The Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), in partnership with the Mexican Ministry of Economy and the OECD, organised a Hackathon on 20-21 June to coincide with the OECD Ministerial on the Digital Economy. The 24-hour coding contest provided a unique opportunity for Ministers and other high level government officials, as well as leaders from the business, trade, civil society and Internet technical communities, to observe the creative process of youth as they cultivated their digital skills and developed apps to address a particular local or global challenge.
The event brought together 170 developers between the ages of 18 and 29 representing Mexico, Canada and Colombia; 29 of the coders were young women. Competing for more than
20,000 USD and other prizes, a total of 37 teams worked through the night to create apps in the following categories: Cultural Heritage, Smart City, Social Inclusion, and Entrepreneurship. At the end of the 24-hour coding period, teams were given three minutes to “pitch” their project to the judging panel that determined the following category winners:
- Cultural Heritage: “Time Stamps” – an app designed to make studying history more immersive for teenagers.
- Smart City: “Nisi Vitae” – the app enables a user to provide their medical information automatically to emergency response personnel when calling for an ambulance.
- Social Inclusion: “VR-ehab” – this app converts remote physical rehabilitation into a game using an Android Virtual Reality environment and a hand movement detection system.
- Entrepreneurship: “Autonomi” – this app aims to increase security and independence for the visually impaired.
Each of the four category winning teams were awarded 2500 USD and recognised at the Ministerial Gala Dinner, where OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria and Mexico Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo announced “Nisi Vitae” as the Grand Prize winner. As a result of their Grand Prize win, “Nisi Vitae” also was awarded 10,000 USD and 4 months of mentoring by Angel Ventures.
In addition, to further recognise the accomplishments of these talented developers, seven Excellence Awards were presented at the conclusion of the Hackathon to the teams that developed the best app using a specific technology or addressing an issue of interest to the sponsor.
The event was made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: AT&T, Cisco, Disney, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Verisign, and the Internet Technical Advisory Committee to the OECD (ITAC).
Highlights from the Hackathon can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iApcw8_3kdw.