The Digital Innovation Challenge for Women 2017 is already in its second week. Last week, the first round of elimination took place. Those who moved forward in the race are now fastening their seat belts for a tougher competition. The judges are facing equal pressure if not more to choose the best among these bright, enthusiastic participants. How does a judge think? Raihan Sikder Razon, CEO of Activation - We automate, gives Star Youth some insight.
Raihan has been associated with Women in Digital since its inception. Recalling memories of association, Raihan says, “We were alarmed by the low number of female participants in the Hackathon, which generated the idea of creating a platform just for women.” They were also skeptical about the success of the initiative. Instead, they received an overwhelming amount of response in the first year. “If we can continue this over a period of 5 to10 years, these young women will be more confident,'' he adds.
Raihan has been giving e-governance solutions that are deployed in Switzerland and Germany. He is closely working with the Health Ministry of Bangladesh as well. Raihan says that he is particularly interested in competitions because it gives him an opportunity to meet young and fresh minds who can contribute to the industry. A good idea does not necessarily mean it has to win a competition, but, a competition is a way to evaluate the idea and themselves. “The winner will be a team that is balanced in every aspect but it does not necessarily mean other ideas are not great,” says Raihan. He also says that evaluating is necessary for an idea to turn into a product. An idea is always great to the one who creates, but, may not be market ready.
Talking about the contestants, Raihan comments that most of them are driven by IT ideas that they see around them. “I want them to think beyond their university projects or Bangladesh,” adds Raihan. As an example, he says that many are interested in creating an e-commerce solution, but, get stuck when it comes to payment system. “Instead, they could create a payment gateway for the system,” says Raihan.
As Star Youth ends the interview with Raihan, he raises his hand and exclaims, “Oh, I'd like to add something! The participants should read Sci-Fi stories even more as it will open them to different ideas.”