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Dubai Internet City Brings ’Hackamena’ The Region’s First Social Impact Hackathon To Dubai
(6 April 2015)

 

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 2-4 April at in5, the innovation centre launched by DIC. The event was organised by The D. GmbH, a youth-driven digital development company that provides smart and innovative tech solutions. 

HackaMENA gathered over 70 attendees who flew in 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, 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 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 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.

“I extend my warmest congratulations to the winner of the competition, who not only will be given the opportunity to be incubated at in5 and present to a global audience at Italy EXPO 2015, but who have created a truly innovative online medical product.”

Haider Ghaleb, co-founder of HackMENA and the Chief Executive Officer of The D. GmbH:

“HackMENA saw collaboration between different eco-systems and governmental institutions towards the goal of championing positive social change and supporting innovative tech youth from across the region. Seeing the competition’s technopreneurs operating solely for the purpose of creating positive social change, and producing such amazing solutions and prototypes, made me feel optimistic about the future and the quality of life in the Arab world.”

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