Event: Hacking the Hackathon - The accelerated version that ignites problem-solving skills for students

25 students solve age-old problems together with mentors in a 4 hour live-streamed compact hackathon

Chinese Version

3 June 2017, Hong Kong, China: How do you "Hack a Hackathon"? You take a current 36 hour process, massively cut it down to 4 hours, and try to stir up competition! Whip in 5 star mentors expecting solutions (and guidance!), throw in live-streaming into the mix and it turns into a spiced up version of a Hackathon reality-tv show!

Now that's exactly what amazed did! But how did it go?

Here's what happened: 5 teams chose from 44 problem statements and raced to solve their selected problem in an intense 4-hour hackathon. Teams then pitched and showed off their prototypes to a panel of expert judges who evaluated based on a combination of factors around innovation, go-to-market plans and presentation.

It was a success! Not only did teams learn how to come up with impressive solutions under immense pressure (4 hours), many are planning to return and do it under 3!

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“Students constantly tell us that they want to solve REAL problems. Existing Hackathons don't do that and worst of all, don't give feedback.” said Daniel, CEO of amazed. “We turned a Hackathon around by reducing time and improving guidance, to produce top teams that can work under pressure to solve problems in the shortest possible time. ”

The Hackathon celebrates amazed's new platform launch, which looks to polish profiles of candidates to discover to their dream job. One way suggested is to attend events like this Hackathon where students can showcase their pro-activeness and exposure to different solutions.

The teams were not alone. 15 superstar mentors with combined experience of more than 100 years from Microsoft, Reuters, Blockchain Foundry, and other 5 star companies rallied to help the students reach their goals. Mentors include Richard Hua, Data Science Advisor for amazed, Prasanna Mathiannal, co-founder of Blockchain Foundry, and Phil Aldrige, COO of FunctionEight Ltd.

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Students expressed excitement over the availability of mentors unified in one place to help transform the thinking process that they had. "Thank you for inviting us to this eye-opening event!", said Sunny Si, a participant in the activity. Immediate feedback was provided by the judges to the teams, after the solution and award presentations


The winning team “HERE - Personal Health Record”, looks to digitalise health records for private doctors to help secure medical records, speed up ordering of medicine and improve insurance underwriting. As part of the implementation, the team showed a QR Code scanning app that doctors are expected to use to store the health record.

The solution won critical acclaim due to:

  • Combination of 3 different disruptive technology types - Machine learning, Blockchain and IOT.
  • Cross product integration between different industry verticals. A: A patient's medical records and treatment history can be digitalized via QR technology, to improve efficient store and reduce paper storage. B: With the blockchain, authentication can be automated to ensure that practitioner and practices are followed diligently. C: Applications of AI can be introduced to learn and match products for insurance for smart-pricing with insurance underwriting automation.

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Joint runner ups, "Dr Who" aims to build a robo-doctor solution to self-diagnose treatments, whilst "ASAPHealth" looks to reduce waiting times for hospitals with a mobile solution.

"Dr Who" excelled in a very thorough well thought out problem statement, UX and business model. To eliminate process-waste in clinics and hospitals, the team proposed a pre-screening mechanism built into a mobile app for patients and doctors. Challenges were seen in risks on potential wrong diagnosis, which needs to be worked on next.

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"ASAPHEALTH" seeks to solve overloading in public hospitals, improve decision making for patients in emergencies to improve patient distribution. The app also seeks to provide follow up appointment schedules to improve calendar management. What set the group apart as well was that the team were made up of 14 year old girls from St Paul Convent School. With such an elaborate presentation done at that age, it puts us all to shame!

Cash and prizes provided by Microsoft, and Reuters were given to winners.

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Students were introduced to technologies from Microsoft, Reuters and Blockchain Foundry in a preparatory workshop done 3 weeks prior to this Hackathon. When Microsoft mentors learnt that students were keen to use Microsoft Azure for Machine Learning, they were thrilled. “At Microsoft, we want to bring AI to every developer so we can help you create the next generation of AI-powered applications.”, said Verlebie, Audience Evangelism Manager from Microsoft.

Prasanna Mathiannal closed with an introductory talk about Blockchain technology and the need for a rapid prototyping platform in the industry. “In an era of fascinating new technology like Blockchain, there has never been a greater need for a rapid prototyping platform where solutions can be developed, tested and deployed at lightning speed and Blockchain Foundry sets out to provide exactly that.”, he highlighted.

The winning teams also earn a rigorous incubation process with private mentoring from amazed CEO Daniel Shen, where teams will be exposed to and coached by the best minds in Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship to explore viability to bring the ideas to life. The incubation is also supported by HKUST’s Donnie Siu, associate director of Entreneurship department.

The event was hosted in Campfire Collaborative Spaces , who graciously hosted the event.