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The Big App Challenge 3.0 Moves Into the Semi Finals

 

 

The Big App Challenge 3.0 by Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) which began mid-year, is now into the semi-final stages where the top teams from each track, the Academia Track, and the Professional Track, will meet to determine the finalists. The ASEAN Data Analytics Exchange award with prizes amounting to RM100,000 and RM70,000 respectively, will be awarded to the team that has the most disruptive and innovative solution.

Big Community was given a grand opportunity to interview a few winners from the hackathon leading up to the finals in December.

Yoke Tien of Seed

Solution presented : What will you do if you have the power to reverse climate change in a click of a button? Seed is a mobile app that calculates your online carbon footprint to remind people of their impact to the environment and be responsible with it. They can participate in solving climate change with a click of a button.

  1. Congratulations on your win. What were your first thoughts when you heard you had won? Did you expect to win?
    Thank you. But we didn’t feel that we won. Our core message is much more important and deserves greater attention. For this reason, we feel we could have done a better job at getting the message across.
  2. We understand you had 24 hours to achieve your result. How much preparation did you and your team put in to achieve your final result? Was there a lot of background research or more of on-the-spot decisions made during the 24 hour hackerthon?
    Prior to the competition, we had brain stormed a lot on which idea was worth pursuing. After that, we did a lot of research by reading multiple scientific research papers and explored tonnes of open data. 
  3. What is your impression of this type of event? Is it your first hackerthon?
    It is my 20th hackathon and I love participating in hackathons.
  4. This event brings many different groups of people together. Do you find it a positive experience and would you recommend it to your friends?
    I definitely agree that it brings many different groups of people together and this makes things interesting. It doesn’t matter positive or negative experiences as long as there is something new to learn. I would recommend anyone to participate.
  5. You were competing against many professionals. Yet you came up as winners over the others. What was your winning strategy?
    Honestly, I don’t think we did the best we could for our cause. However, to answer your question on a winning strategy, in my experience of winning other hackathons in the past, my advice would be to choose your team wisely.

Marshal Yung of Adhere

Solution presented: Based on a location’s property value, derive the population’s average income and spending capacity to justify the most relevant products for advertisement

  1. Congratulations on your win. What were your first thoughts when you heard you had won? Did you expect to win?                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you! We were pleasantly surprised when we heard our project name Adhere being announced as the winner under the Big Data category. Our whole intention of participating was merely for the joy of it. We didn’t really expect to win, but, we were sort of hopeful though.
  2. We understand you had 24 hours to achieve your result. How much preparation did you and your team put in to achieve your final result? Was there a lot of background research or more of on-the-spot decisions made during the 24 hour hackerthon?                                                                                                                  It was indeed a very exciting 24 hours. Before AngelHack, the team did brainstorm on the intended idea, just to make sure everyone’s on the same page and know what each of us needed to do. Most of the thought process was done on Day 1, right after lunch. In fact, when we commenced after lunch, we realised we’re missing a couple of very crucial insights to glue the idea together. For a moment, the idea didn’t seem to be very realistic. But we decided to still give it a try, and took about 4 hours of research and some formulation to piece everything together including realising 2 very important equations to make the whole idea sensible again. And I remember distinctively, we only started our design and development work at 4pm. And by 4am, somewhat 12 hours later, we realised, we had completed and confirmed our working prototype. It was a straight 12 hours of development for the team. It felt surreal for a moment that we had actually built a working prototype in 12 hours.
  3. What is your impression of this type of event? Is it your first hackerthon?                                                           AngelHack is our first hackathon, and most likely would not be our last. It is certainly a very productive event to get the team together, to focus on one thing, and to produce something practical and sensible. I believe hackathons like this — could either be coding or in other form of prototype engineering — should be fostered among younger students to encourage the habit of thinking by design.
  4. This event brings many different groups of people together. Do you find it a positive experience and would you recommend it to your friends?                                                                                                                      It was an eye opener experience to be able share and witness the wonders produced from the other teams. It definitely kept one thinking of more possibilities. And would certainly recommend my peers and my new teammates to participate in the future.
  5. You were competing against many professionals. Yet you came up as winners over the others. What was your winning strategy?                                                                                                                                           I believe we stood out because we believe in creating a purely sensible and meaningful solution derived from minimalistic approach which solves real world problems. We just sometimes have to look at things from a different angle and a fresh new perspective.

 

Kyle Lau of FindMate

Solution presented: An app to help you hunt for a roommate that you like to share renting a place with you.

  1. What were your first thoughts when you heard you had won? Did you expect to win?                                    We are very excited because we had won a community competition and we did not think that we can make it that far. 
  1. We understand you had 24 hours to achieve your result. How much preparation did you and your team put in to achieve your final result? Was there a lot of background research or more of on-the-spot decisions made during the 24 hour hackerthon?                                                                                                                  Four of us are programmers and two of us are designers. We did prepare some skills before we came to the hackerthon but most of the time it is on-the-spot decision making.
  1. What is your impression of this type of event? Is it your first hackerthon?                                                      We felt maybe we can do something here and maybe change the society by making apps. 2 of the members are new to hackerthon. 
  1. This event brings many different groups of people together. Do you find it a positive experience and would you recommend it to your friends?                                                                                                                      We have been spreading the news when we know AHKL16 is coming and also inviting friends to join together and have fun.
  1. You were competing against many professionals. Yet you came up as winners over the others. What was your winning strategy?                                                                                                                                         Just to make the idea as presentable as we possibly could.

 

Kegan Gan of Property Meter

Solution presented : Property Meter is a mobile app that lets you quickly get valuable insights into property analytics. (1) Gauge the market supply and demand. (Number of Listings vs Number of Searches) (2) Determine if market ASKING price is above or below ACTUAL market price. (3) Find out if a specific property is in the high-end/medium-end/low-end of the township. (4) Identify which segment of the market has the most liquidity. (Transaction volume) (5) Reveal township property demographics. App is super easy to use. Only need need to tap-tap-tap and one-hand navigation. NOTE: Project Stack & APIs: R, BigQuery, Python, iOS

 

  1. What were your first thoughts when you heard you had won? Did you expect to win?                                     There were many teams with innovative out-of-the-box ideas. The positive feedbacks and encouragement from the audience and friends did give us more confidence, and after seeing the runner ups, we think we may have a good winning chance. But we weren’t totally sure.
  1. We understand you had 24 hours to achieve your result. How much preparation did you and your team put in to achieve your final result? Was there a lot of background research or more of on-the-spot decisions made during the 24 hour hackerthon?                                                                                                                 The data exploratory analysis was done two days prior to the event. We took the time to understand the data and find anything interesting that the data can reveal. Many decisions also had to be made during the hackathon, especially the amount of features we can realistically build within the given time frame and aesthetic design selection. The app itself was conceived on the day of the event.
  1. What is your impression of this type of event? Is it your first hackerthon?                                                        This is our first hackathon, as a team. We were stoked to find out the event was held in a shopping mall. The constant stream of audience from the shoppers and enthusiastic organiser’s staffs and volunteers, certainly made an impact in exerting positive vibes throughout the event.
  1. This event brings many different groups of people together. Do you find it a positive experience and would you recommend it to your friends?                                                                                                                     Yes. Many participants came with friendly approachable attitude, with the willingness to sharing their experience and knowledge. We would certainly encourage people from all ages to join!
  1. You were competing against many professionals. Yet you came up as winners over the others. What was your winning strategy?                                                                                                                                         Initially, we were trying to do deep data analysis. We tried to find interesting insights from the data. But on the morning of the event, we realised it is quite impossible to do with the time given. Hence, we quickly pivoted to making data visualisation app.

 

In line with the Digital Malaysia initiative, the National Big App Challenge 3.0, which is running its third consecutive year, is a strategic platform for Malaysia’s best and brightest to explore new challenges and use their skills to come up with solutions for big data as the country moves towards becoming a digital nation.

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