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‘Cowrie’ wins NIRU Hackathon 2018

Ahmed Aiham
03 September 2018, MVT 12:08
'Cowrie', the champions of the NIRU Hackathon 2018 pose for picture with Ooredoo Maldives' CEO Najib Khan (R) at the closing ceremony. PHOTO/OOREDOO
Ahmed Aiham
03 September 2018, MVT 12:08

Cowrie, a FinTech platform which aims to increase financial literacy and participation, has won the NIRU Hackathon 2018 organised by telecom giant Ooredoo Maldives.

In addition to Cowrie, four teams that participated in the hackathon received a golden ticket for the next phase of the NIRU Accelerator Program. The winners who received access to the accelerator program include:

- Cowrie: A chatbot providing simplified recommendations for financial queries.

- Kumbu: A centralised sea transportation management system to locate, book tickets or hire an excursion vessel without any hassle.

- Javaabu Academy: An online tutor service providing a variety of educational courses in local language Dhivehi, while eliminating geographical boundaries.

- Flobo: a B2B online platform which provides integrated logistics and supply solutions.

NIRU Accelerator is a learning-based business accelerator programme in the Maldives, for innovative start-ups run by entrepreneurs working towards social change. NIRU Hackathon was held over the past weekend in partnership with Ideamart by Dialog Axiata PLC., and served as an entry point for the accelerator program.

Ooredoo Maldives' CEO Najib Khan (C) speaks with participants during the NIRU Hackathon 2018. PHOTO/OOREDOO

Teams that passed through to NIRU Accelerator gain access to seed funding, a 12-week long intensive mentor-based learning programme, co-working space, digital tools for building their business, and the essential technical support from experts. According to Ooredoo, NIRU also connects participants to lifelong partnerships and opportunities even after the end of the accelerator programme.

“Ooredoo launched NIRU with the aim to support the growth of the local start-up ecosystem, and encourages Maldivian developers to fully participate in the digital revolution that is transforming the world. We had a great time this weekend at the NIRU Hackathon, where we again witnessed the immense talent of local developers and entrepreneurs. We’re excited to move to the next phase of the Accelerator which connects the winning teams to the right resources and close mentorship from industry leaders, as they move forward with their start-up business,” said Ooredoo Maldives' CEO Najib Khan.

Six teams participated in the 24-hour Hackathon held over the weekend at Hotel Jen, where participants developed a workable business prototype for their ideas, supported by mentors from Ooredoo, Ideamart and Allied. The winning teams were selected by an independent panel of judges, including experts from the local business and entrepreneurship community.

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