Start-up Sharjah Hackathon in Khorfakkan equips 150 young people with entrepreneurial skills

  • In partnership with Crescent Enterprises and in collaboration with University of Khorfakkan Emirates Schools Establishment & Sharjah Youth Council, the three-day hackathon was held at University of Khorfakkan
  • Najla Al-Midfa: “We continue to invest in the undeniable potential of our ambitious youth.
  • Badr Jafar: “Our young problem solvers should be encouraged to take more calculated risks when creating solutions.”
  • Ahmad Al-Shamma:The partnership with Sheraa aims to promote proactive thinking among the younger generation.

Sharjah: The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) has announced the top three winning teams of the Khorfakkan chapter of the Startup Sharjah hackathon which ended yesterday at Khorfakkan University. The hakathon was in partnership with Crescent Enterprises and in collaboration with Khorfakkan University, Emirates Schools Establishment and Sharjah Youth Council.

Held from September 16-18, this year’s edition of the hackathon saw the participation of more than 150 young people, divided into 14 teams. The hackathon provided students from schools and universities with 21st century skills that helped them find solutions to real-world problems posed by the competition’s partner companies. This year’s edition of the hackathon aimed at developing sustainable solutions in the port and logistics services sectors.

Winning teams

First place was won by Project Octainer, an advanced digitization technology that facilitates the digitization of the process of documenting port activities through the use of Near Field Communication (NFC), a short-range wireless connectivity technology. scope. Each container would have a smart tag attached containing all its data which will be read by the scanner attached to the crane at the port. With automatic container content verification, the customs clearance process is smoother and faster.

Second place went to the Al Seef project, an integrated system that provides comprehensive solutions for port operations stakeholders to manage the flow of information and combat resource waste, avoid documentation discrepancies, track prices and ships and provide more accurate ETAs. The digital solutions presented by the team enable efficient management of the flow of information between all stakeholders, enable real-time monitoring of shipping lines and trucks, provide price transparency, improve the documentation process with audit updates and help manage customer expectations.

Third place went to the PortSecure project, a startup that offers access ports to its software on the basis of a membership model. The software predicts inefficiencies in port operations and provides a new tailored standard operating procedure (SOP) that helps ports be faster and safer.

The winning teams received cash prizes to support the development of their projects and real applications. Winners were also given the opportunity to join Sheraa’s specialty programs to further develop the idea and eventually turn it into a viable business.

Spirit of innovation

Commenting on the success of the hackathon, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “The launch of our Startup Sharjah offering in Khorfakkan demonstrates Sheraa’s commitment to making entrepreneurship an accessible and foundational skill set for young people. entrepreneurial talents of 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 lasting solutions that respond to the challenges affecting lives around the world.

She pointed out that the hackathon emphasizes a project’s societal impact, not just its business value, with the aim of developing businesses that have a positive impact on the local community and the wider economy. . The CEO of Sheraa said that the projects carried out by the competing teams at the Khorfakkan Hackathon demonstrated a high level of understanding of the challenges and needs of industry and local and global communities.

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises, said, “With no shortage of entrepreneurial talent in our region, our young problem solvers should be encouraged to take more calculated risks when creating solutions and embrace success. or failure with the same dynamism. At Crescent Enterprises, youth empowerment and local entrepreneurship development are core elements of our corporate citizenship strategy. This is in line with the Sharjah government’s efforts to create an enabling business environment that has enabled the emirate to become a leading regional innovation hub and develop a thriving startup ecosystem.

He added, “Crescent Enterprises is proud of its longstanding partnership with Sheraa, which continues to build an inclusive and sustainable entrepreneurial platform in the UAE and the wider region.

For his part, Ahmed Al Shammaa, Principal of Khorfakkan University, said, “We are delighted with our collaboration with Sheraa, which aims to promote proactive thinking among the younger generation. Such immersive activities are essential for our university because they contribute to the realization of our vision and our objectives centered on the advancement of the intellectual, personal and professional skills of our students.

He added, “Khorfakkan University is focused on building a strong foundation for our students through research and innovations to ensure our graduates are able to support the journey from Sharjah and the UAE to building an internationally competitive knowledge-based economy.”

Six steps

Through the hackathon, participants were introduced to the design thinking process based on six stages: understand, observe, point of view, imagine, prototype and test.

During the hackathon, representatives from Gulftainer, which operates Sharjah Container Terminal, Khorfakkan Container Terminal and Al Hamriyah Container Terminal, and Momentum Logistics, a fully integrated third-party logistics provider, gave a presentation on the essential role of supply chains in the logistics industry and describes various operational and administrative aspects of the Port of Khorfakkan. After the presentation, participants brainstormed on solutions to transform port operations to become more agile and sustainable.

Tim Haas, COO of Gulftainer, said, “Gulftainer is delighted to support the Khorfakkan chapter of the Startup Sharjah Hackathon which encourages innovation and instills an entrepreneurial spirit among our future pioneers. Our region is uniquely positioned as a global logistics hub, and through ongoing training and mentorship, our young people will stay at the forefront of emerging technology, using it to develop solutions that meet the challenges of the global supply chain and support economic sustainability. »

Competing teams of UAE youth created prototypes, building on the information shared during the presentation and testing their ideas to ensure they could be implemented to achieve the set goals.

The decision to hold the hackathon in Khorfakkan follows several integrated developments in the largest city in the eastern region of Sharjah under the guidance of wise leaders, the latest being the University of Khorfakkan.

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