24 hours hackathon for citizen reporting, governance, climate change apps

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) Over 250 students, developers, entrepreneurs and mentors will brainstorm for straight 24 hours here on Saturday to build applications and technologies enabling citizens to connect with their governments and prioritise interventions.

Organised by NASSCOM 10,000 Start-ups in association with Microsoft and the US Consulate General Kolkata, the ‘Building Apps for A better Future Two-Day Hackathon’ seeks to boost innovations in citizen reporting and citizen governance, deploying technology to battle climate change and technologies for next generation enterprises.

“We are telling these people to create an application through which citizens can be part of the media as a citizen journalist and can be part of a process where government intervention is required. The idea is that people can come together through technology and pinpoint to the government that a particular issue (say potholes on a particular road) is a priority,” Ravi Ranjan, deputy manager, 10, 000 Start-ups, told IANS.

Primarily meant for east India, the hackathon will see participants (students, developers, start-ups and experts) group up in 35 teams of four and hash it out on a particular idea centred on the three themes. The event kicks-off at the American Centre around 5 p.m. on Saturday and concludes in the evening on Sunday.

“Each team will have three techies and one marketing person. They will be guided by seven Microsoft mentors, two non-Microsoft and nine business mentors. Top three teams and one crowd favourite will be chosen as winners and they will have the opportunity to pitch for incubation at the NASSCOM start-up warehouse,” Ranjan said.

In addition to a Microsoft Lumia device, winners will also get the chance to link up with angel investors and mentors to translate their innovations into business.

The brief for the participants is to ensure the technology is very simple, can connect quickly with people and can be launched right from day one.

“We want to highlight how the US and India can work together on many things, including entrepreneurship and IT. This event for east India will bring developers, entrepreneurs and technology leaders together to explore and discuss new ideas,” said Greg Pardo, assistant public affairs officer, US Consulate in Kolkata.



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