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FEA students develop tech solutions in social entrepreneurship hackathon
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As part of the Innovat@FEA initiative, 40 engineering students competed in a three-day hackathon to turn their innovative ideas into creative tech solutions for social challenges. Students representing different majors at AUB's Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) gathered to promote social innovation and entrepreneurship. The teams were supported and guided by faculty members and mentors from a variety of disciplines.
The first day of the hackathon started with opening remarks by winner of Stars of Science, innovator Sevag Babikian, and entrepreneur Hassane Slaibi who offered several tips to the participants.
Ayman Farhat, a tech lead at Wamda, gave a presentation entitled “How to Hackathon" followed by Mona Itani, lecturer in the Industrial and Engineering Management Department at AUB, who conducted a workshop on the Lean Canvas Model. Participants then attended a brainstorming session and progressed to validate their concepts.
During the second day, participants further developed their projects under the guidance of FEA staff and students serving as mentors and FEA faculty as facilitators.
Participants finalized their prototypes and prepared their presentations by the third day. They were assisted by pitching expert Priscilla Elora Sharuk, co-founder and chief operating officer of myki, who advised them on their presentation and pitching skills.
Teams presented their final projects to a panel of judges consisting of Fadi Bizri, partner at B&Y Venture Partners; Dr. Salim Chahine, professor of finance at the AUB Suliman S. Olayan School of Business (OSB); Abdallah Jabbour, managing director of Lebanon for Entrepreneurs; Dr. Fadia Homeidan, director of the Center for Research and Innovation at AUB; Nadim Zaazaa, director at UK Lebanon Tech Hub; Dr. Sami Karaki, chair and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at AUB; and Ghady Rayess, co-founder at FOO.
The first-place winning team, Pacifiers, composed of Joseph Matar, Tony Tohme, Elie Lebbos, Fred Gebrael, and Johnny Toumieh received a $1000 cash prize for their project “FoodBite - Take a bite out of hunger in one click". The project offers an app that allows people to donate food anonymously and leave it for pick-up by underprivileged people.
Winning in second place was the Pumpkin Box 3000 team, composed of Hasan Shami, Iman Sonji, Rami Awar, and Samer Abuthaher. The team received a $500 cash prize for their project named Compostr. Compstr tackles the garbage problem by collecting organic waste from restaurants and transforming it into useful compost.
Prizes were presented by Professor Ayman Kayssi, FEA Associate Dean and cofounder of technology development and consulting company, SAUGO 360.
“It was a superb event and the teams were very impressive," said Nadim Zaazaa, director of UK Lebanon Tech Hub.
The hackathon wrapped up with the jury commending the students on the quality of their projects and giving them valuable tips to carry their projects to the next level. Organizers of the initiative hoped that this first hackathon at FEA will be a step towards promoting the entrepreneurial spirit among students and networking-building within the industry.
As part of the Innovat@FEA initiative, 40 engineering students competed in a three-day hackathon to turn their innovative ideas into creative tech solutions for social challenges.
Students representing different majors at AUB's Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) gathered to promote social innovation and entrepreneurship.
The teams were supported and guided by faculty members and mentors from a variety of disciplines.
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