Phew… There’s a lot of hacking happening in Vietnam these days with Startup Weekend in Hanoi, Hackday in Ho Chi Minh city, and now mLab’s second Hackathon coming on June 29 and 30. Whereas the two former hackathons were more commerce oriented, mLab, which is mainly backed by the World Bank, is heading into more charitable inclinations: innovations for children.
The hackathon, which is also supported by Unicef, will focus on two main challenges: 1) increasing healthcare and nutrition for women during pregnancy and until her child is two years old, and 2) building a marketplace for socially responsible tourism that is beneficial to children. Both challenges have winner prizes of VND 10 million ($500) and runners up prizes at VND 5 million ($250). That means four teams are gonna get some cash.
There are two cool unique things about this hackathon. According to Brett Dickstein, mLab’s East Asia consultant:
The difference between this and other hackathons is that we’ll be working on incubating at least three teams from the competition. That means, we’re focusing on concrete results from the hackathon. Also, with Unicef involved, we’re able to connect the teams with an opportunity to scale globally.
The hackathon will be held at Saigon Hub (which is quickly becoming the epicenter for hackathons) where Brett says they’ll have to cap the amount of hackers at 100. So if you want to hack, you better register now.
With all of these hackathons popping up in Vietnam, it’s clear that organizers and thought leaders are looking at practical activities for startups to grow in Vietnam. Maybe we’re seeing the rumblings of a YCombinator-like ecosystem out here? Or it could just be that time of that year.