Enterprising Colombians walked away with tens of thousands of dollars in funding during a competition held late last month in Bogotá. Co-organized by Colombia’s Ministry of Information, Technology, and Communications (MinTIC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Data Jam 2017 challenge aimed to generate creative ways to overcome the hurdles to rural development in the country.
In all, 27 teams — consisting of 120 total scientists, development experts, analysts, mathematicians, programmers, industrial designers, and professional in various other fields — spent two days analyzing data relevant to the issues and looking for innovative solutions. Each team got 1,680 minutes to devise plans related to three specific areas: agricultural production, rural investment, and economic transformation.
Photo: The winning team at Data Jam 2017 – Rural Development in Bogotá took home $10,000 USD. (Credit: Jared Wade)
At the end, they all made their pitches to the expert judges, who selected the best ideas in terms of novelty, potential impact, and feasibility. The three winning teams split grants totaling $20,000 USD, with the first place team — Rural Colombia, Young and Productive — receiving $10,000 USD. For coming in second place, team M&M Montes de María were awarded $6,000 USD while team Green Hat got $4,000 USD.
In addition to MinTIC and USAID, Data Jam 2017 was supported by organizations including ESRI Colombia, Scientific Data, RedHat, Tableau-IT Perfoma, Telefónica Movistar, IBM, El Tiempo, Fundación Corona, and BogoDev.