PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board (KPITB), Tech Valley Abbottabad, Code for Pakistan, the World Bank and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority hosted a “Demo Day” for the KP Apps Challenge here at a local Hotel.

Youngsters from all over Pakistan were invited to participate in the challenge, by developing apps or websites which were judged by a panel of experts. Total cash prizes of up to 6 lakh rupees (Rs0.6m) were also announced.

Submissions of note included “Karigar” – a mobile app that connects vocational tradesmen such as carpenters and plumbers to potential employers; “Ikhtiyar” – an integrated website platform for lodging complaints to government; “Rescue 1122” a mobile app for government emergency services; and “Blood Bank” – an app that connects blood donors to those in need of blood depending on their location.

42 teams in total submitted apps, to compete for prizes in civic, governance, health and mobile categories. 17 of these were shortlisted and they presented a small demonstration of their app at the event. Judges including DG Coordination Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, Director Projects KPITB and World Bank representatives asked probing questions to decide which teams had the most potential.

Speaking at the event, Secretary P&D and Acting MD of KPITB, Zafar Ali Shah remarked, “The innovation, creativity and technical skills demonstrated by KP Apps teams shows that the youth in this province have the potential to compete globally. KP is indeed emerging as a hub for the tech industry”.

Chairman, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, Dr Ismail Shah, said “Pakistan Telecommunication Authority appreciates the immense talent of young mobile apps entrepreneurs and their potential to represent Pakistan at global arena. PTA will continue its effort to promote mobile app entrepreneurship in the country and it aims at working with all relevant stakeholders to build sustainable mobile technology eco-system in Pakistan”.

Winning teams will be provided ongoing support in addition to the cash prizes. This support will help the youth turn their ideas into function businesses, or work directly with the government to implement government – facing solutions.