Getting into DP World’s The Big Tech Project finals was very hard but two teams from IIIT Bangalore still made the cut! Agrim Jain, Akshat Garg of 4th year iMTech and Pranav Vajreshwari and Shivankar Pilligundla of 3rd year students have entered the final round of The Big Tech Project, a hackathon which is first-of-its kind challenge that brings innovators from the best universities across India and UAE to solve some of the most interesting challenges in the world of trade — using the technology of the future.
DP World, is an Emirati multinational logistics company that specializes in cargo logistics, port terminal operations, maritime services, and free trade zones, recently opened its doors to students from the top universities in UAE and India. It is intended to reimagine global supply chains and create new technology-driven solutions in its first-ever innovation challenge, The Big Tech Project based on the theme, ‘How would you solve trade challenges through the power of the Metaverse that would benefit DP World?’
DP World challenged the university students to design and build prototypes of their proposed trade solutions, under the expert guidance of mentors from DP World’s Global Technology team. Out of several entries, only four teams (universities) made it to the finals, of which two teams are from IIIT Bangalore alone! The Team Kamikazee (Agrim Jain and Akshat Garg) and the Team Dragonverse (Pranav Vajreshwari and Shivankar Pilligundla). Other finalists are Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, Abu Dhabi, UAE and IIT Kharagpur, India.
All the finalists will be flown on an all-expenses paid trip to Dubai in November to present their solutions to DP World’s THE BIG TECH PROJECT jury. All finalists will be given guaranteed internships at DP World and MacBook laptops, while the winner and runner-up will also receive cash prizes.
All four students seemingly excited shared how they made it to the finals of such a challenging hackathon. Akshat says, “We were supposed to submit a 2-3-minute-long video of our idea demonstration. 6 colleges from India and 6 from UAE were participating in the hackathon namely NSIT Delhi, IIIT Delhi, IIIT Bangalore, IIT Roorkee, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Hyderabad from India. We are currently learning as well as building our app on UNITY which is a platform to build VR-based applications and I believe we will be able to finish our prototype before the final deadline which is November 27.” There’s no better way to learn new technical skills than by participating in a hackathon. It’s a great opportunity to get to grips with new technologies. “We are working on a completely new technology which is metaverse and we are extremely interested to explore how to create apps in the metaverse,” adds Agrim. The team, Kamikaze, has been working on a problem statement, ‘Leveraging the metaverse to give students a real-time understanding of daily life in different careers, help them make informed decisions.’
Pranav and Shivankar of the Dragonverse team have to develop a VR experience for Dragonmart (a shopping mall in Dubai) from where customers and wholesalers can benefit mutually. It involves building innovative features like cross-store immersive product visualization, customization, mix-and-match, and multi-user interaction for better sales and buying experience. “We have to build a prototype in a month and a half for the idea we have pitched, which is quite challenging, but we think it’s an amazing opportunity with the resources being provided and getting to go to Dubai for the finals. The main takeaway is getting to understand how industry grade-projects are done first-hand. We are also awarded an internship at the company which helps in it,” says Pranav.
Shivankar says, “We have been assigned mentors from the company, given a $1000 grant, and so far the work has been challenging, but going on at a good pace. Like with all software projects, there are times of good progress and of getting stuck, especially with few resources being available for metaverse development. We are optimistic and working hard and surely hope that we will have a good showcase in the finals.”
Let’s all wish both Kamikaze and Dragonverse teams the happiest congratulations on making it to the finals and best wishes to win at the Big Tech Project!