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Curtin Malaysia’s team Kacha! comes in third in The Grand Challenge Hackathon Series grand finale

Miri – 16 October 2018 – Team ‘Kacha!’ from Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) came in third in the recent grand finale of The Grand Challenge Hackathon Series 2018.

The competition, held at Connexion@Nexus Bangsar in conjunction with Next Big Tech Asia Conference 2018, was organised and conducted by I Tech Train Sdn. Bhd. (ITT) together with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as a strategic partner.

The team comprised mechanical engineering student Muhammad Irfan Mohd. Ismail; computer systems and networking Lancelot Chong; electrical and electronic engineering students Tan Yee Long and Marcos Jay T. Concon; and accounting student Cheah Jia Qin.

They walked away with a cash prize of RM4,000 after ranking third out of eight teams in the grand finale, in which Team Native 404 from University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) emerged the winner.

Kacha! was supported by Curtin Malaysia’s Department of University Life and student-run organisation, The Founders Club.

Prior to the grand finale, the team was the grand winner of The Grand Challenge Hackathon Kuching Series in August – a feat that earned them a RM6,000 prize.

Their project for the competition, also called Kacha!, is an interactive and fun game application aimed at encouraging more people to visit national parks and elevating the experience of visiting one.

The game utilises machine learning and image identification as part of the game feature. Players are given missions or quests to complete while they are at a national park, and for every mission completed, they are rewarded through an in-game point system. Points earned can be redeemed for physical rewards such as souvenirs at the end of their visits.

Team-leader Irfan said that the team is very passionate about designing innovative solutions and the hackathon provided them the opportunity to showcase and develop their talents.

“We encourage each other to explore every opportunity and discover our capabilities, and not be afraid to try new things,” he said.

The Grand Challenge Hackathon Series is a competition that provides a platform to reveal raw talent and encourages open innovation. It gathers programmers, designers, creative thinkers and the like in the field of big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) throughout Malaysia.

State-level hackathon events with different themes were held in Kuching, Johor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur prior to the grand finale. The winning teams from each state then went on to compete in the grand finale for the title of grand champion. A panel of judges from various backgrounds selected the winning projects and teams based on their creativity, marketability, uniqueness and impact.

For more information on Curtin Malaysia, visit its website (www.curtin.edu.my), its Facebook page (CurtinMalaysia), Twitter profile (curtinmalaysia), Google+ page (Curtin Malaysia), Instagram (curtinmalaysia) or YouTube channel (Curtin Malaysia).



Kacha! (left) receiving their prize from the organisers.


From Left To Right: Muhammad Irfan Mohd. Ismail, Cheah Jia Qin, Marcos Jay T.  Concon, Lancelot Chong and Tan Yee Long