The Islamabad Civic Hackathon spearheaded by Code for Pakistan and OPEN Islamabad recently concluded with promises of shaking the startup scene in Pakistan. It was a busy weekend with over 120 participants racing against time to build prototypes for apps that will solve some problem in their city. Soon the fever of civic hacking broke all thermostats and the 24 teams were asked to pitch in their ideas to the industry experts.
Several mentors like Saad Hamid, the Communications & Partnerships Lead at i2i, Muhammad Nasrullah, VP Engineering at Convo & Co-Founder at Pring, and Salman Farooq, the CEO of Smart Brain, were present on the occasion to guide the civic hackers and make put business sense into their apps.
The first prize was won by the app School Source which will serve as a forum for the citizens to report any issues regarding schools in their localities. Complaints like teacher absenteeism, poor hygiene of schools along with other misconduct and negligence can be reported. This app will be funded by Alif Ailaan, which is an organization that aims to put education at the forefront of public discourse in Pakistan.
Crime Alert, a crime-data app, won the second prize. It will act as a repository for the criminal activities in an area and will prove to be useful for citizens who might want to assess the risk involved with shifting their residence or business to a particular area.
Another interesting app, efound.info, won the third prize, and will allow users to search for their missing or stolen objects via QR codes, bar codes and RFID tags. Bad news for the burglars!
The event was attended by students and professionals alike and while the students got the taste of experience from the professionals they teamed up with, the pros got the induction of young and fresh ideas into their apps which made their apps all the more relevant to the market.