Advisor to Governor, K Skandan on Saturday inaugurated ‘Smart JK Hackathon’ – the first State-level Innovation Competition at Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute, Pampore.
The spokesman said that one-and-a-half-month-long innovation competition is aimed to institutionalize a model for harnessing the creativity and technical expertise of students and innovators to an already defined problem statement. There are six focus sectors including Agriculture, Horticulture, Solid Waste Management, Tourism, Handicrafts and Handloom and Smart City for which innovative solutions shall be sought from the students and innovators from across the state.
Hackathon is a digital programming competition aimed at identifying new and disruptive technological innovations for solving the challenges faced by the public, businesses and the industry.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Skandan congratulated the startups from J&K who presented their stories of success and struggle. He said he was happy to see that JKEDI has done a good work on ground which has helped the aspiring entrepreneurs come up to a level where they can compete at national and international level.
“I congratulate the startups for brilliant ideas. They need to grow faster as even small innovations can bring a lot of confidence. Startups need to have the confidence to succeed,” the Advisor said.
The Advisor stressed on the need to link the innovative startups to other parts of the country so that they get the real exposure they require to scale heights. He also called on financial institutions to give a thought for a ‘positive policy’ to fund the startups.
In his address on the occasion, Ramanan Ramanathan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog deliberated on the importance of the sectors chosen for the ‘Hackathon’. He said the technology is changing everything and the core sectors of J&K’s economy can be no exception. He hoped that the ‘Hackathon’ shall provide innovative technical impetus to the chosen sectors and make them flourish.
Ramanathan urged the innovators from J&K to do justice to the potential they have and make their startups reach a global level. He also laid emphasis on providing more opportunities to women entrepreneurs saying that they (women) have the finest possibilities to succeed. Ramanathan said he was pleased to offer all possible support for the innovations from J&K.
Earlier, Director JKEDI, Tufail Matto welcomed the guests and gave them an insight of the whole competition. He hoped that the ‘Smart JK Hackathon’ shall pave way for the state of Jammu of Kashmir to move ahead and help the innovators from the state to compete at national and international levels.
“JKEDI will do its best to create the environment required for the innovators to run their and startups and the good work has already begun,” Matto said.
On the occasion, he also thanked GELF (Global Education and Leadership Foundation), Misk Flobal Forum and Global Entrepreneurship Network for hosting a first of its kind regional event under ‘Entrepreneurship World Cup’ (a separate event) at JKEDI.
Others who spoke on the occasion include Dr Shanta Thoutam, Vice President Corporate Innovation and BD at T-Hub, Hyderabad, Director Agriculture, Kashmir, Dr Altaf Andrabi; innovators Dr Fayaz Ganaie, Shah Shabir, Muheet Mehraj and Archana Pushup. Pooja Sareen, Editor and Co-Founder at Inc42, Ramarko Sengupta, senior editor at www.yourstory.com, professors from the University of Kashmir, representatives from different stakeholder departments were also present on the occasion.