Published: 27th April 2020
I-Innovate's hackathon on May 5 expects you to find your own problem and solve it too. This is how
Organised by Publishsutra and Telangana State Innovation Cell, this 24-hour hackathon will be held on May 5, but you will have enough time, and mentors, to help prepare in advance for the D-Day
The frequency of hackathons has certainly increased to ensure that students remain engaged throughout the lockdown. Among the hackathons, I-Innovate, organised by Publishsutra, an initiative by Tatonlabs, Telangana State Innovation Cell and Telangana Information Technology Association, this hackathon doesn't quiz you with a problem statement. It encourages you to come up with your own problem and your own solution while it offers assistance via mentors. The hackathon will be held on May 5 while entries close on April 30.
Krishna Chaitanya Rao, Founder and CEO, Publishsutra wishes to turn non-model villages to model ones through I-Innovate. He collected problem statements form villages by talking to local leaders over calls and uploaded them in the village innovation category
Perhaps this is why they are claiming to be India's biggest online hackathon. "When people get their own problem statements, everyone becomes more and more informed about the problems from every nook and corner of the state," says Gundeti Rahul who is also the Co-founder of Talk, a platform on which you can read inspiring stories. They still have two areas which will be their focus — the pandemic, it's effect and post-COVID problems like recession, employment crisis and rural innovation. "We don't want to miss out on innovations from rural areas," says the youngster who was born in Karimnagar but is currently based out of Hyderabad. But if you can't find problems statements, don't stress, Publishsutra can always allot you a few.
Krishna has trained over 2,000 students in research and is pursuing MS in Data Analytics and Computational Social Sciences through LSEF-UMASS Scholarship programme
The registrations are open till 9 am on April 30. After selections, the teams will be allotted mentors who will help them work and improve upon their solution. "They will also constantly stay in touch with the students and help them optimise their ideas," says Rahul. These mentors are handpicked and have experienced the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. While some of them are from leading IT companies, others are from premier institutions. Currently, there are 30 of them. "We already have 180 registrations, so we intend to include more mentors soon," he says.
On May 5, the 24-hour hackathon commences, during which, students need to build upon a prototype of their idea. There are some problems that Rahul already foresees. Materials may be one. "It is difficult to prototype now because all the materials needed might not be available. But if the ideas are really good, we plan to take them offline post the lockdown and with the help of our partners, support them in terms of infrastructure. We do not want to compromise just because a team is not able to source materials," he says. He also informs that there are no age restrictions of any kind for the hackathon.
Those working hard include Komal Vyas, Chandrashekar, Sathvik Reddy, Ankit Kumar, Sukumaran Adarsh, M Prananditha, T Aishwarya, Perala Abhi Keerthan Rao, Harin Kumar, Nagapranathi
Winner takes it all
The hackathon will be monitored with the help of Slack, a project management tool, and WhatsApp groups will be created as well. If the students are not comfortable with Slack, the organisers are open to other modes of communication and coordination as well. While the hackathon starts at 9 am on May 5, they convene at 8 am where the jury informs them about the guidelines of the hackathon. Two checkpoints, one at 12.30 or 1.30 and another one at 6, have been introduced to ensure that the teams are on track. At 8 am on May 6, a quick recall is conducted and finally, at 9 am the hackathon concludes. The winners will be chosen by the jury with the utmost care. "We want to pick winners across many fields like agriculture, education and so on," says Rahul. And the winners will be given mentorship, incubation opportunities and if the idea is a viable one, they will get to pitch it in front of investors as well. "This is after it's fine-tuned and groomed by the mentors," he shares. They even get to access free courses too.
So, are you ready to compete?
For more info, check out publishsutra.com/iinnovate.html