The hackathon does generate innovative ideas – some of them truly “never-seen before” in Armenia!
The second part of the hackathon continued with sessions on Tourism perspectives in Armenia, Tourism as a sector of opportunities, Competitive analysis, product-market fit, pricing, and go-to-market and B2B sales and objection handling to equip the competing teams with better understanding of the sector. The sessions were conceived so that teams learn about how to advance their business knowledge as their business ideas. In the meantime, the teams focused on developing their ideas and prototypes for 24 hours.
After intense internal discussions and hard work within the 49 teams, they were ready to pitch their ideas and prototypes in front of the jury on April 8, 2018.
“The teams have done a tremendous job, all the ideas were wonderful and would really benefit the development of tourism in the regions. However, we have to select the three best ones”, announced Ms. Amalya Yeghoyan, Deputy Minister of Transport, Communication and Information Technologies of Armenia who was part of the jury.
The winning teams, that impressed the jury and participants most were:
In the fly (Fly tour) – from Gyumri, Armenia
In the fly offers tours through remote control planes (drones) in gorgeous surroundings of the Shirak and Lori Regions of Armenia with geographic expansion to other regions of Armenia in the future. The planes equipped with video cameras will enable the tourist to view the historical-cultural monuments, natural gorgeous places like canyons, lakes, forests and colourful fields – at a high-altitude flight. The team plans to use remote-control eyeglasses to make the virtual trip even more impressive. Upon request, master classes will be offered to tourists to develop a simple model of a plane and take them as a gift. This is a great solution for tourists with disabilities and difficulties in mobility but wishing to actively explore and experience the life of a traveller! In particular the technology convinced and impressed the jury as it is a new technology in Armenia and the idea may help to boost the tourism in regions.
Destination – from Vanadzor, Armenia
Destination offers a location-based solution for tourists who do not want to spend their money on expensive tour packages or personal guides. All must-see sights like historical buildings, churches, galleries, castles, parks, monuments up to the least famous but valuable ones will be integrated in this map. But what is more interesting and innovative – is the second regime of the app, which will let tourists transform an ordinary trip into an interactive and fun quest game (so called "mission"). There are different kinds of missions such as extreme, hiking, food degustation, bicycle-only and many other mixed-type ones for different preferences. Tourists will compete with each other trying to complete as many missions possible to win some prizes.
The team has already developed a prototype version for Android OS and is currently working on the production version to enter the market and start operating in Armenia and Georgia with future plans to expand to other countries. Since the quest "missions" are designed at regional level presently, this is another innovative way to attract and increase the tourist flow to Armenia. The team claims that their prototype is an innovation and that something like this is not practiced anywhere in the world!
Hi Traveller – from Vanadzor, Armenia
Hi Traveller offers a pocket guide mobile app with full information one would like to have to plan a trip, with all possible routes, hotels and hostels, restaurants and eateries, entertainment places, useful information on local currencies and on many more. The app helps to choose from the existing internal trips within the country and it is possible to customise them as preferred. Moreover, the app is offered in three-languages presented by native speakers with information on historical places and sights of Armenia. The tourist will be able to use it to take photos, short videos and share with comments via social media. The SOS button within the app will enable the tourist to turn to 911 service if needed. In other words, Hi Traveller enables to play the lead role in the trip, making it fun, less costly and safe!
EU-SMEDA granted awards in the amount of 2 000 000 AMD, 1 000 000 AMD and 750 000 AMD to the winners of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places of the hackathon respectively, to be provided for the development of proposed solutions to form a viable business through support via professional services.
Additional prizes were granted to the best idea for tourism development by the Lori Regional Administration to Boo Mountain Bike Park team from Yerevan who will be working on a project in Vanadzor and Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) awarded Octopus team from Yerevan for the best tech solution.
It is planned to hold the hackathon annually and expand it throughout all regions of Armenia.
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On December 5th, a press conference was held ahead of "Empowering Regions through High-tech" forum on Dec. 7-8, 2018 in Gyumri. The aim of the forum is to empower the youth of Armenia's regions by supporting regional startup ecosystem, encouraging innovation and IT development in regions through creation of cooperation & partnership with global companies and IT networks, universities and non-tech SMEs. It is expected that over 200 participants from all the regions of Armenia will attend the event.
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