9th HackWknd launched today

From left: Datuk Steve Ng, Managing director of Plaza Merdeka,Morshidi (centre) and SMA General Manager Dr Zaidi Razak at the launching.

KUCHING, 5 July 2019: Digital talent development in Sarawak through Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) has been gaining traction since the launch of the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018 – 2022.

HackWknd in conjunction with the International Digital Economy Conference Sarawak (IDECS) 2019 is one of the programmes that aims to nurture and develop talents that will grow into potential startups.

The programme was launched today, by Sarawak State Secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani and was attended by various participants from across Sarawak including Bau, Lawas, Miri, Sibu, Sri Aman, and Kuching as well as participants from Penang, the Philippines, and Mauritius.

The Digital Innovation Hubs’ core focus is to provide access to capacity and capability programmes and initiatives, especially for startups and technopreneurs. KCH hub, is a brand new innovation hub that focuses specifically on culture, heritage and creativity.

“We believe that our Sarawakian heritage and culture, matched with digital technology can provide the grounding and identity as we progress towards a digital economy-driven Sarawak,” said Mohamad Morshidi in a statement.

He hoped that programmes such as HackWknd would encourage youths from all corners of Sarawak, to apply their innovative ideas and solutions in support of the state’s Digital Economy strategy.

SMA’s Head of Digital Village, Hazwan Razak said that this is the 9th HackWknd event that had been held, and the second to be organised in conjunction with IDECS.

“The idea for HackWknd started as a local community-driven event to nurture and grow local talents in using technology to solve problems.It has since grown, reaching a total of 167 participants and 58 prototypes to date. Many alumni of the programme have gone on to further success, scaling their startups, and more importantly, have come back to mentor and coach participants of later editions of HackWknd and other startup development programmes,” he added.

This HackWknd edition follows the same theme of IDECS 2019, which is “Envisioning Sarawak Future Living” with six tracks or subthemes; E – Commerce, Manufacturing Industry 4.0, Smart City, Digital Government, Smart Agriculture and Smart Tourism.

The participants have 48 hours to come up with a solution and pitch their ideas to a panel of industry judges. Ten diverse teams are competing to claim the winning prizes; RM3,000 for the first prize, RM1,500 for the second prize, and RM1,000 for the third prize, as well as RM250 for the people’s choice award.

On top of that, all participants for HackWknd will receive a total of RM4,500 worth of credit to access the vast network of Digital Innovation Hubs across Sarawak.

The programme is held at Kuching Creative Heritage Hub (KCH) one of the latest Digital Innovation Hubs within the Sarawak Digital Village Ecosystem governed by SMA.

The hackaton will run for 48 hours straight from July 6 until 8. Participants will showcase their solutions, and the winners announced, during IDECS 2019 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) which ends on July 9. — DayakDaily