KARACHI – The U.S. Consulate General, Karachi, in partnership with The Asia Foundation and the National Incubation Center (NIC), Karachi, hosted Built by Her, a 48-hour virtual hackathon for female programmers, in sessions, from October 23 to October 25, 2020. The purpose of Built by Her is to identify innovative solutions to post-COVID-19 challenges on the themes of increasing women’s economic and political participation, developing technological advancements, improving access to education, strengthening local governance, and increasing environmental resilience and sustainability. Women participated in the virtual hackathon from cities across Pakistan and represented academia, private and public sectors, and provincial governments.
Amy Christianson, Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate General, Karachi, Sofia Shakil, Country Representative at The Asia Foundation, and Syed Azfar Hussain, Program Manager at the National Incubation Center, Karachi, virtually welcomed the participants at the program’s launch event and reiterated the importance of encouraging women to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and the country’s ever-growing startup ecosystem to help unlock Pakistan’s economic potential. The National Incubation Center, Karachi, in coordination with The Asia Foundation’s team, will review each team’s submission after the hackathon and will identify the top twenty teams to receive mentorship as part of the NIC Cohort. A concluding event will be held on November 05, 2020, during which the twenty shortlisted teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges. The two teams with the best solutions will each receive $5000 of seed money to further develop their winning ideas.
The Built by Her hackathon program is empowering Pakistani women and girls around the country to build sustainable solutions to further Pakistan’s development and future.