Young Entrepreneurs Could Help Brampton Win a Massive Cash Prize This Weekend

And they could win a pretty substantial prize, themselves!

Clear your schedule on Sunday March 25, 2018, because 200 people are taking on the challenge to solve problems and make Brampton a better place to live through technology and innovation.

The pop-up Smart Cities Hack-a-thon is happening on Sunday from 8:30 a.m.-9 p.m. at Brampton City Hall's West Tower Conservatory in downtown Brampton, in partnership with Wolf Hacks.

And here’s one of the best parts - Bramptonians are invited to watch the judging process at the end of the day, starting at 6:45 p.m., no registration required. So grab a coffee and head over!

The majority of the 200 people registered to hack through some of Brampton’s toughest technology needs are actually high school and post-secondary students, as well as entrepreneurs, City staff and experts in the technology industry.

And those registered are working towards real, tangible change - they could win up to $2,000 for their ideas, and contribute to Brampton’s technology scene.

Talk about eternal glory!

The goal of the Smart Cities Hackathon is to collaboratively build solutions that will make Brampton a better place to live through intense, real world problem solving,” said the city in a recent statement.

It will be a platform for bold ideas and driven individuals to actively target issues using technology as a tool for innovation.”

Sunday’s event stands as a place for the public to gather, discuss, and act on technology and urbanization in Brampton, and a basis for the city to get a little extra clout and a very, very substantial cash prize of up to $50 million as part of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge.

As far as smart cities go, you might have heard the term being used by various municipal governments looking to do things differently. The basis of Smart City initiatives is to use technology and open data to provide better services to residents in large cities such as Brampton in order to enhance people's existing living standards.

Smart Cities collect data about residents' activities and resource-use through networks of sensors, cameras and other tracking technologies. The data is analyzed in real or near real-time and the results are used to coordinate and deliver public services more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Officially announced at the end of November, the Smart Cities Challenge encourages communities to adopt a smart cities approach to "improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology."

Here are some of the initiatives the City has already undertaken in its bid to become a Smart City:

  • The Brampton GeoHub, an award-winning open data platform and collaborative technology that makes it easier for people to access public information. The GeoHub features initiative-driven tools that help increase transparency and foster innovation.

  • By-law Enforcement mobile inspections, enabling quicker response times for Enforcement officers. Enforcement officers have an app linked with their service request application, which allows them to update service requests with notes and photographs from their smartphones while in the field. This allows for more inspections per day.

  • Computer-Aided Dispatching (CAD) and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems on Brampton Transit buses. This real-time technology provides customers with a reliable, informative and convenient public transit system with real-time next bus information available online and by email, text and phone. Transit Signal Priority technology is also equipped on buses, which allows a bus to lengthen a green signal or shorten a red signal at certain intersections, resulting in enhanced schedule reliability.

It’s clear that Brampton is focused on getting everyone involved in scoring some cash and making Brampton a better place to live through the upcoming hackathon.

On Sunday, teams will have the chance to present their projects in a science fair-style to high-ranking officials as judges. The finalists will then pitch their ideas and the judges will decide the winners.

According to the city, Raj Grewal, Member of Parliament for Brampton East, Sonia Sidhu, Member of Parliament for Brampton South, Councillor Bowman, Chair of the Economic Development Committee, and Councillor Whillans, Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee, will be in attendance.

Are you going to go and see which entrepreneurs take the prize?

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