The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) and startAD at NYU Abu Dhabi celebrate a successful end to the inaugural YouthTech Competition, a part of the Abu Dhabi Inspires programme, with a virtual closing ceremony this week.
The competition has seen 173 successful participants, aged 18-29 years old from across the UAE, engage in a two-day bootcamp, during which they received training and mentorship on ideation, virtual customer discovery, sustainability, rapid prototyping and presentation skills. Following the bootcamp, participants engaged in a four-week challenge-based learning program which provided mentorship and training to develop critical, future-ready entrepreneurship and innovation skills enabling the teams to build a business from the ground-up.
The five winning projects presented some remarkable solutions, which the teams explored in such a short time period and shape their start-up business. PinPoint, the first place winner, examined the challenges of social distancing and provided an innovative solution utilizing a deep learning model that processes footage from CCTV cameras to report live-data on how many people might be in a public space, such as a shop, providing real-time capacity updates. The objective of the data insights allow for informed marketing, advertising, movement and crowd control decisions by industry and government entities.
Second-place winner, Odysy, aims to help students make informed decisions about their futures; while SmallWorld came in third-place to provide an innovative platform to increase long-term humanitarian engagement among high school students. The fourth-place winner, Rehla aims to reshape education for many and bridge the gap in discovery education worldwide through the click of a button; and finally Baytuki, the fifth-place winner providing a disruptive concept designed to empower, educate, and enable women through a digital tool for real estate investment.
Samar Al Mansoori, ADEK Acting Executive Director of Higher Education Sector commented “As we move towards a knowledge-based economy, entrepreneurship is key, especially when it is coupled with tech-enabled solutions that aim to solve real-life problems and challenges.To foster entrepreneurship, we joined forces with StartAD to launch the YouthTech Competition as part of the Abu Dhabi Inspires programme. a journey that brought us closer to the youth and fostered our belief in their great potential.”
“According to the UN 2020 World Youth Report, 600 million jobs would be needed in the next 15 years to meet youth employment needs,” said Professor Ramesh Jagannathan, Vice Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at NYU Abu Dhabi and Managing Director of startAD.
Professor Jagannathan added “The YouthTech Competition trains the youth to be job creators as opposed to job seekers. We are inspired by their creative use of technology enterprises that are aligned with protecting the environment and society that they live in. This is consistent with the emirate’s vision for a tech-enabled business ecosystem and a society that is inclusive, competitive, sustainable in the long term.”