A two-day hackathon, a competition aiming to find out solutions for real-life problems using technology, took place at GPHouse in Dhaka on Friday and Saturday.
Bracathon 3.0 was organised by Brac, one of the largest non-governmental organisations in the world, according to a press release.
A total of 40 teams from 20 public and private universities, including the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and North South University, as well as tech enthusiasts from five startups, including Pathao, took part in the competition.
The finalists were selected from more than 300 initial applications.
On the first day of the hackathon, finalists chose the topic from five selected problems to solve and Brac arranged field visits for them so that the participants could get a clear idea about the social problem they are addressing. On Tuesday, five winning teams will be announced at a function at Lakeshore Hotel in Dhaka. Each team will be awarded Tk 4 lakh in prize money. Besides, Dell will present a high configuration laptop to each member of the winning teams.
Shahriar Hoque, associate director of the technology division of Brac, said more than 50 percent of Bangladesh’s population are youths and many of them are students or enthusiasts of technology.
“We want to tell them that all of you need not go abroad to design chips. You don’t have to be basement programmers. There are many social problems in Bangladesh and if you go out to the fields, you will be able to develop tech-based solutions to these problems.”
Bracathon is a platform designed to encourage and engage young technology students and professionals of Bangladesh in solving problems associated with social issues such as financial inclusion, healthcare and education.
This is the third round of the event after Brac organised the inaugural one in 2016.
Currently, Brac is using three tech-based solutions in its health and human resource programmes, whose prototypes were developed in the last two bracathons.
One of the winners of the second edition has recently developed a solution for Plan International. Brac has partnered with Brac IT Services, Grameenphone, Dell Technologies and Brac Bank to organise the event.