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Hackathon’s Second Pitch

On November 13, a total of five teams competed in a first pitch Hackathon Competition that was held by the Small Business Development Center Belize (SBDC) of BELTRAIDE and sponsored by Belize Electricity Limited (BEL).  From the first competition, three teams advanced to the second pitch which was held today, namely, Galen University, Corozal Junior College, and Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College. They were tasked with developing an innovative digital solution integrating information communication technology. Hero Balani, Manager Investment Generation at BELTRAIDE spoke of the remaining competitors.

Hero Balani – Manager at BELTRAIDE

“It has been very exciting, I think that we had initially five schools go at it, five teams come together and compete. Today the top three teams are presenting their final pitch within the room behind me and the judge’s panel are hammering down on their solutions for utility companies as I mentioned previously.  It’s really down to the wire to see which team will be this year’s business Hackathon Champions and again take home that winning prize of $3,500 cash at the Entricon next week on November 30th where the winners will be announced. The final three teams are Galen University; there is one from Centro Escolar Junior College from the North also Corozal Junior College. They are all here today to battle it out. One final round and the final pitch in front of the judges.”

Johnelle McKenzie

“And what are the criteria the judges are looking for?”

Hero Balani – Manager at BELTRAIDE

“So the criterion today, a critical component is sustainability. We are looking for originality, we’re looking at the design. They also have to look at a demo and a prototype of their solution and then also today they are doing a video pitch so it’s quite an intense pitch and I’m sure that once you speak to some of the students they can tell you that they have had to put a lot of innovative thought in how we can better improve utility company services starting with our Platinum sponsor Belize Electricity Limited for the National entrepreneurial convention next week.”

Balani explains the importance of the competition.

Hero Balani – Manager at BELTRAIDE

“Every year we try to pick a company or an issue that Belize faces and then we try to get our young minds to really think innovatively and come up with an idea or a solution that can make things better for Belize. This year again BEL is our primary recipient but the other companies are there because they are similar in nature and they can also look to contract some of these students to develop some of these solutions for them. So the idea is again that yes the winning team we hope that BEL can take them in under their wings and develop the solution and implement it. Even if not I can see for sure that there is a lot of entrepreneurship thought being put into place so these students will go out there and put out their solutions into the economy.”

The winners will be announced on November 30, at the National Entrepreneurship convention. The first place winner will receive three thousand five hundred dollars, the second place winner will receive two thousand dollars, and the third place winner will receive one thousand five hundred dollars. The objective is for BEL to be able to use the winning entry.