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Megathon 2019 – Accelerating the use of AI for Social Good

Corporate Nov 19, 2019

Healthcare education Artificial Intelligence Fresco Capital Agriculture #HackathonPune 2019 Environment AI for Social Good Government #StartupBootup Megathon 2019

Pune Nov. 19, 2019: e-Zest Solutions in collaboration with Fresco Capital today announced the successful closure of the 24 hours Megathon 2019, an exciting weekend that included the #HackathonPune for the Developers and #StartupBootup for the Aspiring Entrepreneurs.


With AI playing an integral role in the technologies of the future, the theme of the #HackathonPune this year was ‘AI for Social Good: in Healthcare, Education, Environment, Agriculture and Government’. The 24-hour #HackathonPune aimed to encourage participants to develop innovative AI-centered solutions that will solve common problems or drive transformation in the social sector.

The event had more than 78 teams in #HackathonPune, 15 teams in the #StartupBootup and a number of CIOs and industry leaders attending. Stephen Forte (Managing Partner) and Eriko Suzuki (General Partner) from Fresco Capital had flown in for the Megathon from USA and Tokyo respectively.

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As the participants worked hard to translate their ideas into working solutions, the atmosphere at the #HackathonPune was a charged one throughout. The panel of judges, both internal and external to e-Zest, interacted with the teams in intermittent rounds, assessing their progress, while also assisting and motivating them wherever needed. A number of interactive activities, such as the doodle wall, impromptu games and quizzes helped relieve the stress and keep the teams relaxed.

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The #StartupBootup on the other hand, was a 24-hour workshop that brought early-stage entrepreneurs, ideators, innovators and thinkers in technology together under one roof, as they learned how to build a successful startup from thought leaders of the Startup industry.

Stephen Forte, Managing Partner, led the #StartupBootup, as he walked the aspiring entrepreneurs through what goes into building a successful startup, with a focus on how to take a startup from the ideation stage to fit-to-market stage. He said, “It was really exciting to conduct this workshop. We saw some really innovative ideas being presented in both the events and met some interesting people too.” Eriko Suzuki, General Partner, seconded him, adding, “I thoroughly enjoyed both the #HackathonPune as well as the #StartupBootup, and am honored to have been a part of it.”

After the very exciting 24 hours, the grand prize of Rs.1,00,000 in the #HackathonPune was claimed by Shirin Siddiqui and Karan Shinde for their intelligent walking stick for the visually impaired. Rishabh Gupta and Shubham Agarwal, with their solution that helps the visually impaired understand their surroundings, and Sagar Vats, with his solution that helps the deaf learn and communicate better, were the first and second runners up respectively.

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“The creativity shown by the participants at the #HackathonPune was very impressive, covering areas ranging right from helping the less fortunate, the elderly, increasing crop yields in agriculture, to helping natural disaster victims. This use of emerging technology for inclusive growth, across the community for the larger social good, stayed true to the cause and reasserted the vision of the #HackathonPune” said Devendra Deshmukh, CEO and Founder of e-Zest Solutions.

The Megathon 2019 also included a Fireside Chat, featuring an interactive discussion amongst some of the prominent Chief Executives and MVPs of the industry, as they shared their ideas and perspectives on AI, its role in creating or taking over jobs, as well as Ethics in AI.

“We are really pleased with the fantastic turnout at the Megathon. We look forward to keeping the spirit of the Megathon alive by continuously bettering ourselves and upping the game,” said Girish Chandra, Chief Evangelist at
e-Zest Solutions and Event Chair for the Megathon 2019.

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