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Garage48 and Partners Launch the Design Hackathon to Drive Innovation Among Youth

Garage48 in partnership with The Innovation Village with support from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation launch a second-round series of the Design Hackathon.

Garage48 in partnership with The Innovation Village with support from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Development Cooperation this morning launched a second-round series of the Design Hackathon, scheduled to take place from October 5th to 9th. The hackathon will be held at The Innovation Village, and Covid-19 safety measures are provided and applied according to current needs and restrictions.

The Design Hackathon is part of the EU: Africa They Journey 2021/22, an African-European program with the goal to empower youth with talent in digital design and prototyping skills in preparation to enter the tech and startup sector.

The hackathon is a 5-day workshop where Garage48 Design Mentors will teach the youth with the right skills in digital design, user experience fundamentals, branding, and prototyping to empower and prepare them with the right skill set to secure jobs in the technology sector.

While addressing journalists at the launch, Kadri Koivik, COO at Garage48 said, “We’re here to promote a startup mindset, teach digital skills, and promote entrepreneurship. We shall not only teach the basic skills, but also more advanced skills on design thinking, user experience, digital designs, prototyping, among others.”

The workshop is built around the Garage48 hackathon format with team formation, checkpoints, mentoring sessions, and pitching, led by Garage48 design and prototyping experts.

All the participating individuals will be mentored and given the opportunity to develop solutions and pitch them to design experts. The solutions will be judged based on consistency, originality, socio-economic value, design, and commercialization opportunity.

After the workshop, the top teams and individuals that will come out of the design hackathon will get a straight pass to the EU: Africa They Journey 2021/22 Program—an online hackathon that will be held in December 2021. “By the end of the work, we hope to have better-trained teams and individuals ready to enter the EU: Africa They Journey 2021/22 Program,” Koivik said.

The selected teams and individuals will have the chance to compete for 100,000 Euros (roughly UGX410.2 million) cash prize and a 2-month digital acceleration program.

Enoch Mutambi, Skills Development Specialist at the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development said today digital skilling is needed to improve productivity. He called Ugandans to pursue digital killings and work together to make sure that it taking a step higher and higher. He emphasized that digital skilling today is so critical because it is needed in every aspect of what we do today.

As Covid-19 Pandemic continues to disrupt industries/sectors, it has created opportunities as well. However, these new opportunities require building a culture of innovation as well as empowering youth with the skills in transforming these industries that drive the country’s socio-economic transformation. Thus, events such as hackathons do play a part.

The Innovation Village COO, Kadri Aguraijuja said, “hackathons are very crucial to the tech ecosystem because they enable innovators/entrepreneurs to develop solutions to the urgent social-economic challenges affecting communities.”

Future Labs Lead, Samantha Niyonsaba said hackathons speak to the need for innovators to have the knowledge and relevant platforms that enable them to ideate and develop solutions to societal problems.

Meanwhile, the Design Hackathon is ongoing till Saturday 9th, October 2021. Participants among the things they will learn include:

  1. Visual design principles.
  2. User experience (UX) design fundamentals.
  3. How to listen and observe users.
  4. Use basic design tools.
  5. Branding fundamentals & insights into why people buy brands.
  6. Real-world tips and tricks.
  7. Understanding of the principles & benefits of good user experience (UX) and how to apply it to your design.
  8. How to work in a team.
  9. Pitching.

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