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Amman Hackathon works to kindle innovation, investment connections

By Balqis Zeidan - Feb 19,2020 - Last updated at Feb 19,2020

AMMAN — The University of Jordan’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (UJIEC) held an Industrial Innovation Hackathon from Sunday to Tuesday, with the aim of discovering the creativity of participants, encouraging local innovation, attracting innovative mindsets and linking entrepreneurs to investors and supporting institutions.

The hackathon, conducted at the Zinc Incubator at the University of Jordan, was the second instalment of UJIEC’s 2020 entrepreneurial hackathons, with the first held in Irbid in early February, EU Project Coordinator Mohammad Barakat told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

Thirty entrepreneurial hackathons are scheduled to be held around the Kingdom in 2020, and welcome the participation of all local community members, not only students, he noted.

During the first and second days of this week’s event, participants took part in entrepreneurship workshops on topics including design thinking and lean methods. They were also provided with guidance on starting their own businesses, the coordinator said.

The workshops prompted attendees to generate creative ideas and develop solutions to problems in their societies, he added.

On the third day, participants presented innovative entrepreneur projects to a panel of judges and interested investors, Barakat said. 

The top three winners were connected to funding investors or supporting business incubators, according to the coordinator.

Although the theme of this recent Amman hackathon was industrial, it differs from one city to another, he said. To decide the hackathon’s theme, organisers take into consideration the host city’s preferences and its residents’ needs and interests.

The next hackathon, set to be held in Jerash, will have a tourism theme, the coordinator noted. 

The hackathons are funded by the EU through the Jordanian Action for the Development of Enterprises project and organised by the UJIEC in cooperation with the Jordan University of Science and Technology’s Centre of Excellence for Innovative Projects and Beyond Media.

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