Iraq Hackathon: Putting Creativity To The Test

The concept of the hackathon began around twenty years ago by a group of young programmers. A hackathon is defined as an event that brings together a group of people with shared interests and skills to exchange experiences or solve a problem. Hackathons are occasions for individuals and enterprises to stimulate innovation through collaboration.

It also gives companies an opportunity to discover innovative ideas. The Iraq Hackathon, which will be held from the 6th to the 8th of November 2020, will be a forum for pioneers to present their projects and ideas in various fields.

About The Iraq Hackathon

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In June 2020, Plus the Edge, under the supervision of the Japanese government and two other Japanese organisations, organised the Japan Hackathon in Kyoto. The event took place in June 2020 and was attended by 250 participants from more than 100 countries. 

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“After the remarkable success of the Japan Hackathon, we want to transfer this experience to Iraq under the Iraq Hackathon banner. We ask for support from international and local NGOs, government agencies, and private sector companies to support the event that can provide job opportunities and boost entrepreneurial skill within this young generation.”
– Dawar Fuad, Co-Founder/Chief Technical Officer, Plus The Edge.

Now Plus the Edge is replicating the exercise in Iraq. The Iraq Hackathon is a 52-hour tech entrepreneurial event organized by Plus the Edge, IOM Iraq, Iraqi Innovators and Rudaw Media Network — with financial and logistical support from AsiaCell, Hisense Iraq and others. Participants in this event will submit their ideas to a group of judges, who will evaluate the validity of their ideas for the Iraq market.

Around 60 ideas which will be evaluated against the judging criteria; 10 of the best ideas will proceed to the next stage where groups will be formed around each idea. After 72 hours of ‘hacking’, each group will submit a  prototype of their idea.

People from all over Iraq can join the hackathon as team leaders or team members — the entire event will take place online. Youth will have the opportunity to apply soft skills such as teamwork, project management, and market analysis. Participants will also have the chance to enhance their communication and networking skills during the event with people from all over the country.

IOM Iraq is partnering with PlusTheEdge to support efforts aimed at youth capacity building, promoting innovation and employment creation opportunities. IOM will provide seed funding to help the top three talented entrepreneurs launch their early-stage technology startups during the Iraq Hackathon.

When Is It And How Do I Apply?

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The hackathon will be held on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of November 2020 on Zoom and Adobe Connect. An expected 100 participants will be divided into 10 groups.

The Iraq Hackathon will be an annual event. This year, due to COVID-19, the hackathon is taking place online. However, the plan is to organise the hackathon in-person in the following years.

There are two ways to get involved in the hackathon: as a volunteer or as a participant. To participate, register at www.iraqhackathon.com. For volunteering, send your CV to [email protected] with the subject ‘Volunteering with Iraq Hackathon’.

Fatimah Oleiwi

A copywriter who believes in the power of writing and words. Translator and social media marketer. Interested in technology and entrepreneurship, and a supporter of innovation and capacity building in Iraq.

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