Vikatan Group’s maiden Hackathon event was successfully concluded last weekend in Chennai. Vikatan Hackathon was a hands-on CSR event organised by the Ananda Vikatan Group.
In its 90th year, Ananda Vikatan through this Hackathon aimed to come up with innovative solutions that intersect Content, Community and Connections (leveraging technology) to improve lives.
Vikatan hackathon was a structured prototyping event and was designed to spark, cultivate and promote open innovation in the areas of education, agriculture, environment, women empowerment, employability and civic life and community power. The competition was supported and promoted by NASSCOM, ICTACT and The Startup Centre with technical mentoring by Hasura. While Thought works and Amazon Web Services were great enablers for the event, TVNews4u.com was the media partner.
Vikatan Hackathon event was spread over the last weekend from 23 September 2016 to 25 September 2016, approximately for 50 hours and had 40 teams, closer to 140 participants from various parts of the country.
Speaking about the success of the hackathon, B Srinivasan – Managing Director, Vikatan Group said, “We received an overwhelming response for our maiden hackathon with exemplary ideas/proposals which harnessed the power of technology to give back to the society. Most of these ideas are doable, cost effective and scalable as a business venture. We would now like to take this to the next level by giving the required handholding to the teams and getting this executed. I would like to thank the mentors and jury members for their valuable inputs to the teams and our various partners for their continuous support and guidance in making this event a great success.”
The Day 1 event on Friday, 23rd September started with a brief on what was expected from the participants over the next two days and the nuances of prototype building. The teams were given a clear brief on the available technical support and competition guidelines. The Hasura team gave the required technical hand holding to every team by mentoring them throughout the weekend.
Vikatan Hackathon had some of the renowned entrepreneurs and technical experts as mentors for each of the teams on Day 2 which included-M.M Murugappan, Vice Chairman-Murugappa Group, C.K Ranganathan, Chairman and MD – Cavinkare, S. Abhaya Kumar Founder & MD – Shasun. The 40 teams worked intensively to present their ideas to the judging committee, impress them and win the prizes.
On Day 3,the Vikatan Hackathon team identified the best 11 ideas and culminated their presentations before the Jury which consisted of Padma Chandrasekaran Angel Investor, A.D Padmasingh Isaac, Chairman and MD-Aachi Group, Sameer Mehta Director-Mehta Hospitals, Suresh Sambandam, Founder and CEO – Orangescape and Murugavel Janakiraman, Founder and CEO – Matrimony.com. The jury members witnessed a wide range of innovative concepts and their respective prototypes which included access to trained house helpers, connecting self-help groups to corporates, automatic farm irrigation, community driven Tamil content platform, community based emergency services, Juice extraction from banana stem, Enabling volunteering activity, reducing waiting time in public distribution system (Ration Shops), Smart Helmet, Saving water usage in taps and a scouting network for young sports champ. more clarity and insight on the execution of their ideas.
Speaking about the Hackathon Kumar said, “looking at these teams and their innovative ideas reminded me of my beginning, when I first started the factory with proper guidance. The prototypes exhibited by the teams are doable ventures and as industrialists we have gathered here to teach them on how to create a profitable and sustainable start-up.”
Murugappan said, “While sharing his experiences on interacting with the teams said, “I found it very inspiring to see these amazing ideas which removes my worry about the future of India. There is a good mix of participants which includes students, working community and budding entrepreneurs. He also added that by solving local problems with technology, we could be a trend setter in the International arena. These initiatives should be scaled up by creating an institution and by joining hands with the likeminded with clear process & procedures so that you can replicate across India and the world.”
While wishing the winners and other participants Mehta said, “being a problem solver and entrepreneur is not an easy path to start. So always dream and focus on the vision you have laid in front of you and keep working on it.”