Toshiba and Kioxia (previously Toshiba Memory) have announced the first of its kind HACKcellence Fest, enhanced by Middlesex University Dubai and conceptualised and engineered end to end by ISD Global Dubai. Where students from the Middle East, Levant, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent are encouraged to Dream and Dare in a first-of-its-kind Hack Festival that has been established to discover solutions that can solve the real-life problems of the day.
“The incredible potential that lies kinetic within the student community around the region is beyond doubt. In the context of age,10 is indeed the new 20, and 20 is the new 40. That has been established beyond doubt. To facilitate and harness such vast potential within the student community, Toshiba and Kioxia (previously Toshiba Memory) are pioneering a first of its kind HACKcellence Fest in association with Middlesex University Dubai, and branding agency ISD Global, where students are encouraged and mentored to find hacks and solutions that will solve real-life problems that humanity is grappling with. Hackathons are happening all over and all the time,” explained avered Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE.
“Our endeavor (and the notable distinction) with the HACKcellence Fest is to ensure that game-changing hacks and ideas find appropriate competent suitors, get the encouragement and the mentoring/guidance, the financial and management wherewithal to bring their solutions to the real world. In that respect, the HACKcellence Fest is an end-to-end platform that begins with the generation of a stack of hacks or ideas and finds them getting their due place and recognition in the market/s that need them,” Varghese added.
The HACKcellence Fest is open to school pupils from Grade 8 and above and students from Colleges and Universities across 26 countries. Participating teams are being encouraged to think big and use their creativity when coming up with their hacks and ideas, with suggested focus areas including but not limited to Data Storage and Privacy, Robotics and AI, Edge Computing and IOT, Digital Health, Digital Humanism, Sustainability and Infrastructure, Smart Cities, Transport and Mobility, and Education.
“What makes this initiative unique is the fact that students are not limited by the guidelines we have put in place, but encouraged to break them and think beyond. We believe that challenges come with opportunities, and the HACKcellence Fest is a fantastic opportunity for students to make an impact and find solutions to the major issues affecting the global community,” added said Dr. Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University and Director of Middlesex University Dubai.
“We are providing participants with an open platform to submit ideas inspired by any topic that interests them. We are looking for their wildest, brightest hacks. As a leading UK university in Dubai at the cutting edge of future-forward education, we at Middlesex University Dubai are best placed to unlock the skills, ideas, and innate ability that the region’s student community can offer the world. As proud partners with Toshiba and Kioxia and ISD Global, we look forward to launching the HACKcellence Fest and provide students with this platform to make their ideas a reality,” Dr. Fernandes explained.
Submissions for hacks and ideas are open until mid-July 2021, after which a panel of jury will shortlist candidates to progress through to the next stage. Those who make it through will gain access to exclusive personalised mentoring sessions and workshops over an 8-week period that will provide them with expert guidance as they bring their idea to fruition. “At Toshiba, we turn on the promise of a new day. Guided by the essence of Toshiba, we harness our knowledge and experience in the areas of energy, social infrastructure, electronics devices, and digital solutions to help communities thrive. We achieve our common purpose together but each in our own different ways,” said Varghese.
“At ISD Global we always walk the walk on the power of cooperative marketing and the collaborative advantage energy that it releases for all stakeholders involved. As brand builders and new business and market enablers working with top-of-the-line brands across 4 continents over the past almost two decades, the ethos we practice at ISD Global is that of being counterintuitive and disintermediating,” Suresh Dinakaran, Chief Storyteller, ISD Global Dubai. “Our idea with the HACKcellence Fest is to unleash a committed, purpose-filled visionary foray into the ecosphere and to establish a Davos for the student universe in the Middle East, the Levant, Indian Subcontinent, and all of Africa, a virtual meeting of young, bright minds coming together to discover tangible solutions to solve real-life problems.”
The HACKcellence Fest will have its grand finale in the form of an Awards Ceremony in Dubai in October 2021. Students are competing to win a range of exciting awards, including cash prizes of more than $10,000, University Scholarships, Entrepreneurship Training, Start-Up Mentoring, Data Storage and Incubation Facilitation, Electronic Gadgets, and much more.