JCT holds first hackathon

JCT Holds First Hackathon

Based on an article that appeared on the Arutz Sheva Website, for the original in Hebrew, click here

During Chanukah, JCT’s student union held its first Hackathon, in which dozens of students competed for 48 hours straight, creating technological solutions for challenges facing companies and organizations.

Students were presented with several ‘problems’ for which they were to provide solutions. These included developing a system to help children in electric wheelchairs avoid crashing into objects or walls; preventing injuries on construction sites; sharing information with customers in real-time regarding the availability of products in automated machines, retail chains and stores; and providing a solution for emergency services whose personnel have difficulty treating injured people due to language barriers.

After three sleepless days and nights, awards were presented by judges from the top accelerators in Jerusalem (MassChallenge, Siftech/fresh.fund, OurCrowd) as well as from Cisco. The judges, as well as those in charge of the hi-tech ecosystem in Jerusalem, were very impressed with the creativity of the students and their advanced ability to solve problems quickly.  The judges included: Doron Ish Shalom (MassChallenge), David Wachtfogel (Cisco Systems), Nitzan Adler (Siftech/fresh.fund), Pini Lozowick (OurCrowd) and Zaki Djemal (Tzvi.vc). Organizations who participated in the event included Safeguard, Alyn, United Hatzalah of Israel, Quickode, Shalva, Audyx, and Glide.

The winning projects included “Pronto,” an app that eliminates the need for standing in line at supermarkets, “Unlimited Chairs,” which prevents electric wheelchairs from falling down stairs or crashing into various obstacles, and “In Time for Bus,” an app that uses smart cameras to alert staff at a special needs program regarding the arrival of their students.   MassChallenge has already approached one of the winners to develop their project and another company immediately offered a student a job.

Following the event, David Wachtfogel, a judge from Cisco, stated: “The Hackathon was extremely impressive. The students developed great projects, and broke through technological boundaries. This is an example of how we can build technological abilities in Jerusalem, and I hope that start-ups will emerge from here that will contribute to the economic development of Israel. These are practical solutions that can certainly be implemented. This has great value to thousands of people.”

Stuart Hershkowitz, Vice-President of JCT – Lev Academic Center, congratulated the students on developing the unique projects and said: “We hope to make this a regular event at JCT, encouraging and strengthening JCT’s connections with industry, in order to enable students to succeed in academia and later in top jobs in industry.” 

Tomer Ashtar, Vice-Chairman of the Student Union and the initiator of the Hackathon stated: “The event is the first step in the Student Union’s exciting plans. In the near future, the Student Union will endeavor to establish an entrepreneurship center at Lev Campus in collaboration with the Jerusalem College of Technology – Lev Academic Center, which will serve as a meeting point for the great minds among the students. Participants will receive mentoring and lectures from best in the industry, and will strongly connect them to Jerusalem’s tech ecosystem, in order to both promote individual projects and to contribute to the community. “