The first university Hackathon led by students successfully took place at HKUST in Spring 2015. Over 220 students and alumni in 47 teams from different local universities took part in Hackathon@HKUST, an intensive 24-hour coding competition.
Participants in the Hackathon had to identify a particular problem and a solution related to one of the three themes of charity, entrepreneurship and women consumers. They then worked in teams to build a relevant software or hardware prototype application within the timeframe and present their solution to a panel of judges comprising industry experts, start-up founders, and academics.
To help participants prepare, a series of workshops, talks, and information sessions took place ahead of the competition. Industry professionals and specialists provided mentorship during the contest. Following the event, a post-Hackathon Tech Show was organized at HKUST to showcase the prototypes.
A total of 17 awards were presented to 12 teams or individuals, with the RoundUp, Chariful and Everhelp teams proving multi-award winners. The three teams created a donation website based on online transactions, charity-focused game app, and app to help people use fragmented moments of time for charitable activities respectively.
The contest was co-organized by HKUST students and Tencent Foundation, along with other HKUST units and alumni associations and the start-up community. It was the second year that the Hackathon had been held but the first to be open to participants beyond HKUST. The project received the President’s 1-HKUST Student Life Award in 2015 in recognition of its contribution to fostering a greater sense of belonging and engaging students from different backgrounds at HKUST.