A team of AUIS Information Technology students won first place at the Startup Weekend event in Erbil.
Smart Choice, an idea pitched by a group of seven IT students from AUIS, won first prize at this year’s Startup Weekend Erbil. The team, consisting of Hero Rfaat, Hevar Aziz, Brusk Awat, Snur Hamid, Mazn Adnan, Hussein Ahmed and Dashty Frya, said it was their first time presenting Smart Choice, and competing against nine other groups. Their idea was to develop a web application that can provide market information for recent high school graduates, and to help them decide their majors based on the findings. “The main idea is to collect data from companies and vendors, then bridge the skills that students have with the market demand,” said Hero, who presented their idea at the event with Snur.
Startup Weekend Erbil is an entrepreneurial event that offers a chance to young entrepreneurs to present their ideas to an audience that includes potential sponsors and funders. The teams are judged on the feasibility of their ideas. During the event, teams pitch their ideas and have the weekend to work on a prototype to present to a panel of judges. The judges then decide on the winning pitch.
"We definitely felt that being AUIS students gave us an advantage. An adviser from the Ministry of Finance was very impressed by what our students were capable of doing,” said Brusk, who thought that the university has a reputation of producing hard working students. “We also want to thank Professor Hemin Latif for all his help and advice. He skyped with us that weekend and guided us towards a persuasive presentation,” added Snur.
The group is now looking forward to implementing their idea, and making Smart Choice a reality. They are currently getting ready to meet one of their sponsors who attended the event. And with a year long professional training as a prize, the next step for them is to successfully run and develop their project. We wish them all the best!