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Cathay’s 6th Annual Hackathon Enjoys Record Participation

Cathay‘s commitment to nurturing the next generation of tech talent was evident at the Cathay Hackathon 2023. This flagship tech event brought together 280 tech-savvy and entrepreneurial students at Cathay City.

Cathay Hackathon 2023
Two hundred eighty tech-savvy and entrepreneurial students gathered at Cathay City for the Cathay Hackathon 2023. Attending the event were Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Professor Sun Dong, Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam, HK Express Chief Executive Officer Jeanette Mao and Cathay Director Digital and IT Lawrence Fong. Source: Cathay

For 24 hours straight, these students collaborated to brainstorm, create, and present innovative solutions to enhance customers’ travel experience, improve Cathay’s premium lifestyle services, and promote its cargo offerings.

The response to the Cathay Hackathon was phenomenal, with 1,500 applications pouring in from local and international universities. This marked the highest number of applications received since the event’s inception in 2016. After a rigorous selection process, 64 teams participated in this high-energy, 24-hour event. They worked tirelessly to develop prototypes and pitch their creative ideas to a panel of industry experts.

Cathay Supports Hong Kong SAR Government Focus On STEAM Education

Attending the Cathay Hackathon as Guest of Honour, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Professor Sun Dong said: “Only when our young people thrive, Hong Kong will prosper. The Hong Kong SAR Government continues to strengthen our STEAM education, taking further steps to identify and nurture local STEAM elites and we’re pleased that Cathay has provided the Hackathon Challenge, a platform for nurturing our talented youngsters, which demonstrates brilliance in bringing together young talents at the challenges facing the aviation industry with innovative solutions.”

Cathay Director Digital and IT Lawrence Fong said: “I am delighted to join these passionate and energetic young people at the Cathay Hackathon 2023. It is truly inspiring to see them come together, share ideas, collaborate, and enjoy the process of learning and having fun. To me, the Cathay Hackathon is a unique platform for aspiring young tech talents to showcase their passion, knowledge, and ideas in a competitive environment, with the support and guidance of leading industry experts who accompany them every step of the way on their journey.”

Partners in Cathay Hackathon Event

Cathay Hackathon 2023
Throughout the event, participants received valuable insights shared by 40 coaches and mentors from Cathay and its tech partners. Source: Cathay

During the event, participants learned from 40 coaches and mentors affiliated with Cathay and its tech partners. These experts offered valuable insights on refining ideas, developing software, and creating effective design and business strategies. Cathay’s partners for the event included the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Cyberport, Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft, Huawei, Alibaba Cloud, and iOS Club. These partners gave participants essential tools and resources for generating, developing, and designing their concepts.

Additionally, participants got an insider look into Cathay’s air and ground operations at its headquarters in Cathay City.

Winning Team NAAR Works On Cargo Load Spacing Solution

Cathay Hackathon 2023
Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Professor Sun Dong (right) and Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam (left) presented the trophy to the winning team NAAR. Source: Cathay

The winning team of the year, known as NAAR, consisted of members with diverse backgrounds. Their winning idea focused on harnessing artificial intelligence technology and computer vision-based dimensioning systems to optimize cargo load spacing. This innovation improves accuracy and profitability while reducing the need for manual labor.

NAAR member Anushka Purohit said: “The Cathay Hackathon 2023 was an incredibly rewarding experience for us. Not only did we have the opportunity to meet and learn from technology experts, but we also gained a newfound perspective on the impact of technology on the aviation industry. It was truly eye-opening, and we’re excited for the upcoming engagements with Cathay!”

NAAR has emerged as the winner of the Cathay Hackathon. The team earned round-trip Business class tickets to any destination in Cathay Pacific’s extensive network. As a bonus, they are invited to join Cathay as IT Summer Interns. This will help the students fast-track their IT & Digital Graduate Trainee Programme entry.

Top Three Teams Job Shadow Senior Leaders at Cathay City

The top three teams will spend a day job shadowing senior leaders at Cathay City, gaining invaluable insights. Furthermore, they will receive innovation grants from prominent tech partners to support and nurture their entrepreneurial endeavors.

The Cathay Hackathon is part of Cathay’s commitment to fostering talent for the aviation industry in Hong Kong. The airline has a range of successful youth initiatives. They include the Digital & IT Summer Internship, Graduate Trainee Programmes, Cadet Pilot Training Programme, the I Can Fly program, and the Cathay Community Flight. Cathay is nurturing young talent while promoting a culture of aviation, travel lifestyle, technology, and innovation in Hong Kong.

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