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Universiti Sains Malaysia Gets Overwhelming Response to its Inaugural Hackathon

University Sains Malaysia’s two-day hackathon received overwhelming response from participants with organisers having to close registrations as all 100 seats allocated have been scooped up by students there looking to expand their coding skills and win cash prizes in the process.

The free event which will be held on the 18th and 19th of February at their campus in Skudai, Johor, is an initiative by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) in Universiti Sains Malaysia with IEEE USM Student Branch which is under School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering in collaboration with StartupMalaysia.org and Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM).

The University App Challenge, which is run on a boot-camp format, aims to encourage local university students to explore the world of technology, innovation & creativity through working with like-minded youths in a fun and competitive environment.

The 48 hour challenge requires participants between the ages of 18 and 25, to pitch, validate & build web/mobile apps but will be assisted by expert mentors assigned to each team. The main purpose of this event is to create an awareness among university students and encourage them to create apps for solving real life problems.

It is also in line with the vision to identify, educate, and produce more Malaysian app developers and entrepreneurs set by our honourable Prime Minister. It gives university students exposure to educational programs for entrepreneurs and youth aspiring to be entrepreneurs in order to know and learn practical perspectives in the real world and work experience as a programmer.

The word ’Hackathon’ is a combination of two words; ‘hack’ and ‘marathon’.

Winners from this hackathon will included with other winners from other hackathons and automatically entered into the National Big App Challenge (BAC) 4.0. The BAC 4.0 is the brain child of the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) which is currently successfully running on its fourth instalment.

Teams or individuals to be entered into the challenge is done by highly qualified data scientists and experts who will pick the winners from hackathons that are happenning throughout the country within the year. They will be categorised into two tracks; Academia and Professional tracks.

Once the teams have been selected, they will be channelled into the tracks and placed on a mentorship program by MDEC, from industry experts, to further enhance their prototypes. They will also be trained on delivering their ideas and concept to monetize them to higher levels such as Venture Capitalists and investors.

The BAC 4.0 event will culminate at the end of the year with both tracks being judged in a final showdown at a grand event organised by MDEC. They will be presented cash prizes which amount to RM170,000 for top 3 positions from each track.

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