Dubai Internet City, DIC, the MENA region's largest ICT hub, was the headline partner for HackaMENA, the first social impact hackathon in the region, held from 2nd-4th April at in5, the innovation centre launched by DIC.
The event was organised by the D.GmbH, a youth-driven digital development company based in Bonn, Germany, that provides smart and innovative tech solutions.
HackaMENA gathered over 70 attendees from Algeria, Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The participants formed teams for the 72 hour competition, during which they created innovative solutions that will have a positive impact on society and bring about real social change. Over the course of the weekend, competitors also heard first-hand from industry experts and mentors, including PwC, International SOS, ITWORX, ITWORX Education, Dubai SME, Adobe, Dubai Consultancy and Yahoo!, about vital business and tech skills related to coding, design and prototyping.
The winning team, HeartPing, with an emergency mobile application connecting heart-patients with CPR-educated users, will showcase their product at the EXPO 2015 in Milan to an international audience and to investors. HeartPing will be incubated at in5, where they will be offered training, networking opportunities and mentorship to prepare for the EXPO.
HackaMENA follows a series of events and initiatives headlined by DIC this year, including Decode Dubai, in5's's first hackathon, droidcon Dubai, the world's biggest Android developer conference and Drones for Good, where inventors battled for a large reward to develop drones that support humanitarian causes. DIC is at the forefront of the National Innovation Strategy and continues to encourage innovation and creativity within the technology and ICT sector.
Commenting, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, said, "Initiatives such as HackaMENA are steps towards contributing to the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make Dubai the MENA region's innovation and development hub. They also encourage the creation of new ideas, innovation and nurture new talent.
"HackaMENA has provided an excellent platform for industry leaders to share knowledge with tech entrepreneurs, and support the growth of Dubai and the region's entrepreneurial and start-up landscape." he added.