Korea's first Hackathon kicks-off on Friday

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/duncan1890)

The first 'Hackathon' in Korea kicks-off on Friday at the Pangyo Techno Valley high-tech industrial complex in Gyeonggi-do, and will last for three days. Around 1,000 college students are due to attend the event to share their ideas on a certain topic and produce innovative outcomes with the ideas within a set time. 

Hackathons are becoming more popular around the world due to the great ideas they foster and the wider-impact which results can have. An often used example is Facebook's iconic "Like" button - the result of an internal hackathon which became one of the social network's most important features. 

Internet giant Google's Korean unit, Google Korea, held its first hackathon for local software developers in 2011 and hosted 50 developers over three straight days. Internal hackathons tend to be more limiting than public hackathons due to often having more restrictions on which external technologies can be used.  

The event is co-hosted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) and National IT Industry Promotion Agency. It is being organised by four government agencies - Gyeonggi Institute of Science & Technology Promotion (GSTEP), Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency, Incheon Information Service and Daegu Digital Industry Promotion Agency. 

Kwak Jae-won, president of GSTEP, said in an opening speech of the event on Friday: “Hackathon will be a good opportunity to provide a unique experience for Korean software developers,” 

He continued: “We are aiming to help developers to create software dealing with a number of social issues such as safety, firefighting, crime, disaster and welfare, which can contribute to the society.” 

A second event will be held in Pusan this September and participants will build products under the two themes of 'Creating ideas' and 'Dealing with social issues'. Winners will be provided with cash prizes and the opportunity to visit overseas. 

Are you pleased to see the uptake of hackathons around the world? Let us know in the comments.

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