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SBDC is engaging Young Minds

Today 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). The schools were the University of Belize, Galen University, Corozal Junior College and Centro Escuela Mexico Junior College from Corozal District. They were tasked with developing an innovative digital solution integrating information communication technology. However, only three teams will be advancing to the second pitch which takes place on November 24. They are Galen University, Corozal Junior College, and Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College.This year’s event is the third of its kind and the first hackathon took place in 2013. Hero Balani, the Manager for Belize Invest Generation of BELTRAIDE spoke about the initiative.

Hero Balani, Manager for Belize Invest Generation

“We seek to stimulate innovation and innovative thought in our students by having the tertiary level institutions compete in coming up with a solution to a business problem that we face every day. Now this year’s theme is a part of Global Entrepreneurship Month and it leads up to the national entrepreneurship convention on November 30th but the theme that we selected this year was for the students to compete and to hack or come up with a solution to a utility company’s issues. So we are looking at issues that utility companies face on a daily basis like how to better interact with their customers, how to process payments how to report customer complaints and so the students are coming up with innovative solutions in that regard and so far this morning from the four teams that we’ve had that presented there have been some good solutions and all the utilities are in there on the judges panel.”

The defending champion is Centro Escola Mexico Junior College from Corozal who are ready to defend their title.

Wilhem Suel

“We have been working tirelessly with the fourth member of our group and we have been coming up with all these solutions to solve the problem that is basically communication between the utility company and customer so our project is entailing a solution that will finally put an end to that problem and help the customers and the utility companies.”

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 winner will also have the opportunity to pitch their invention to BEL.