LONDON and RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, November 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Leading international, UK and Saudi businesses, organisations and start-ups within tech, innovation, health and business investment have lined up to support the first ever Misk Hackathon event taking place live and simultaneously in London and Riyadh on 25-27 November. Limited places are still available and candidates can register here: http://www.miskhackathon.com
Representatives from Microsoft, STC, the Saudi-British Joint Business Council, the British Council, the British Embassy Riyadh, the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, HealthTech Women, Tech London Advocates, Women Who Code, Stemettes, Code:First Girls and GrowthEnabler, among many more, have all pledged support, with many occupying mentoring roles at the event. The panel of judges will soon be unveiled.
Organised by the Misk Foundation, the Hackathon is part of its ongoing work to cultivate learning and leadership among all Saudi youth through innovative programmes in association with local and global organisations and partners across diverse and creative fields, under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.
In what the Deputy Crown Prince has called a "milestone initiative", the event will be the first time that cross-cultural, mixed gender collaboration between the two nations has taken place, with up to 400 participants communicating through technology and a live satellite broadcast link to dream up a health tech innovation.
His Royal Highness said: "Strong and collaborative cross-nation partnership through technology, innovation and youth enterprise hold the keys to a thriving, healthy, diverse and prosperous state, paving the way for our next generation and the future of our Kingdom."
Welcoming the initiative, UK Executive Director Chris Innes-Hopkins of the Saudi-British Joint Business Council said, "The UK is a key strategic partner for Saudi Arabia's implementation of Vision 2030. In a global economy, collaboration between the two nations is an important driver of tech innovation, entrepreneurship and shared productivity. We hope this initiative inspires more Saudi-UK innovation ventures of this kind."
The British Council has also applauded the initiative for increasing cross-cultural connectivity. Comments British Council Country Director, Saudi Arabia, Amir Ramzan: "'All our work in Saudi promotes cross-cultural collaboration and is driven by the belief that a people-to-people approach helps to build long term trust and understanding. We're delighted to be working with MiSK Hackathon this year to connect young, ambitious entrepreneurs in Saudi and the UK and give them a space where they can experiment together and accelerate their thinking.'
Deemah Alyahya, Executive Director of Microsoft, which is supporting the event said: "The Misk Hackathon is all about connecting people around the world through technology, helping them realise their full potential. That's our aim too, and we're proud to support anything that helps bring about such positive change."
The initiative has also driven accolades from leading female-focused tech and health organisations and networks, which all champion the ambition to bring more women into a male-dominated technology sector.
Comments Maxine Mackintosh, UK Chair of international network, HealthTech Women, "In the UK, about 20 per cent of the Med Tech sector are female. It's encouraging that the Middle East is breaking new ground with an increasing trend of entrepreneurial women entering this sector, and it's great to see initiatives like this, which have a huge role to play in fostering diversity through shared experiences and learning."
Adds Gen Ashley, Director of global, not-for-profit organisation, Women Who Code: "Technology is an empowering force and can be a key emancipator for women no matter what their lifestyle or life stage. We need to see greater diversity and greater opportunity for women in this sector. It's a vital path to progress and could open up doors to innovation we'd never dreamed of."
Follow @MiskTech and sign up at: http://www.miskhackathon.com
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Notes to editor:
About MiSK Hackathon 2016
MiSK Hackathon 2016 takes place on 25-27 November in London (ILEC Conference Centre, Fulham) and Riyadh. The contest is open to all young Britons and Saudis aged between 18 and 32 years. Participants can find more information and register at http://www.miskhackathon.com Closing date for entry is 18 November.
SOURCE MiSK Hackathon 2016