Code For Pakistan’s Islamabad Civic Hackathon was concluded on Sunday evening at SEECS, NUST which was co-organized by Open Islamabad. Civic Hackers spent two days designing and developing their ideas while also receiving mentoring and guidance from the event organizers all the way till the end. Sheba Najmi, Code for Pakistan’s Founder, appreciated the enthusiasm of the participants which was in such an abundance that they had to be told to get their lunch during breaks.
A total of 460 applications were submitted for the Civic Hackathon among which 140 participants were selected for final registrations and at last, about 120 participants formed 24 final teams and spent their weekend developing from ideation to the product. All 24 teams were given 3-minutes with additional 1 minute for Q&A to present their ideas in front of judges belonging from different technological ventures; Azhar Rizqi – MIT Karachi, Puruesh Chaudhry – Founder Agahi, Asif Memon – SDPI, Shehryar Hyderi – Director, Marketing & Operations, Convo and Iqbal Khan – President, Alachisoft.
The presentations continued for about two hours after which judges were taken to another room to make the final decision on the winners. While they were deciding the fate of participating teams, 3-guest speakers shared their valuable knowledge with the audience. Two of the guest speakers, Senator Usman Ullah and VP Engineering, Convo Muhammad Nasrullah were present at the event while the third speaker PTI member, Asad Umer joined in from Karachi via Skype call.
Senator Usman stressed the fact that our youth needs to come up with solutions without any dependence on government. Furthermore, Muhammad Nasrullah shared his entrepreneurial journey and the concept of lean startup with the audience. His talk became more interesting when someone asked the question, “Whether going for higher education is worth it? Most people believe that one should not get two degrees from same university.” He said that his own gpa was below 3.0 and he completed his bachelor’s in six years but he is not proud of this fact despite getting a round of applause from the audience. According to Nasrullah, the problem is that students are not getting practical learning from the education; most of them don’t even know what is version control or software quality testing.
Another interesting question asked from Nasrullah was, “It often happens that I have a startup idea and I discuss it with a mentor who takes out countless faults from it. After a while, they start working on the idea and make a business out of it.” Nasrullah replied that Pakistanis by nature are mistrusting. There is nothing wrong with discussing an idea; even if someone misuse your idea, they can never copy your vision.
Sheba Najmi announced the winners of the first ever Islamabad Civic Hackathon admitting that it was a tough decision for the judges. All the ideas were excellent and it was definitely a close call between projects. The winning teams have secured incubation opportunities at Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE), NUST, Invest2Innovate, The Nest I/O and LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE). The winners along with other event participants are eligible to apply for P@SHA social innovation fund and will get an automatic entry into National Mobile App Competition. Additionally, all participants were awarded with Bizspark or DreamSpark membership for 3 years which includes Azure hosting, licensed services from Microsoft and Bizspark development support from Microsoft for Startups.
Here are the list of winning teams and their projects.
School Source was an Alif Ailaan supported project and the team members for the project included developers – Fatma Faruq, Hanzala Ali Abbas, Muhammad Ubaid, researcher – Asif Ali Khan and designer – Amna Majid.
School Source is a crowdsource application which will provide a platform to citizens, for selecting the best schools in their region, to give reviews of the schools and voice their concerns. The finding and rating criteria, for the schools, is based on the availability of facilities (toilets, water, teaching staff, teaching aids), hygiene, school systems etc.
Crime Alert is an application which will gather and consolidate crime data to make it available for the public and alert them about the criminal activities in the region. The team members included developers – Umair Israr, Fahad Altaf, Muhammad Arish, Abrar Ahmed and designer Amir Hayat.
The crime data for the application will be collected from Open Source, through data scrapping, crowdsourcing and different law enforcement organizations. The data will then be presented in a visually appealing manner to facilitate decision making such as renting or buying a home, where to setup a business, helping law enforcement agencies about where and when force should be deployed and the media houses to use the information for their news and stories.
efound.info is both a web and android based application which intend to provide tracking services for stolen and lost objects through scanning QR codes, barcodes, NFC tag or an RFID tag. It will also allow users read or write information against the tag ID in the central database. The application will track a wide range of problems such as
- passengers, traveling documents, luggage at the airport,
- patient files, medicines, equipment at hospitals,
- retail products in a superstore
- automobiles and other assets for normal users and organizations, and
- weapon and other identifications by government security agencies.
The team members for the project included developers Shahid Nouman, Naveed Ahmed, Muhammad Usama Masood and designers Najam Anjum and Sana Nisar.
Best Solution Using Civic Data:
Quick Disease Early Warning System is a prototype designed to retrieve and monitors reports of diseases on daily basis from registered users in hospitals every day. The system will automatically check sudden rise in number of cases of diseases in specific area and report a chance of disease outbreak that can spread. The system will generate an automatic warning for the outbreak and inform the respective authorities e.g. Health ministry or NGOs. The disease outbreak information will be available for public through a visualization map for protecting themselves and taking precautions.
The team members of the project are Zaheer Uddin, Muhammad Bilal and Shakir Ullah.
Best Data Based Education App:
Lighthouse 2.0 is a web application for schools; parents and teachers to bridge the gap between parent-teacher communication and better manage children’s learning performance. The application makes use of identification tags which are provided to each student to report the key issues regarding student’s learning and timely measure can let teachers communicate through the system for responsive action with help of Parents and school administration. The team members for the project are Talha Shahzad and Faizan Amjad.
Best App For Women’s Needs/Empowerment:
Craft Cocktail is an application for Pakistani women which aims to provide them a platform to show their original work, prints and handicrafts globally, and enables them to earn in collaboration with different organizations , NGO’s and courier companies. It is an e-commerce platform targeting women who are passionate to earn from home but face the lack of opportunities and resources.
The team members for this project were Yasmine Amjad, Hira Aftab and Fatima Fawad. The featured image of the article shows Craft Cocktail team receiving their winning prize from Senator Usman Ullah.
Best App For Government Submitted Problems:
Price Tracking System, a project submitted by DCO, is to control the price manipulation in the market according to the government issued price list of commodities which are often not followed in the markets. The main purpose of the application is transparency and efficient price monitoring through a detailed report on the price list from government.
The team members are Rizwan Ali, Kashif Siddique and Muhammad Nouman Khan.