ONEm and UCL inspire students to innovate at #LearnHack
February 3, 2017
Member Press Release
Fast-growing telecoms start-up, ONEm, was invited by UCL (University College London) to take part in #LearnHack which saw over 70 UCL students from all degree disciplines compete to find the best “hack” for different challenges. The event was held at BaseKX, UCL’s student and enterprise incubator space, and took place between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd of January.
#LearnHack is about improving education and gives anyone at UCL a voice and an opportunity to shape how we use technology for learning. Teams competed to find the best “hack” or solution for a challenge and presented these on the last day. These were judged based on the feasibility, scalability, accessibility, sustainability and desirability.
Globally billions of people still lack internet access. ONEm focused their challenge on how to increase access to health information and education globally through interactive text and audio functionality. As all ONEm services use text and audio, users do not have to rely on an internet connection to enjoy an internet-like experience. By turning SMS into an interactive engine, the ONEm platform connects the unconnected and open doors to new opportunities.
One group of students created an interactive SMS service to help people recognise illnesses from symptoms as a way to improve access to health information. Other students focused on how to make ONEm a learning platform for school children. UNICEF predicts that 56 million children of primary school age are out of education. Many of these children lack internet access at home, which makes home learning difficult. Identifying this issue, students proposed “#Edu”, a ONEm service to educate and empower children globally through their mobile phone without needing internet.
Hasan Suhaimi, Electronic and Electrical Engineering student at UCL, who was part of the winning team commented, “It’s an honour for us to work with ONEm and learn more about the platform which definitely benefits lots of people around the world especially those in emerging markets.”
ONEm representatives who led the challenge, Michaela Kurucova and Nicole Rahimzadeh stated, “#LearnHack was a great opportunity for students to innovate and think outside the box. It was a great honour to be invited by UCL to inspire students to think of ways they can use platforms such as ONEm to help people around the world.”
Oli Pinch commented, “Through #LearnHack we’ve created an entrepreneurial environment that encourages students to test and iterate their own innovative ideas and tackle real-world challenges.”
Winners of the ONEm challenge were given the opportunity to speak with Jay Samit, serial entrepreneur and intrapreneur, and received a free copy his bestseller ‘Disrupt Yourself!’ which provides invaluable advice on how to thrive in an era of endless innovation.
Jay Samit noted, “Hackathons empower the next generation of business leaders to apply their creativity to real world problems. I applaud the students’ innovation and ONEm’s disruption of the existing telecommunication paradigm.”.