09 May 2019 Department of Computer Science , Student

9 May 2019 – Second year Computer Science undergraduate Lim Heng Guang won the first prize at the International Women’s Day 52-Hour Hackathon held from 29 to 31 March this year in Shenzhen, China.

Heng Guang, currently on a semester-long NUS Overseas Colleges Shenzhen programme, partnered with five locals from Shenzhen to win the top award and the “Most Social Idea” award at the regional hackathon organised by Startup Salad. Over 80 contestants were challenged to develop an innovative business model related to the theme of empowering women.

Over the weekend, Heng Guang and his teammates formulated a business plan to develop a one-stop digital platform for stay-at-home mothers. The team’s platform serves as a learning portal for users to pick up skills in financial literacy, child bearing, and nutrition. The platform is also designed to be a community support forum for stay-at-home mothers to share their experience and help one another. In addition, the team also plan to host family bonding activities through their platform to encourage users to adopt their services.

“We initially wanted to work on developing an art education platform for the wealthier communities in Shenzhen,” said Heng Guang. “However, we realised that we are targeting a niche group and we wanted to work on another idea that had greater social impact. While other teams chose to pursue ideas that would make the most money, our goal to focus on empowering women set us apart throughout the competition.”

One of the challenge Heng Guang and his team members faced was navigating through their different backgrounds to work together effectively. “One interesting aspect of this hackathon was teaming up with people from different educational and cultural backgrounds. As we all had different ways of thinking and working styles, this gave me the opportunity to step up to lead and steer the direction for the team,” said Heng Guang. “Furthermore, the 52 hour hackathon was the most intensive test of my Mandarin proficiency. I had to speak in proper Mandarin throughout the weekend and to pen my thoughts and ideas onto the Business Model Canvas in formal Mandarin.”

“Overall, this has been a wonderful experience to participate in this hackathon and win the first prize. When we received the “Most Social Idea” award at the start of the award presentation, I presume that would be all we would get. The win made all our efforts worthwhile,” Heng Guang added.