Hackathon in Khorfakkan equips youth with business-building skills


Najla Al Midfa with the winner team at the end of Khorfakkan chapter of the Startup Sharjah hackathon.

The Sharjah Entrepreneurship centre (Sheraa) has announced the top three winning teams in the Khorfakkan chapter of the Startup Sharjah hackathon that concluded on Sunday at the University of Khorfakkan. The hakathon was in partnership with Crescent Enterprises and in collaboration with the University of Khorfakkan, Emirates Schools Establishment, and Sharjah Youth Council.

Held in September 16-18, this year’s edition of the hackathon saw the participation of over 150 youth, divided into 14 teams. The hackathon equipped school and university students with 21st century skill sets that helped them build solutions to real-world problems posed by the competition’s corporate partners. This year’s edition of the hackathon targeted the development of sustainable solutions in the ports and logistics services sectors.

Winning teams The first place was won by the Octainer project, an advanced scanning technology that facilitates the digitalisation of the documentation process of port activities through the use of Near-field communication (NFC), a short-range wireless connectivity technology. Each container would have a smart tag attached to it containing all its data that will be read by the scanner attached to the crane at the port. With the automatic verification of the contents of the container, the customs clearance process is smoother and quicker.

The second place went to Al Seef project, an integrated system that provides comprehensive solutions for stakeholders in port operations to manage information flow, and combat wastage of resources, avoid discrepancy in documentation, track prices and ships, and provide more accurate ETAs.

The digital solutions presented by the team results in efficient management of information flow amongst all stakeholders, enables real-time tracking of shipping lines and trucks, offers transparency on prices, enhances documentation process with verification updates, and helps manage customer expectations.

The third place went to PortSecure project, a startup that offers ports access to its software based on a membership model.

The winning teams received cash prizes to support the development of their projects and real-life applications.

The winners also received the opportunity to join Sheraa’s specialized programs for further development of the idea and possibly turning it to viable business.

Commenting on the success of the hackathon, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: “The launch of our Startup Sharjah offering in Khorfakkan is testament to Sheraa’s commitment to making entrepreneurship an accessible and foundational skillset for the young entrepreneurial talent across Sharjah, and the UAE.

With the support of our partners, we will continue to invest in the undeniable potential of our ambitious youth to build sustainable solutions that address the challenges impacting lives worldwide.”

She pointed out that the hackathon lays emphasis on the societal impact of a project, not just its commercial value, with the goal of developing businesses that have a positive impact on the local community and the wider economy.


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