Hacking their way to the top - Grade 10s win at Startup Weekend Singapore 2017
Melanie Tan, Programme Manager, IDEAS Hub
Three talented Grade 10 students Arya Vohra, Taichi Kato and Khushaal Jamu (team name Photonify) participated in one of the most prestigious hackathons in Singapore, Startup Weekend Singapore (SWSG) Mega 2017. This event put them in competition with older and more experienced digital creators and they were the youngest competitors in the running. Their entry, an AI app that enables everyone to take professional quality photos in a snap, won the tech-wonder-threesome the award for Most Creative Team and a cash prize of $40,000 (as an in-kind sponsorship), a droid inventor kit and a microbits starter kit.
This is the second hackathon win for the students as they won second place at the IDEAS Hub hacking competition, IDEA Hacks in 2016. In the same year, they also created Questo, an app that generates questions based on a user-provided text or photo using IBM Watson, a artificial intelligence software.
At Startup Weekend Singapore, together with three other team mates, they created Photonify. It is an AI powered compositional photography assistant, designed to help anyone take professional photos. While the students developed the technology behind the app, Gabriel, Daniel, and Jiamin whom they met during the hackathon contributed to the business aspect of the idea.
During the hackathon, they were put through bootcamps where they learnt about business model canvas, financial modeling and product development from experienced mentors.
The students also known fondly as Team Questo are now planning their next steps in their journey as entrepreneurs. They will be organising the next IDEA Hacks 2017 with all the experience they now have in nurturing other student innovators and entrepreneurs.