Carleton Launches Apps4Billions Hackathon: Targets Global $23-Billion Apps Economy

Carleton University has launched an Apps4Billions Hackathon, the latest in the university’s extensive list of entrepreneurial initiatives that are helping students and businesses across the region create jobs and exciting new products.

The hackathon, which will take place on Oct. 18 and 19, 2014, is a creative coding marathon aimed at developing apps to solve real-world problems in high growth markets such as India, Brazil and around the world. It is supported by primary sponsor Datawind and its CEO Suneet Singh Tuli, who spoke at the launch event.

Participants are encouraged to come with an idea, form teams and build their idea into a product.  It’s a unique chance for students to participate in the apps economy, valued at more than $23 billion annually and it presents a huge opportunity for Canada.

“This hackathon is an example of international collaboration and hands-on learning, combined with invaluable opportunities for networking,” said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte.  “Carleton will welcome the global community, with private partners providing the mentoring and sponsorship.  Universities from countries such as India and Brazil will participate, bringing the world to Carleton.”

The hackathon is an example of Carleton’s commitment to solving real-world problems. As part of this event, Carleton’s mobile computing and systems engineering students will be developing apps that may impact billions of people.

“All participants require is a laptop and a vision, “said Jaswinder Kaur, manager of Carleton’s Canada-India Centre for Excellence. “Students will have the support of both professors and mentors from the business community. The hackathon is open to the developer community and all university and college students who would like to make a difference.”

Over the next three years, more than five billion people in the world will own a smart phone or tablet. In many emerging countries, access to mobile Internet translates to better opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, and financial and health-care services.

“We are big believers that over the next three years or so we are going to see billions of new Internet users come on line, thanks to mobile devices such our low cost tablets,” said Tuli. “All of these users need great and relevant online content.”

The initiative is the result of a collaboration between Carleton’s Canada-India Centre and Datawind to tackle challenges contributing to the technological divide. “Carleton University is the ideal partner to lead this project given its history of innovation and global problem-solving,” said Tuli.

Carleton is a leader in entrepreneurship with several successful programs and initiatives that have helped grow new companies and products, including Lead to Win, Ottawa Young Entrepreneurs, 1125@Carleton, Carleton Entrepreneurs and the National Nicol Competition.

For more information on the Apps4Billions Hackathon, please go to: www.apps4billions.org.

About Carleton University:

Located in the nation’s capital, Carleton University is a dynamic research and teaching institution with a tradition of leading change. Its internationally recognized faculty, staff and researchers provide more than 25,000 full- and part-time students from every province and more than 100 countries around the world with academic opportunities in more than 65 programs of study, including public affairs, journalism, film studies, engineering, high technology, and international studies. Carleton’s creative, interdisciplinary and international approach to research has led to many significant discoveries and creative works in science and technology, business, governance, public policy and the arts. As an innovative institution Carleton is uniquely committed to developing solutions to real-world problems by pushing the boundaries of knowledge and understanding daily.

Media Contact
Steven Reid
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Carleton University
613-520-2600 ext. 8718
613-265-6613
Steven_Reid3@Carleton.ca 

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