July 2017

!DROPS will be in Lilongwe, Malawi from July 10 until July 21 to co-facilitate the We For Talent hackathon together with Exchange vzw and CISCO Networking Academy & BiASC. Do you want to follow our foreign adventure? Follow our blog here, starting on July 11!

July 21st 2017

And so the WE FOR TALENT Hackathon has come to an end. I would love to present the other teams and tell you a bit more about the pitch and the winners:
The project of Jedidiah, Leroy, Vitumbiko, Walikani, Edith, Chifundo, Tumbiko, and Joel wants to implement technology and sensors of the Raspberry Pi and Arduino to control a modelled
greenhouse. The information gathered by the tools will help farmers to control the status of their soil.
Meet the team members:
Edith is a Business Information Technology student in her final year.
Leroy is a student in Information Systems at the Polytechnic University. He loves to design IoT objects.
No wonder he’s one of the three demo managers in team Kansa. He shares this position with Vitumbiko, who recently finished secondary school and will study Civil Engineering next year in Cape
Town (South Africa).
Thumbiko is the third demo manager. He studies Accountancy and is a frequent visitor of mHub, because he enjoys learning how to improve programs using software.
Walekani holds a degree in Management Information Systems and is currently studying
Computer Engineering. He’s an intern at mHub and likes watching Ted Talks. He takes on the
business role in his team.
Jedidiah has completed a Business Communication study and currently designs social media integration networks through his own company in concept development. He takes care of the organizational management in team Kansa and is helping Walekani with the business management.
Joel has got a degree in Business Information Technology from the Science and Technology University
of Malawi. He is completing the team of organisational managers in this project.
Chifundo is in his third year in Information Technology and is currently working as a graphic designer designing business cards, books, posters, … He helps team Kansa with his designing skills.
Tagz wants to distribute energy more efficiently in the health sector and aims to provide automated backup solar energy in hospitals. This way, they prevent deaths in hospitals due to insufficient power supplies.
Meet the team members:
Kuambwa studies Computer Engineering. His hobby is coding and he already finished some small coding projects. Within team Tagz he’s responsible for organizational management, a position he shares with Glory. She studies Management Information Systems and loves designing.
Sam graduated in Business Information Technology and started his own company, developing
computer systems and mobile applications. He likes writing and building 3D graphics and is, therefore, one of the demo managers in the team. Kid, the other demo manager, has obtained his degree in ICT and will start a course in Computer Science after the summer. He loves discovering new technologies.
Last but not least, there’s Gerald, who has finished secondary school and will soon start studying Computer Engineering. He loves playing games and is the business manager of team Tagz.
Rastech’s mission is to solve transport problems in Lilongwe. There are a lot of unfair prices in minibuses and it’s not always easy to find public transport nearby in Lilongwe. For these reasons, they’re developing a system in which people pay fair prices and have the ability to order transport on demand.
Meet the team members:
Edward is going for a degree in Business and Information Technology. He’s currently in his second year at Cavendish University in Zambia. Within Rastech, he takes care of the business role together with Tionge, who is studying Business in Blantyre, Malawi. She loves to read and hang out with friends.
Towera studies Management Information Systems and has her own company, named Gtech, which develops software, website systems, and applications. She loves coding, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she holds the role of demo manager within Rastech. There’s also Chimz, short for Chimwemwme, who is totally into IT and Technology. He sees a lot of possibilities in the digital world and loves the problem-solving aspect of technology. Chimz also takes care of demo management.
Nazma, who will soon start her second year in Programming, and Mallen, who’s in her third year of
Medicine, are the organizational managers of the team. Mallen is also the co-founder of a project within her university, which seeks sponsorship for students who don’t make enough money.
Amanda recently finished high school. She holds a deep interest in IT and will soon study Network Design & Administration.
On Thursday, the final We For Talent Pitch took place! After a stressy morning of finalizing their preparations…
… everybody prepared for the pitch. All the teams pitched very well and had great ideas, concepts, and demos to present. Nonetheless, there’s always one winning team…
We had a lovely jury who judged the projects and gave them loads of feedback for their future development.
We counted the votes…
And for this Hackathon the winner was……………..
They came up with a stunning presentation and a very decent demo.
By using IoT they will solve a very urgent problem for Lilongwe: they will make the transport system more efficient and transparent.
Everybody did a wonderful job and each participant received a certificate!!
Thank you, mHub, Exchange vzw, Biasc vzw & CISCO Networking Academy for making this a
wonderful two weeks!!!

July 18th 2017

Today, the groups reinforced the definition of the challenge they’re working on.
Once this was done, some of them participated in a lab on Information Management.
Others went for a lab on Business Model Canvas.
This afternoon they started prototyping and visualizing their product and concept.
MEET THE TEAM: The Razatorns
Bwighane, Kunozga, Angela, Tears, and Dominic are making medication more easily available to pharmacies, doctors, and patients. They’re developing an app which indicates the closest location where you can find a specific drug. With the app, doctors will also be able to send patient prescriptions to the closest pharmacy, so patients can go pick up the medicines they need right away.
Meet the team members:
Bwighane is an intern at mHub, learning how to develop apps. He loves playing football and is taking care of the organizational side of this project.
Kunozga is a student at the Polytechnic University in Lilongwe, specializing in electrical and electronics engineering. Together with Dominic, who is a student in computer engineering and working on his project in web development, he’s taking care of the demo side.
Angela studies ICT at mHub and will subsequently study accounting. She will manage the business
side of the project together with Tears, who is an entrepreneur. He has his own IT-based business called Unitech.
Two more days before pitch time: a lot of work has been done, plenty of work is still to come!
Curious to see what the results will be? Stay tuned!!!

July 17th 2017

After a wonderful weekend with a visit to the lake, we’re back on for the We For Talent Hackathon!
On Monday, we started formulating the challenges we want to tackle during this Hackathon. Team ‘Tagz’ will be working on energy distribution in the health sector.
Team ‘The Razathorns’ will come up with a solution in which patients have access to medicine more easily and efficiently.
Team ‘Kansa’ will work on improving farming practices in Malawi.
And team ‘Rastech’ will work on improving the public transport system in Lilongwe.
Once the challenges were defined, the teams started exploring and researching their challenge, thinking about the users, the impact, the required information, and so on.
Within the teams, roles were assigned: there are business managers, demo managers, and organizational managers.

July 14th 2017

Today we continued in the labs we were working in yesterday, upgrading our level. Challenge of the day: how to put data in the right order. Each team got very creative and played with the codes to do so. In the end, a lot of teams figured out how to do it.
In the other room, the IoT lab went on. The participants learned how to work with sensors and how to switch them on and off.
To test the device, we went outside to see how the sensors were influenced by temperature and
moisture in the air, and YES: the programme gave different data inside and outside.
We asked Amanda & Angela how they experience the training so far:
Amanda: “It’s very interesting to learn how to programme and how to use these digital tools. I’m looking forward to coming up with stuff of my own.”
Angela: “I like that I can format things and want to learn more and more. I’m looking forward to implementing the things we learn to really come up with creative ideas to solve
some challenges of our community.”


July 13th

Today is already the last day of our first week. But many things have happened during this
first week. Yesterday, we continued the training with the Raspberry Pis and worked in
Pyton, a code language which will be very useful during the Hackathon.
In the afternoon, the teams were divided into two groups. One group is learning more about the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors. The other group continued with coding and took their first steps into the world of big data. They use the Jupyter Notebook app, in which it is very easy to learn in an experience-
based way. Using this app, they can test and try out as much as they want, fix problems themselves, and write short programs.
We ended the day with a creative brainstorm on themes to work on during the Hack. The
youngsters are very energetic and motivated to solve some of the complex issues they’re facing in their community, such as a lack of medication in the hospitals, setting up an (online)
system so all youngsters know more about the news and what’s going in their country. Or
how about IoT systems to facilitate the fashion sector?
We ended the day with a group picture in the sun!

July 12th

After a long flight and getting to know each other at mHub yesterday, we kicked off the training this morning. First, we set the goals for this week, which will be at a high level, but so are the students involved!

We got a short introduction to innovation and design thinking and to the materials we will work with. Some of the participants are really interested in the materials, such as Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, and even robots.

FOTO Edward – Tionage – Sam – Leroy

Edward, Tionge, Sam, and Leroy are some of the participants in the Hack.
Edward (on the left): “I’m very interested in everything that is technology and want to explore all its possibilities.”
Leroy (on the right): “I was given a computer by my parents at a very young age and I’ve been hooked and interested in technology ever since.”

In the afternoon the teams started working with the devices and learned about the way to set them up and the possibilities they possess. Up next was setting up the Raspberry Pis and connecting them to the computers.

Stay tuned for more info on what the participants will do with the things they learn!!