After holding the first-ever event in March, Myanmar’s second “hackathon” was announced at a press conference hosted by Code for Change Myanmar and its international sponsors.
Code for Change founder, David Madden, defined a “hack” as making a smart solution to a challenge, thus a hackathon is a marathon towards making smart technological change.
In preparation for the “Business Solutions Hackathon” on September 5-7, Madden called on local small and medium businesses to submit their challenges to Code for Change.
The goal for this 48-hour hackathon is to create solutions to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) take advantage of the coming telecommunications revolution, he said, adding that these solutions will improve efficiency and access to tech resources to increase the growth of those businesses.
“Myanmar’s connectivity revolution creates big opportunities for businesses. Technology can dramatically improve their efficiency and productivity.
“The purpose of this event is to get Myanmar’s best developers together to build technology products that are going to help Myanmar businesses be more successful.”
KoArkar Min Aung, a member of the winning team from the previous hackathon, said the biggest problems facing the emerging group of Myanmar programmers are: wireless internet connection and global exposure.
While internet quality is gradually increasing, he said programs like hackathons are helpful for the Myanmar tech community to gain international attention while also meeting people in their field.
“The last hackathon … We learnt a lot, had great fun coding together with my team members and built a cool product. We hope that all the other developers and designers join this hackathon,” he said.
Virginia Murray, deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy in Myanmar, said small and medium enterprises are “crucial” for the growth and development that will move this country forward.
“We hope that this event will show the potential for businesses to use technology to accelerate this growth.”
The press conference also outlined the impact of Code for Change’s work on the burgeoning tech industry in Myanmar. Madden called upon the industry to come together for the hackathon as a means of collaboration, which will improve and further connect the small tech industry in the country.
Julian Gorman, founder of Ideabox – a thinktank powered by Ooredoo, said Ooredoo “is confident in the local population’s ability to innovate.”
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Internews, Ooredoo Myanmar, Ideabox and Nescafe, RedBull and Singtech Myanmar are sponsoring the hackathon.
The deadline for applications to participate or to submit a problem is Friday, August 22. More information can be found on www.codeforchangemyanmar.org.