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Grand finale of Digital Innovation Challenge for Women

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The fourth edition of the technology-based competition ‘Digital Innovation Challenge for Women 2023’ was held for women to inspire and encourage women in technology innovation. The final stage and grand finale of the competition were held on Saturday (May 20) afternoon in the Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) auditorium in the capital.

The competition is organized by Women in Digital in collaboration with the World Bank and UNDP Bangladesh Accelerator Lab. Media partner The Daily Star, in collaboration with IEEE Women Wings and Sumaiya Technologies Ltd.

At the beginning of the program, there was a team presentation of the 8 teams participating in the final round of the competition. Members of Project Elisa, Team Climate Avengers, Team IST_Aspires, Team Visionaries, Team Sunshine, Team Lumenesins, Team Grande and Team Terminators participated in it.

The second part of the program was a panel discussion meeting with invited guests. Head of UNDP Bangladesh Accelerator Lab M M Zimran Khan moderated this discussion titled ‘Digital Skills for Life’. World Bank Digital Development Specialist Suparna Roy, Senior Social Development Specialist Sabah Moyeen, Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum (BIJF) President Naznin Nahar, Babylon Resources Ltd. Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Liakat Hossain, Sumaiya Technologies Limited. (STL) Chairman & Co. -Founder Ripa R.Jahan.

In the third phase, the closing ceremony of the grand finale begins. Honorable State Minister for Information and Communication Technology ZUNAID AHMED PALAK, MP was present as the chief guest at the event under the chairmanship of Women in Digital Chairman Abul Khair Patwary. Achia Khaleda Nila, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Women in Digital gave the welcome address.

Shamsun Nahar Lipi, winner of The National Women Hackathon 2017, gave a speech in the program. Safaet Hossain, Head of the CSE Department of City University, spoke as the judge of the program, Shahjahan Mahmood, Chairman of Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited, Chairman of Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited, Van Nguyen UNDP Bangladesh Deputy Resident Representative spoke as special guest. World Bank Bhutan and Bangladesh Country Director Abdoulaye Seck and others.

Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak provided an overview of the opportunities for women in the ICT Division.

Abdoulaye Seck, Country Director for Bhutan and Bangladesh at the World Bank congratulated the winning teams and informed them of the support they are providing to the government and ICT ministry.

According to Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh, there are now 14% of tech women work in Bangladesh’s tech industry. She believes this type of competition may increase the number.

Chief Executive Director of Women in Digital Achia Nila said that despite being a women’s digital technology company, every year such a competition is held to increase the entry of women in technology, still women are far behind in digital technology, we are organizing this event to give them some courage. We are trying to bring women from all over Bangladesh to Dhaka. To develop a digital technology base product through proper mentoring.

It was informed at the event that the competition titled ‘Digital: Innovation and Technology Gender for Equality’ was launched on International Women’s Day on March 8. Members of the learned judging panel initially selected 58 projects from 132 projects for the competition. After several rounds of screening, the best eight projects are selected for the final round.

The judging panel of the competition consisted of Prof. Celia Shahnaz of BUET, Syed Mafiz Kamal Onik, Head of Research and Communication, Center for Research and Information, Siddhartho Goshwami, Head of Operations and Coordinator, ICT Division, BIG. Chief Executive Officer of Creative Conservation Alliance and Co-founder Shahriar Caesar Rahman and United Nations Development Program Project Officer Rebecca Sultana.

Mohammad Mahdee Uz Zaman, solutions architect leader and IT expert of the tech giant company Amazon Web Services, was the mentor of the contestants.

There are 24 mentors and judges attended the event, mentors are- Iqbal Ahmed Fakhrul Hasan, Founder & Managing Director, Divine IT Limited was the mentor throughout the competition. Towhid Hossain, Secretary General, Bangladesh Association of Contact Centers and Outsourcing, Arafat Hossain, UX Manager, Redlime Solutions, Safaet Hossain, Head of Faculty, Computer Science and Engineering, City University, Bangladesh, Raihan S Razon, Head of Software Development, Activation – We Automate, Zubayer Al Billal Khan Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder Straight, Sayma Rahman Founder & CEO Sir Ventures & Consultancy

Four projects have emerged as the winners among the eight teams participating in the final round. First place went to the Sunshine Team, second to Project Elisa, third to Grande, and fourth to Luminescence. There were eight teams at the top: IST_Aspires, Visionaries, Sunshine, Grande, and Terminators.

Amazon Web Services Solutions has awarded Tk 3 lakh to the top five winning teams. A prize of BDT 50000 is awarded to the first team, BDT 30000 to the second team, and BDT 20000 to the third team, and 4th team will receive BDT 10000. 6-month mentoring support from Women in Digital and many more.

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