The Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU), in collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone, the World Bank, the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency and the Sierra Leone Economic Diversification Project organised the third Hackathon Pitch Night at the MMTU Congo Cross campus in Freetown with students of MMTU and Limkokwing University of Creative Arts and Technology as participants.
The first prize of Le30 million old Leones was won by Grace Tech who designed a website for laboratories nationwide to link up to effectively respond to pandemics in the country, second prize of Le20 million-Ehga Solutions and third prize of Le10 million -SAJ TECH.
The participating teams from the two institutions were AMATEK, Ehga Solutions, COMPACT, Team Instruction and SAJ TECH among others.
The topics pitched were designing a website to track violators of the Hands off our Girls Campaign, Students Management System–development of a website to access students’ grades and other educational reports/materials and Linking Laboratories in Sierra Leone to effectively respond to pandemics in the country, timely response and synchronizing their systems.
Each group was given eight minutes to make its presentation.
Earlier in his welcome statement, the Dean of the Congo Cross campus, Maada Tommy Tejan revealed that the first and second Pitch Nights sponsored by the World Bank have been successfully held and that all participants are winners.
Dr. Philip John Kanu, Vice Chancellor and Principal of MMTU commended the organizers, that the competition is the sharing of ideas, that great investors start with small ideas, that students must put the skills learnt in universities into practice, observed that there has been a lot of developments at the Congo Cross campus, that students now have opportunities that were not available in the past and that unemployment is a challenge in the country.
He also assured that the judges would be objective and unbiased and wished participants good luck with the hope that their ideas would be marketable to the people.
The World Bank consultant, Mr. Kwaku Frazer underscored that the competition is all about entrepreneurship and how to develop innovation hobs in universities and disclosed that participants were trained for three days for the competition.
The judges included the Head of Engineering at Fourah Bay College, the Accountant at RITCORP and a staff of the Freetown City Council who revealed the criteria for the competition as front-end user experience, customer access, back end, simplicity, accessibility, user-interface, easy adaptation and data capturing.
The lead judge on behalf of his colleagues commended the coaches for assiduously working on the various topics in two days, observed that the world cares about solutions to problems and advised participants to next time make PowerPoint presentations that is much easier, that the presentations within the various groups were poorly done and commended one group for working under pressure.
Highlights of the event were the presentation of prizes to participants and groups while the vote of thanks was delivered by the Secretary General of the Students’ Union.