NYUAD Hackathon Winners Debut Startups for Social Good

by Shaimaa El Nazer, February 25, 2013

Yesterday, Social Enterprise Week in Dubai kicked off with a pre-launch event at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) campus, as part of the university’s 2nd International Hackathon for Social good in the Arab world.

The NYUAD International Hackathon is a three-day programming marathon that gathers renowned computer science professors, founders of established startups, technology professionals, and venture capitalists from around the globe, to lead and mentor teams of talented computer science students as they build mobile and web applications.

This year, a panel of 22 judges from UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, KSA, Turkey and the United States gathered at the NYUAD campus in Abu Dhabi to judge the participants on their ideas, presentations, usability and sustainability.

Audience members also voted on the 16 teams, who came from diverse backgrounds. Few of their ideas were innovative or even new, but they all focused on technology for social good, making it clear that NYUAD Hackathon is powerfully spreading a culture of social entrepreneurship.

 The 16 teams included:

  • Karma project: a platform that helps make projects and innovative ideas come to reality, through a website that connects them to funds and supporters.
     
  • Takeflight: a service to connect students to mentors, through a video platform that offers the help of a translator.
     
  • Pickment: an android app that allows colorblind people to identify and modify colors in a real-time video.
     
  • Al-Multaqa (the place to meet): a website that allows students from different universities to share ongoing events with each other.
     
  • Cenna: an application that addresses obesity by using social interaction to incentivize diet plans.
     
  • Cardrive.me: a carpooling application, in which you choose to drive or be picked up.
     
  • Smart Museum: an interactive application that lists information about artifacts in museums, with a special feature for kids.
     
  • Alert 2 sign: an application for deaf and mute people that sending text messages to notify about important announcements or emergency alerts they can’t hear. Includes a sign language feature.
     
  • Laha (For her): a platform where women with breast cancer can connect with peers to share their stories and challenges.
     
  • Marah (Fun): an interactive application that motivates kids to study by mixing homework with their favorite games.
     
  • Notify ME: a massive text message service that identifies receivers by areas of residence. 
     
  • Code2gether: a web app that allows students to share coding issues that they can’t solve with tutors or teaching assistants, and collaborate over real-time video.
     
  • Noor 3ilm (Light of knowledge): an interactive website that challenges corruption in the Arab education system, by providing a platform to crowdsource Arabic educational resources to help students improve their level.
     
  • Nsynk (N-sync): an alternate way to transfer databases over mobile networks in a secure syncing process.
     
  • Landmarkr: an application that provides detailed addresses and locations in Abu Dhabi.
     
  • Safe Journey: an application that provides security for those who ride taxis late at night or across distance, by notifying a close friend about a rider’s location and taxi information.

After the above presentations concluded, the judges gathered together for another 15 minutes decided on the winners:

  • 1st place: Takeflight
  • 2nd: Safe Journey
  • 3rd: Landmarkr and Laha
  • Audience winner: Alert2sign

The event was exciting despite a few technical issues (ironic as it was a tech event in the first place). However, seeing such passionate and talented young people with such innovative ideas is enough to get you more excited about Social Enterprise Week upcoming sessions! Stay tuned for more.