Chennai, NFAPost: A team from Jio that addressed counterfeiting of drugs in the market by using a blockchain mechanism won the first place at ‘Women Only’ tech hackathon, organised by WiT recently.

Women in Technology (WiT) India is a platform that has attracted some of the biggest global tech firms , startups, VCs, Edutech and Learning companies in India to focus on increasing gender balance in STEM careers through engagement, enablement and employment.

Announced towards the end of May 2020, WOMEN CO[vi]DE WARRIORS an all-Women Hackathon in partnership with IBM and Sequoia Capital turned out to be a successful effort to bring together an all-woman ‘power force’ from the tech world to envisage and create solutions against an invisible enemy that has disrupted our lives and challenged the normal, WiT said.

WiT launched the largest women Technology professionals hackathon a few weeks ago. The team from Credit Suisse won the second place with a solution to ‘fact-check’ the spread of deliberate misinformation and rumours on WhatsApp; and the Olx team presented a solution that builds trust in the hygiene levels of food delivered through apps by ‘live tracking’ food orders.

Besides this, another team from Jio won the popular choice award for presenting a solution that can track and provide real-time information on hospitals and its inventory of beds and ventilators. Next popular choice award winner was the team from Deloitte India that presented a concept for a farmer assistance system that supports farmers in the pre and post harvesting season.

The top three of the selected solutions, besides their awards, will be provided mentoring to develop their ideas and to bring these to market through VCs and industry. The two popular choice awards from open voting on ideas by public, will also receive mentoring and support from WiT and the interested companies.

“WiT started as a small dream of enabling women in tech and before we realised was already an industry movement of sorts and about 100 companies have come onboard on our platform. As for the hackathon, it is encouraging and inspirational to receive more than 425 solutions at a time when all of us have been working in silos out of our respective homes. These ideas have taken on big challenges with a passion to build implementable solutions led by technology that can be helpful for humankind,” WIT Founder and chairperson Anuranjita Kumar said.

“Our partner organisations have been the guiding light to the success of this movement and we are confident that this is just the beginning of the road for the winning ideas,” Kumar added.

“Covid-19 has brought unprecedented challenges, and at IBM, we believe that developers can leverage open source technologies including AI, Cloud, IoT to create solutions to take on this world’s most pressing issues. The WiT all-Women Hackathon, supported by IBM, saw participants creating prototypes in less than 100 hours – a powerful example of how technology can be leveraged to play a pivotal role as governments and organisations look to reset and recover from the pandemic,” IBM VP – Journey to Cloud CoE Sugandha Srikanteswaran said.

With participation from over 425 teams of women technologists across the country, the scores of diverse solutions ranged from solving migrant labourer issues, household helping appsto supporting mental well-being during the present crisis.

The top 15 finalists presented their ideas to a jury of industry stalwarts including Anandamoy Roychowdhary (Director- Technology , Sequoia Capital India LLP), Dr Avnish Kshatriya (Global Head & Principal Consultant- Transformation Office and Data & Insights Advisory, Wipro Limited) , Harjinder Kaur Talwar ( MD & CEO of Comvision (India) Pvt Ltd & Former President at FICCI FLO),Manish Bharti (President, UIPath), Rutvik Doshi (MD & General Partner, Inventus Capital India),Shalini Kapoor ( IBM Fellow & CTO for AI – AI applications, IBM), Simmi Dhamija (CTO, Tech Mahindra) and Vijaya Kumar Ivaturi (Co-founder & CTO, Crayon Data). The underlying theme that brought the jury together was the common purpose of belief – the need of having more women in leadership roles in the tech industry.

Founded in March, 2020, WiT works with communities of women at various levels to accelerate their journey from a classroom to boardroom by focusing in 3 E’s – Engagement, Enablement and Employment. WiT has partnered with organisations like Great Learnings, HackerEarth, STCH and Altitudes to work with women communities at workplaces, colleges and schools to ensure women talent transitions into capable workforce by building awareness, assessing skills, training and mentoring. Currently, WiT through its portal womenintechnology.in, runs a variety of women only initiatives. These include training courses, assessments, mentoring by industry veterans, women only job opportunities, hackathon, leadership connect sessions and virtual conferences.

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