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Expo 2020 Dubai themes inspire developers at hackathon to create the future
(26 July 2017)
Twenty entrants take part in search for innovative solutions


Twenty developers, designers and entrepreneurs came up with mobile solutions inspired by the themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability at the SAP & Expo 2020 Dubai Hackathon – with the winning team wowing the judges with their app to enhance the visitor experience.

SAP, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, challenged participants at the hackathon – a marathon-like event where programmers and designers are given a set time to complete a task – to develop innovative solutions based on the three Expo 2020 Dubai subthemes.

The aim was not only to innovate but also to create opportunities for young people to hone and showcase their skills in front of representatives of SAP, a global leader in innovative software solutions and also an Official Premier Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The event was open to a wide array of young UAE-based talent, including freelancers, students and representatives of start-ups, with participants requiring a basic understanding of SAP solutions, Swift programming and iOS to compete.

The hackathon took place over a 24-hour period from 24-25 July 2017 at SAP’s MENA headquarters in Dubai.

A panel of judges comprising representatives from SAP and Expo 2020 Dubai assessed the entries and crowned the team Connect It as the overall winner.

The team’s three members – Kumar Soorya, Mojtaba Noor and Mohamed Sikander Adam, had never met before the event. They soon realised, however, that together they each could bring different skills to the team, echoing the overall theme of Expo 2020 Dubai: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

Their solution was a mobile phone app that could help visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai not only find their way around the huge site but also inform them of attractions to match their interests. It also featured a guidance feature that directs visitors to locations using voice commands.

Yousuf Caires, Vice President – Expo Live at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “The winning solution encapsulates the spirit of innovation that has been the hallmark of World Expos throughout the ages. Visitors to past Expos had the chance to see era-defining developments such as the telephone, the touch-screen and x-ray machines for the first time, and visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai will experience the cutting edge of ingenuity and progress – building on ideas like those that have emerged from this hackathon.

“We are delighted to have had the chance to work with SAP on this event, which illustrates the incredible opportunities and impact that the partnerships being formed with Expo 2020 Dubai are creating.

 “We look forward to connecting more minds as we continue on our journey to 2020 and beyond to create a brighter future.”

Tayfun Topkoc, Managing Director, SAP United Arab Emirates and Oman, said: “SAP and Expo 2020 Dubai are committed to supporting the UAE’s startup ecosystem, and with the hackathon we are fostering the next generation of technological innovations across opportunity, mobility, and sustainability, and driving tailor-made experiences for many millions of visitors. As Expo 2020 Dubai’s Innovative Enterprise Software Partner, SAP is supporting hackathon winners to bring their solutions to market, aligned with the event’s theme of ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.”

During the hackathon, participants were welcomed by representatives from SAP and Expo 2020 Dubai, who introduced them to the concept then conducted sessions on design thinking and training on the basics of mobile solutions.

The hackathon kicked off on July 24, with participants applying their skills to developing innovative mobile solutions. It finished the next day with presentations by the entrants and judging.

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