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Montserrat team is Hackathon hopeful

by Bennette Roach

Last week following the launch via video conference of or as part of the launch of Financial Information Month by the East Caribbean Currency Bank (ECCB), they conducted what they called a ‘Hackathon’.

This brought together youth, business owners, IT Technocrats, thought leaders and business professionals from across the ECCU, to brainstorm, develop and produce a real functioning IT application solutions to problems faced by the private and public sectors.

The exercise in Business Solutions Think Tank and Hackathon was to be completed between August 13 15, 2015 and as team leader for Montserrat Dr. Samuel Joseph told ZJB news after the exercise which had to be done under open competition, they only had two days to complete every aspect of the program after they came up with the idea.

Guidelines with teams from the participating member states comprising three to eight persons Dr Joseph said, “The app that we submitted was called Digicrops and the way we saw it was a way to connect farmers to people that are willing to buy from them, our producers of goods.”

He explained: “If you are a farmer and you have tomatoes or you have a home garden and you have lettuce, you can log into the app, put on that you have lettuce, quantities how much do you have, and then when the supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, log in they can see what products you have and buy directly from you.” Telling further, “it is a way to get your products into the market and a way for supermarkets etc. to connect to the farmers.“

The “Digicrops” App was completed by a five member team headed by Dr. Joseph from Montserrat. Dr. Joseph further told a ZJB reporter that the excise was not just for the competition, but is to be a reality which ever place it takes. According to the participating guidelines, “all teams retain full ownership of what they have created during the Hackathon.”

Other members of Team Montserrat were Manish Valecha, Jovan Daniel, Dexter Small and Envor Browne and Dr. Joseph said: “We plan to make it a reality regardless of what happens because we think it’s a good idea so we are waiting for the final result,” advising the team had already discussed this and are, “going to organize it into a proper company and actually complete the app so you can go into commercial production on actually launch it.”

Observers believe that Montserrat seemed to have the best chance at grabbing first prize in the competition. The first place prize is EC$3,500.00, second place will receive EC$2,550.00, while EC$1,000.00 will go to third place, the winners will be announced on Monday..

Dr. Joseph seemed to agree about Montserrat’s chance at winning as he said that from the reaction they  got from the other participants it seemed that they were impressed with their submission. He thinks that was so because Montserrat team was one of the few that actually had a functioning, working prototype at the end. He said, “Most of the other island submissions, they had an idea, and they basically said this is how they would go about this. But we actually had a working web app on a working iPhone app on a working website at the end of the forty eight hours”

“Right now I’m still fairly confident that we did well,” he concluded

One report stated that team Grenada presented an idea similar to Montserrat, while team Anguilla submitted a tool called “ED Connector” which would bridge the communication gap between parents and teachers, (something one teacher in Montserrat has had some measure of success). Team St. Lucia created an application to monitor and simplify traffic violations; and team Antigua pitched in with “Clink” a shopping and advertising platform.

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by Bennette Roach

Last week following the launch via video conference of or as part of the launch of Financial Information Month by the East Caribbean Currency Bank (ECCB), they conducted what they called a ‘Hackathon’.

This brought together youth, business owners, IT Technocrats, thought leaders and business professionals from across the ECCU, to brainstorm, develop and produce a real functioning IT application solutions to problems faced by the private and public sectors.

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The exercise in Business Solutions Think Tank and Hackathon was to be completed between August 13 15, 2015 and as team leader for Montserrat Dr. Samuel Joseph told ZJB news after the exercise which had to be done under open competition, they only had two days to complete every aspect of the program after they came up with the idea.

Guidelines with teams from the participating member states comprising three to eight persons Dr Joseph said, “The app that we submitted was called Digicrops and the way we saw it was a way to connect farmers to people that are willing to buy from them, our producers of goods.”

He explained: “If you are a farmer and you have tomatoes or you have a home garden and you have lettuce, you can log into the app, put on that you have lettuce, quantities how much do you have, and then when the supermarkets, hotels and restaurants, log in they can see what products you have and buy directly from you.” Telling further, “it is a way to get your products into the market and a way for supermarkets etc. to connect to the farmers.“

The “Digicrops” App was completed by a five member team headed by Dr. Joseph from Montserrat. Dr. Joseph further told a ZJB reporter that the excise was not just for the competition, but is to be a reality which ever place it takes. According to the participating guidelines, “all teams retain full ownership of what they have created during the Hackathon.”

Other members of Team Montserrat were Manish Valecha, Jovan Daniel, Dexter Small and Envor Browne and Dr. Joseph said: “We plan to make it a reality regardless of what happens because we think it’s a good idea so we are waiting for the final result,” advising the team had already discussed this and are, “going to organize it into a proper company and actually complete the app so you can go into commercial production on actually launch it.”

Observers believe that Montserrat seemed to have the best chance at grabbing first prize in the competition. The first place prize is EC$3,500.00, second place will receive EC$2,550.00, while EC$1,000.00 will go to third place, the winners will be announced on Monday..

Dr. Joseph seemed to agree about Montserrat’s chance at winning as he said that from the reaction they  got from the other participants it seemed that they were impressed with their submission. He thinks that was so because Montserrat team was one of the few that actually had a functioning, working prototype at the end. He said, “Most of the other island submissions, they had an idea, and they basically said this is how they would go about this. But we actually had a working web app on a working iPhone app on a working website at the end of the forty eight hours”

“Right now I’m still fairly confident that we did well,” he concluded

One report stated that team Grenada presented an idea similar to Montserrat, while team Anguilla submitted a tool called “ED Connector” which would bridge the communication gap between parents and teachers, (something one teacher in Montserrat has had some measure of success). Team St. Lucia created an application to monitor and simplify traffic violations; and team Antigua pitched in with “Clink” a shopping and advertising platform.