27 April 2023

The Winning Teams from the SIF’s Climate Hack Programme Take Their Products Closer to Market Readiness at Graduation Showcase

The virtual presentation came after six months of rigorous review and refinements under the guidance of volunteer mentors.

Climate Hack 2022 Graduation Showcase Metaverse Platform
Climate Hack 2022 Graduation Showcase Metaverse Platform
The showcase was held on an interactive Metaverse platform ZEP, where guests signed in as avatars in a virtual reality setting.

On 25 March 2023, five teams of changemakers came together in the metaverse to present their climate action solutions at the Climate Hack Graduation Showcase.

The teams – from four countries – had earlier undergone a six-month incubation programme called Climate Lab. They were mentored by industry experts, who helped to advance their solutions to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage. This is when the product is useable but can be improved further, such as with customer feedback.

Mr Mohd Fahad Saleem, a member of TechTon from Malaysia, appreciated the validation his team received from the judges and mentors. TechTon’s product is a mobile application that facilitates the collection of e-waste for recycling.

He said: “We knew that we wanted to contribute to solving the problem of e-waste management. However, we were not sure about our idea as we had come up with it only after we decided to join the programme. Hence, our biggest takeaway was the validation given by the judges and mentors. It was a big confidence booster for us to move forward.”

NutrIoTion, another team which comprised members from India and Singapore, presented an Internet of Things (IoT)-driven food waste detection device. Supermarkets can use it to help their customers obtain discounts on blemished food items. The team reworked their product to make it easier for such customers to use; and hence more attractive for supermarkets to adopt.

NutrIoTion team member Sanath Surawar said: “At Climate Lab, we realised that our solution was not consumer-centric, and we would not be able to effect change quickly. We re-developed the device so that consumers could try it out. We are grateful for our mentors’ help to test it in different markets and with various investors and venture capitalists.”

One of the mentors, Mr Ravi Chugh, UX Design Associate at software firm SAP, saw the need for teams to consider the social impact of their products.

He said: “I observed that they were focused on the solutions part, but not on what sort of impact their product would create. I had to make them think in different directions. For example, how would this product create a positive impact, and does it have any unintended consequences?

Mentor Irsyad Ramthan, Product Lead at AgrG8 – a FinTech platform for the agriculture industry – gave participants a broad overview of how they could approach climate-related challenges.

He said: “I hope they inculcate a bias towards action and not be afraid to make mistakes, while retaining the humility to continue iterating towards the best possible solution to solve the challenges ahead of them. My goal was to provide them with examples of how other young changemakers around the world have been able to move the needle in meaningful ways through their own initiatives.”

Mr Ravi added: “This is the right time for the teams to start creating change in the world.

The graduation showcase marked the conclusion of Climate Hack 2022, in collaboration with SAP. SAP is a leading global company that produces solutions-driven software for the management of business processes. Climate Hack is an SIF e-volunteering programme which teaches youths digital skills to develop tech-driven solutions for climate change.

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