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Amman Tech Hackathon kicks off targeting innovators of all ages

By Fares Al Abed - Oct 26,2017 - Last updated at Oct 26,2017

AMMAN — A three-day competition targeting innovators of all ages kicked off on Thursday, requiring each participant to come up with a tech-related idea or project, three of which will get the chance to be implemented afterwards. 

Five young innovators came up with the idea of the Amman Tech Hackathon, which will run through October 28 at the Zain Innovation Campus in the Jordanian University (ZINC JUT).

Alaa Obeid, Hamza Daoud, Baraa Sueilmeen, Khalid Al Saeedi and Ahmad Al Shareef, all aged 18 years or younger, launched the competition following “unconvincing” experiences in previous competitions.

Alaa Obeid, a 17-year-old student, said that he and the four other organisers have previously participated in many competitions, but noted that they “were not convinced with the judges’ decision, because it’s not always their field of expertise”.

“That’s why we came up with this competition, and chose our own judges, whom we trust,” Obeid stated.

The judges of Amman Tech Hackathon, dubbed “a marathon for technical ideas” are Ahmad Jadallah, Phi Science Institute’s president; Mahmoud Darawsheh, CEO of Mind Rockets Inc. and Loay Malahmeh, a founding partner of Fab Lab Amman and Irbid.

The event will also see mentors from various backgrounds to help the participating teams during the competition, Obeid added.

“The participants are not necessarily required to provide us with a full project or a prototype, what we want is a ‘complete’ idea and its description,” he explained.

Participants are also asked to answer: “How is your technology supposed to benefit your society?” in addition to providing a briefing about their personal scientific background.

“The winners will be selected to enter ‘business incubators’ and will receive prizes from ‘Fab Lab Amman’ [a space that contains various labs which will allow them to implement their projects],” he said, adding that “’Shamal Start’ [which is funded by the UN], will choose any of the projects they consider valid for execution.”

“All the participants’ projects might be accepted by Shamal Start even if they did not win the Hackathon prize,” he explained.

 

Amman Tech Hackathon is supported by Zain Jo, ZINC, Fab Lab, Shamal Start and Jobedu, according to Obeid.

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