SINGAPORE, October 27, 2014 – Microsoft has announced the winner of the first Microsoft CityApp Appathon, which took place in Makassar, Indonesia in early October. The team from local university UIN Alauddin Makassar beat 10 other finalists to take the top spot with its MACCA App, which aims to tackle the unemployment issues resulting from skill gaps and low skill sets. The app crowd sources relevant free training programs for users to enhance their skills and also provides job opportunities to its database of job seekers. This winning app is expected to be further developed for wider use by Makassar citizens in the near future.
As the winner of the inaugural CityApp Appathon, the UIN Alauddin Makassar team were also handed the wildcard to automatically become a semifinalist in the Citizenship category for the Indonesia leg of Imagine Cup 2015, the world’s premier student technology competition. The team will become the first team from Sulawesi, Indonesia to participate in the Imagine Cup. In addition, they received a cash prize of eight million rupiah from the Makassar City government, and Windows 8 tablets as well as Windows Phone devices from Microsoft for each team member.
The CityApp Appathon is jointly organized by Microsoft, CITYNET and the City of Makassar. Held in the University of Hasanuddin and attended by close to 500 high school and varsity students, the competition called for participants to leverage Microsoft technology including Windows 8, Windows Phone, Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio to create apps to tackle nine of Makassar City’s biggest urban challenges, namely:
- Social security – health
- 24-hour healthcare
- Education saving
- Waste management
- Skills training and workforce development
- Green spaces
- Public/low-income housing
- Creating a safer city
Stefan Sjöström, Vice President of Public Sector Asia at Microsoft, remarked that all the apps created at this Appathon have the potential to address a wide range of challenges in Makassar. “Makassar is currently experiencing economic growth at 8.5% annually on average and it is one of the key investment destinations in Eastern Indonesia. By engaging the citizens directly, we can harness everyone’s creativity and innovation to transform the city,” he said.
Ir. H. Moh. Ramdhan Pomanto, Mayor, Makassar City said: “I am inspired by the innovation coming from the bright minds of Makassar’s youth, one of which is this MACCA App developed by the team from UIN Alauddin Makassar. Through the app, we hope Makassar citizens are able to receive accurate information about free training programs to enhance their skills, get the right job, and at the end of the day, improve their quality of life. This aligns with the 8+1 Future Ways of Makassar, one of which is to reduce unemployment rate in Makassar.”
“I am looking forward for the team to fully develop the application for its impact to be felt in the city,” added the Makassar mayor.
As an international organization which helps cities and local governments improve the sustainability of human settlements, CITYNET is fully supportive of the Appathon. Aisa Tobing, Deputy Secretary General, CITYNET said: “It’s such a great pleasure for CITYNET to assist Makassar to find the solutions to some of the urban challenges facing the city, by directly engaging with the citizens of Makassar and other stakeholders. As one of the cities with the highest growth in Indonesia, this is a chance for Makassar to really implement the concept of Smart City. This CityApp is expected to be the best example for other cities to come up with such initiatives.”
Muhammad Azhar Hairuddin, member of UIN Alauddin Makassar winning team of the inaugural Makassar CityApp Appathon said: “As a youth of Makassar, we view unemployment as a very critical issue that needs to be solved. We are grateful for the collaboration between the Makassar City Government, Microsoft and CITYNET that enabled me and my friends to contribute for the betterment of our city through our skills.”
Five other teams also emerged as winners in the Makassar CityApp Appathon. They are:
- Second place: team from Universitas Negeri Makassar with their app named, “Super Ambulance” which enables the public to have timely access to ambulance and medical care in times of emergency.
- Third place: team from Informatika Universitas Hasanuddin with their app “Makassar Ta’ Tidak Rantasa (MTR) Project”, which is focused on cleaning up the streets of Makassar.
- Fourth place: team from STMIK Kharisma Makassar with their app “Daeng911.net”, which allows citizens to locate vacant doctors or the closest pharmacies in Makassar that are closest to the user’s location.
- Fifth place: team from Informatika Universitas Hasanuddin with their app “Di Sini Ada Sampah (DAS)”, which looks at a better way of managing the waste in the rice exchange program that is ongoing in Makassar.
- Sixth place: team from Politeknik Negeri Ujung Pandang with their app “MCR (Makassar Capture Reporter)”, which allows citizens to report on waste found along the streets in real time.
The second and third placed teams won Windows Phone devices from Microsoft, as well as cash prizes of 7 million rupiahs and 6 million rupiahs each from the Makassar City Government. The City Government also awarded the fourth, fifth and sixth placed teams with 5 million rupiahs, 4 million rupiahs, and 3 million rupiahs respectively while the other four finalist teams walked away with a million rupiahs each.
Through the CityApp Appathon, the organizers hope to train and inspire more youths in Makassar to become future digital entrepreneurs, armed with expertise in software, hardware and “heartware” (or commonly called as Sombere in Makassar local language). In this way, the youths will be able to contribute directly to making the city a better place to work, live, learn and play.