OXAGON, NEOM‘s industrial city, has announced its first edition of the annual hackathon to turn innovative solutions into viable startup businesses.
The hackathon, to be organized in partnership with the Saudi Ministry of Education and powered by Blossom Accelerator, will take place between October 6 and 8 in Riyadh and will involve four key industries that reflect NEOM’s industrial ambitions. These are technology in the service of people, sustainable solutions that address water scarcity challenges, green hydrogen and e-fuels.
It will require the participants to draw on four key capabilities: big data analytics and artificial intelligence; advanced sensing and Internet of Things (IoT); material science, nanotechnology and robotics; and automated guided vehicles and drones.
OXAGON will offer three finalist teams an opportunity to showcase their concepts at an upcoming event later this year and will let them pursue a three-month accelerator program. It will also introduce a 12-week-long accelerator program that will provide early-stage founders with the expertise, resources, and networking opportunities required to set up successful startups. The program will be launched later this year.
Both the hackathon and accelerator will be open to students from Saudi universities and innovators from all over the country.
Saudi Deputy Minister for Research and Innovation Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, said, “The launch of both initiatives, the hackathon and accelerator, will contribute to building a generation of future pioneers and leaders, developing national talent, and contributing to the kingdom’s economic diversification plans, in accordance with Saudi Vision 2030.”
OXAGON is looking to create a clean energy-powered environment for startups by offering access to the latest technologies. It will become a hub for dedicated research and innovation.
Vishal Wanchoo, chief executive officer of OXAGON, said: “This unique partnership shows that OXAGON sees education as a cornerstone of innovation communities, and we are excited about working with the Ministry of Education to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Saudi universities.”
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