Hack4Good 0.6 - Fight Against Climate Change - Trinidad

Hat tip to Lasana for providing the write-up and photos. Connect with them on facebook and twitter and look out for the next event. During September 12-14 2014, Trinidad and Tobago held a second ever #hack4good hackathon: Hack4Good 0.6: Fight Against Climate Change. What is Hack4Good? Hack4Good is a global hackathon organized by the social network Geeklist in collaboration with ambassadors for the event around the world. The hackathons tend to be focused on building solutions to social problems.

For the second time around Lasana Murray was the ambassador and received much valued help from Kevin David and Roy Chen. Both local technologists. This time around the event was sponsored by silver sponsor, eTecK and bronze sponsors, Quenk Technologies, Detectt, Pals For Learning and Your Review. The participants were warmly welcomed into the Tamana INTECH park over the weekend, where they formed a local team and worked on their project.

The team decided to build a sensor equipped model of a rain water collection system using the Arduino platform, Java and Nodejs. They managed to get most of the code done and crafted a clever sensor setup to measure water flow rate involving some wires, a bucket and the Arduino. The project itself was inspired by a rain water collection system built by the students of Trinity North. They intend to continue work on the project outside of #hack4good and they want to get more of the students involved if they can.

They are very grateful to eTecK for donating the space for the event. The environment at Tamana is really a relaxing one that allowed them to keep their heads clear and hack with intent. They really want to see local tech startups making it up to there. They are also grateful to Geeklist for continuing to allow them to be part of this global community. There were a few hiccups in getting the event off the ground but they are learning and by doing so, the next one should be even better.

The biggest problem they faced was people not understanding the concept of a hackathon or what hacking really means. This includes persons who work or have worked in IT and software for years. They are trying to change all that through this and other community related events.

Their goal with #hack4good locally is to stimulate a software and hardware culture, that works together rather than in silos. One that can solve some of the real problems we face locally and regionally. The industry is far too segregated as it is right now.

LTE Network Design & Optimization Boot Camp - UWI, Trinidad

Photo credit : CelPlan fb page

Came across this event (on UWI, Trinidad's website) while surfing the internet. It's a niche event but I can never know who reads the blog so I am sharing here. Also, it's nice to see something like this happening especially when we are all waiting anxiously for LTE. The UWI notice links to CelPlan's website where you can contact them for complete details. I contacted them and got pointed to this pre-registration on EventBrite : LTE Technologies, Network Design & Optimization Boot Camp - Trinidad. It says once you register they will contact you but I guess you can contact them also.

This 5-day course provides an immersion into all the topics required by managers and engineers to deploy and optimize realistic LTE networks. Students are not only presented to the technology itself, but also to the added complexity of designing a data-centric network.

Who should attend?

The LTE Technologies, Network Design & Optimization Boot Camp is designed to give CEOs, CTOs, managers, engineers, and technical staff the practical knowledge and expertise to deploy and optimize LTE networks.


Students who complete the full Boot Camp training course may opt to take the CelPlan LTE Network Design & Optimization Certification Exam to solidify their mastery of the topics covered. This certification covers all topics explored within the LTE Network Design & Optimization Boot Camp.

The cost of the course starts at US$2,150 (early bird) and runs from DEC 8 - 12 - 2014 at the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine, Trinidad.

uStart - UTT Business Accelerator Incubator

Came across this program while surfing the internet during the wee hours of the morning. The program is currently open to UTT students (past and present) and staff members. When I contacted them and asked if the program will be opened to the public they said, "In the future, there are plans to open to the public, however I am not sure of that scheduled date." ICT is not listed as a focus area on their website but any area will be considered.

According to the website : uSTART is the first University-originated Business Incubator in the nation. uSTART functions as an engine of innovation and enterprise, fostering an ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial mindsets of both students and staff of UTT.

I applaud this initiative and hope to see more of this in Trinidad and Tobago. Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Press Release : ‘Team Agri-Info’ - Students of Success Laventille Composite and St George’s College win Trinidad-leg of AgriHack Talent Competition

Photo credit : CARDI

September 14, 2014 - Friday 12th September, 2014 saw the awarding of four students of the Success Laventille Composite and St George’s College with the winning prize for the Trinidad leg of the Regional AgriHack Competition. The Form Four students Kris Adams, Mikaeel Andrews, Nicholai Rajkumar and Jairaj Singh call themselves ‘Team Agri-Info’. They were also adjudged the People’s Choice along with ‘Team Agriology’ – a group of all girl students of Success Laventille Composite School.

With some twenty-four players of four teams, the AgriHack Talent Caribbean is a Caribbean initiative for ICT for Agriculture. Its main objective is to support the development of ICT innovations and entrepreneurship in agriculture by young people. Students were presented with six Caribbean challenges facing regional agriculture stakeholders from which to choose and tasked with developing an application to solve this. Their presentation included the elements of the problem, the proposed solution, the target audience for the application, clearly outlined benefits, and revenue streams.

‘A marriage between agriculture and ICT’ is how one student described the competition. Another, speaking about the experience said ‘agriculture is cool … I am thinking about studying agri-science because of this’. Dr. Arlington Chesney, CARDI’s Executive Director spoke on the issue of the true value of agriculture stating that ‘in agriculture, we need to have a new set of skills’; assuring the excited students that they have a ‘regional partner in CARDI’. All competing students were commended for their spirit of camaraderie and for embracing the opportunity presented.

The other competing teams were ‘Team AgriTech’ with students of the University of Trinidad and Tobago and the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT); and Team Bishop Centenary.

The Competition’s main partners are Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), and Microsoft; with Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and CGA sponsors. The Competition was hosted by Community HUB Corporation.

Competitions have already been held in Suriname by host Telesur Multimedia Innovation Laboratory on August 23rd, 2014. Five (5) more will be held in the countries of Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica and St Kitts.

Attending the Award Ceremony were Ms. Frances Correira, Microsoft; Mr. Phillip Agostini, CGA; Mr. Gregg Rawlins, Representative, IICA; Ms. Lisa Martinez, FAO; Ms. Gia Gaspard-Taylor, President, Network of Rural Women Producers (NRWP); and supporting teachers and parents.

The Trinidad and Tobago winners ‘Team Agri-Info’ will move on to the regional finals that will be held during the Caribbean Week of Agriculture, scheduled for October 6th – 12th, 2014 in Suriname, where they will compete for seed grants amounting to approximately TT$42,000, TT$33,500 and TT$25,000 for the first, second and third overall positions respectively. There will also be post competition incubation and business support to the winning teams for a period of six months.

Jabra @ IFA 2014

Photo credit : @Whiteroom_UK

The photo above caught my attention. I checked out their website and I liked what I saw. Never heard of them before. Go give them a look.