At the inaugural Huawei Cloud Spark Hackathon Singapore 2022 final event last Friday, 10 teams pitched innovative products to a panel of judges, addressing five emerging trends in Education, Hospitality & Travel Service, Eco & Sustainability, Finance & Banking, and Health Tech.
This year’s hackathon, which opened on November 15, 2021, had over 190 teams from local schools participate. Huawei’s Spark Hackathon is designed to equip participants with cloud training, practical experience, and hands-on mentorship from key industry leaders.
In February, all 450 participants were invited to attend the five-day Huawei Certified ICT Associate (HCIA) Cloud Service Certification Program where they received first-hand training on cutting-edge public cloud service concepts and values. In the lead up to this week’s event, finalists also had the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of Huawei Cloud GaussDB (for MySQL) database service and features and deploy their solutions on the Huawei Cloud Platform.
This hackathon is just one part of Huawei’s planned USD100 million investment into the wider Asia Pacific start-up ecosystem. Foo Fang Yong, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei International explained the company’s interest in the program by saying, “Cultivating a sustainable pipeline of agile and dynamic tech talent in Singapore and the region remains a key focus for Huawei and Huawei Cloud. The start-up ecosystem in Singapore is dynamic, growing faster than ever with new players, investments, and partnerships.”
The hackathon’s final event was held at the Equarius Hotel at Resorts World Sentosa with the finalist teams coming from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and five other local educational institutes. The winning teams each received up to USD15,000 in prize money, and potential job opportunities with Huawei and Spark Program portfolio companies such as Sentient, Scantist, PI Exchange, and Morpheus Labs.
Notable pitches at the event included the Deaftalk solution designed by NUS School of Computing’s Team, which focused on building resources for Auditory Verbal Therapists to help hearing-impaired children. The team is the first to successfully translate and combine existing research with the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) into a single app that will help children practice pronunciation through tutorials, gamification, and 3D pronunciation modelling.
Team Nozema also produced an app called Elderberry provides a comprehensive set of online resources for caregivers to help track, monitor, and customize healthcare for senior citizens. The application is a significant upgrade from existing solutions, enabling caregivers to leverage data-powered, predictive medicine.
Leo Jiang, Chief Digital Officer of Huawei Cloud APAC, said at the event, “Start-ups often struggle because of the shortage of developer talents. Huawei has a responsibility, as one of the largest tech companies in the world, to bridge this tech talent gap by providing opportunities to young aspiring entrepreneurs and developers. In our experience, exposure at an early stage benefits both students and startups. It connects startups to future hires, and students to potential mentors. It also helps kick start these young people’s careers by helping build relationships between talent and companies. We have already seen the positive effects programs like the hackathon have on participants.”
While commenting on Huawei‘s long-term commitment supporting the Singapore government’s efforts to cultivate deep tech skill sets and empower the next generation of tech talents, Foo added, “We recognize that the success of the future economy relies heavily on technological innovation. To facilitate this growth, we are honored to work with local educational institutes and lend our resources and expertise to technology enthusiasts, talented developers, and aspiring entrepreneurs, championing the growth of tech talents and advancing start-ups.”