The Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5, more affectionately referred to as YGC was recently held in Jaffna. Organized by the Yarl IT Hub, the idea behind the challenge is to create the next big IT Hub in Jaffna. After a successful 3 days in Jaffna, we saw a number of teams work tirelessly in order to achieve their goals of having the next big startup.
As the season came to an end, a total of 9 teams along with their products were selected to take part in the Grand Finale.
- Yarl Coders
- The UOJ Robots
- Auto-Self Care
If you recall, we spend 3 days in Jaffna covering YGC up until the top 9 teams were chosen to compete in the finals. This is the finale of that story. Once the teams were selected, they would be required to make their final pitch at the Finals of the Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5 2016. The event was held on the 19th of December at the Dialog Headquarters located in Colombo 02.
It was time for the final pitches.
As the final 9 teams had already been selected, it was just a matter of the teams cleaning up their final pitches and making last minutes’ changes or additions to their presentations.
The event kicked off with the teams then giving their final pitches to a panel of judges. Not much had changed in terms of the concepts that we saw at the Preliminary rounds of the Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5 2016. It was pretty much the same ideas. We did however, notice a definite improvement, both in the in the quality of slides and in the overall presentation of ideas by the members themselves. Clearly these teams had been working relentlessly to ensure that all of their shortcomings were taken care of.
Some teams had tweaked their ideas a bit after speaking to their potential customers. For example, Yarl Coders, the team behind Billboard.lk had taken out the IoT (internet of Things) concepts from their product. This was after having a few words with their potential customers.
Once the presentations ended, the judges had the challenging task of selecting the winners. As they walked out to debate amongst themselves, we saw Thusyanthan Arulsodhy, take up the stage to share the story of Yarl Geek Challenge Junior.
This is the area of the Yarl Geek Challenge that is open to school children so that they too can be open to new ideas on technological advancements.
The initial idea was to make Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5 a reality show. But that idea was dropped and then transformed into a competition. The competition would target school kids. In order to make it easier to manage and to get the word across, they partnered up with the Northern District Education Ministry.
The result? An astounding explosion of ideas and products. When initially launched, the competition had the school children coming up with advanced projects such as detecting objects in the path of vehicles etc. Seeing the transition of these from simple ideas to actual working prototypes and then actual products indeed proved to all present that there was indeed a large potential in the minds of Sri Lankans.
And the winners for Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5 are:
Once Thusyanthan’s session was over, it was then time to announce the winners of the Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5. Just to put things into perspective, a total of 38 applications were presented for the Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5out of which 30 were selected for the initial stages of the competition. Of this only 15 teams would proceed into the next rounds. Those teams would further be cut down to just 9 teams who would go on to the final round of the Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5 2016.
Second Runner Up – Yarl Coders (Billboards.lk)
First Runner Up – Team 404! (CureMe)
Winner – Team Paragus (Auto Self Care)
With that, Yarl Geek Challenge Season 5 officially came to a close. We were honestly impressed with the ideas seen here and we hope to see even bigger and better ideas at Yarl Geek Challenge Season 6.