winning teams were among 60 people comprising undergraduates and young working adults who took part in the inaugural Forest City Hackathon and Youth Entrepreneurship Dialogue at the Forest City here between September 30 and Oct 2.

The event was organised in conjunction with World Habitat Day, which was celebrated worldwide on Oct 2.

Meanwhile, a team of students, all from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, walked away with RM5,000 as the first runner-up.

The team, calling themselves Stop Pollution, Best Solution, came up with a business model where food waste can be used as food for microorganisms.

The team members comprised Boon Shi Ting, 22, Chin Shin Yi, 22, Low Ming Xiu, 22, Boon Cheng Kai, 23, and Chew Kam Fatt, 22.

The team took part in the recent Telekom Application Development Hackathon (TADHack 2017) in Kuala Lumpur, and emerged the first runner-up.

“We did not expect to win even though we had won in a recent hackathon event,” said Boon.

“The system we have designed can collect data and the food waste can be thrown into a food disposal grinder.

“Our inspiration came from the fact that a big percentage of garbage came from food wastes and if we can recycle food wastes, this could reduce pollution and it can be lucrative at the same time,” she said.

The hackathon and dialogue was a corporate social responsibility initiative organised to contribute to youth development and environmental conservation.

The participants, aged from 21 to 40, were selected to participate in the three-day event, jointly organised by UN-Habitat, Malaysian Global Innovation and Creative Centre (MaGIC) and Country Garden Pacificview (CGPV) Sdn Bhd with the support of Malaysia Entrepreneurs Development Association (PUMM).

The event was aimed at encouraging the participants to come up with a prototype business model that blends entrepreneurial skills with IT-savviness, and at the same time, could combat or help reduce environmental issues.

The participants, which were divided into 12 groups comprising five members each, had to come up with a prototype of a mobile app or a website, and marks were given based on the prototype design, presentation and the digital solution it offered.

Themed Entrepreneurship and Environment, some of the participants worked round-the-clock to “hack” computer programmes in a bid to come up with the most innovative digital solution that earned the first prize winner RM10,000, followed by RM5,000 for first runner-up.

In his speech, CGPV president Dr Yu Runze said being a prime model of future cities, Forest City welcomed talents who could design innovative prototypes.

“We plan to establish a Technology and Innovation Hub to boost the country’s IT communications support and software development industry,” he added.

“The hackathon, alongside the Youth Entrepreneurship Dialogue session, seeks to bring out the best in the exchange of ideas and problem-solving among young entrepreneurs,” Dr Yu said.

The hackathon is also in line with Forest City’s vision to build a world-class Smart and Green City, and become a youth entrepreneurial base in South-East Asia, in providing a conducive environment for tech start-ups for youths around the region.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Dialogue featured PUMM representative Victor Lee Wee Teck, Kelab Alami co-founder Dr Serina Rahman and MaGIC Ventures and Global Partnerships representative Jacques Sun.

More than 150 people applied to take part in the hackathon, but only 60 were selected based on their academic performance and backgrounds.

The participants were made up of undergraduates and young adults working in the engineering, business, IT and finance industries.