MIT Enterprise Forum Pakistan in collaboration with Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Information Technology University (ITU) organized Smart City: The Hackathon, a three-day event that was held from March 9 – 11, 2018.  

Smart City: The Hackathon is Pakistan’s first-ever, large-scale hackathon organized with the aim to start conversation around Smart City initiatives that includes the use of technology for increasing the operational efficiency, sustainability, economic outlook and quality of life for people living and working in a city.

Smart City initiatives have a huge potential in developing countries like Pakistan. To this end Smart City : The Hackathon provided an ideal opportunity for thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs and developers to find implementable solutions for all city level problems.

While expressing her views at the end of event, Areej Mehdi, Program Manager MIT Enterprise Forum Pakistan, said, “We had participants from all over the country who gathered over the weekend to innovate and develop solutions for various city level problems in a very limited time. We hope this gives rise to more informed conversations around smart city initiatives and citizen-centric problem solving ”

Over 50 teams registered for the event out of which eight teams were invited to participate. What made this hackathon unique was the design thinking mindset through workshops conducted by trainer Rizwan Zaidi. Rizwan conducted different activities and sessions on ideation, problem solving and design analysis.These activities helped participants study the defined problem areas and come up with solutions within the sectors of health, education, transportation, power, and environment. According to the trainer Rizwan Zaidi, design thinking can enable developers to build for the customer through collaboration, empathizing, feedback analysis and rapid prototyping and that is why it has become the go-to strategy for developers around the globe. Participants were also provided with mentorship sessions during the course of the hackathon that helped them in finalizing their prototypes on day three.

On the final day, teams presented their demos to a judging panel, including Ammar Naveed, Operations Manager Careem; Dr. Izza Aftab, Assistant Professor Economics at Information Technology University; and Ali Murtaza, Program Manager Makeistan at Information Technology University. Team Bike IT were declared winners for developing an interactive platform for bike sharing services. The winning team were awarded a cash prize made possible by PNY Trainings.

Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a research facility housed at Information Technology University that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship through research, workshops and trainings. MIT Enterprise Forum Pakistan – an international chapter of MIT Enterprise Forum – facilitates the local entrepreneurial ecosystem by collaborating with national and international stakeholders.