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NTRC ups the stakes for 2020 iCode784 competition

NTRC ups the stakes for 2020 iCode784 competition
Left to Right:Apollo Knights, the director of NTRC & Rhea Lewis, the consumer and public relations manager at NTRC

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A trip to Barcelona to attend an event for mobile application start-ups is one of the prizes on the table at this year’s NTRC iCode784 competition.

Phase one of the eighth annual iCode784 competition was officially launched on Tuesday with a ceremony where officials outlined the vision of the competition and gave an overview for this year’s event.

“We want our citizens to be inspired to create more apps that are relevant to our country but also target new problems, needs around the Caribbean and even globally,” Apollo Knights, the director of NTRC said. “We also want to develop more entrepreneurs that see the needs problems in the market and create businesses that build software applications to provide solutions to those needs.”

Knights noted that the NTRC is engaged in several other initiatives such as providing subsidised Internet connection to households and public areas in SVG and providing grant funding for persons to access online training in IT related fields.

The director said these initiatives are helping to remove the barriers that will prevent youth from fulfilling their potential of being highly skilled app software developers.

“I am challenging our youths to seek the necessary skills and create teams and see how we can create applications using this application to do things that were not possible previously. If you are able to do that, you can create an app and a business that can transform St Vincent and the Grenadines, the region and the world,” Knights said.

The focus of the NTRC iCode784 competition is the development of mobile apps and ideas that can facilitate the implementation of new systems or improvement of existing systems in the local private or public sector.

This is done with the aim of improving the efficiency of services and to increase profits, which will in turn lead to national development.

Rhea Lewis, the consumer and public relations manager noted that the competition consists of two categories: the Secondary Category and an Open Category.

Students from all secondary schools can enter both categories while Vincentian residents over the age of 35 are only eligible to enter the Open category of competition.

“In addition to winning up to $5000 in cash prizes, for the first time this year, two persons from the winning Secondary Mobile Application category team, along with their mentor, will be travelling to Barcelona, Spain in March 2021 to attend an event for start-ups hosted by GSMA, called 4YFN (4 Years From Now),” Lewis announced.

The 4YFN competition is an event of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry where thousands of investors and companies connect and launch new business ventures together.

The launch of the NTRC iCode784 programme on Tuesday was also the opening of the registration period, which is expected to close on September 25.

“Registration can be carried out on our mobile app called ‘NTRC’s icode784 app’, which is available in the Google Play Store for Android devices,” the consumer and public relations manager said. “For persons who have Apple devices, we have a survey monkey form available on our website and social media pages.”

Phase two, the preliminary rounds of judging will span three days, beginning on October 13 and ending on October 15.

In this phase, finalists from both categories will be chosen to move forward to the final phase of the competition.

Phase three, the Grand Finale is slated for November 10. Final judging is expected to take place on thus date and winners from each category will be presented with their prizes.

In her overview of the competition, Lewis said the winning team in the Secondary Idea category will receive a cash prize of $2000, the second-place team will receive $1000 and the third-place team will receive $800.

In the Secondary Mobile App category, the winning team will receive $4000, the second-place team will receive $2000 and the team that places third will receive $1500.

In the Open Category, the winning team will walk away with a $5000 cash prize while teams that place second and third will receive $2500 and $1500 respectively.

Other cash prizes are expected to be awarded for the school with the most number of entries and to mentors of teams in the secondary category of competition.

Additional prizes also include smartphones, tablets and cases of soft drinks.

This year’s competition is being executed with the partnership of National Insurance Services (NIS), SVG Broadcasting Corporation, National Broadcasting Corporation, Xtreme Radio, King Computer Corporation, Tus-T Water, SEARCHLIGHT newspaper, SVG Brewery Ltd, Flow, Digicel, Internet Society St Vincent and the Grenadines, Hot 97.1 FM, Fanfare Events, KDLT Accounting Firm, I-Witness News and Kubiyashi Productions.