With its mission to help customers, communities and people to prosper and grow, Sohar International is continuously underlining its support to events that promote innovative thinking and entrepreneurship in the nation, with a special focus on youth. With this core belief, Sohar International partnered up with the Higher College of Technology as Chief Sponsors of the 2nd Inter-Collegiate Forum for Innovation and Entrepreneurship – ‘Ideathon’ 2019.
The two-day event that took place on 16th and 17th of June was purposed to encourage a new and revolutionary mindset amongst the youth, with a focus on job creation through innovation under the hashtag – ‘#Create_your_job_2019’. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza OCEC and witnessed a massive participation of youngsters from across the country. Eighteen innovation clubs representing higher education institutions from across the Sultanate participated in Ideathon 2019 which provided them a platform to present their path-breaking ideas and strategies in order to bring them to fruition.
The event was graced by H.E. Mona bint Salem Al Jardani, Undersecretary Technical Education and Vocational Training, on Day One, who moved the audience with an inspiring speech, urging them to foster the spirit of innovation and take Oman to greater heights of excellence.
On partnering up with the organizers - Higher College of Technology, Mr Khalil Al Hedaifi, Chief Retail Banking Officer, Sohar International, who represented the bank at the event said: “Ideathon provides a great opportunity for youth to present their ideas whilst gaining exposure to the gamut of innovative ideas and be motivated towards entrepreneurship. With a strong focus on our purpose to enable people win, it gives us great pride to become partners of such events that promote a winning streak within the community - particularly the youth - and provides them with an ideal forum to exchange ideas that may shape the future of our nation whether through introducing ground breaking initiatives or providing new avenues for job creations and contribute to the overall economic prosperity of the nation.”
In accordance with the event, Sohar International had also set up an e-Floos stall at the venue to generate awareness among the young attendees and participants. To this end, a special draw was conducted by the Bank for attendees as well as participants who downloaded the app at the event.
Day One of the Ideathon included workshops covering various aspects of innovative technology and entrepreneurship, which were instrumental in helping the participants kick-start their thought process and put their ideas into action. On Day Two, the different teams presented their ideas to a panel of eminent judges. A one-on-one discussion was held by the team leader of each team with the panel of judges, who deliberated for hours before selecting the winning teams.
The prizes for the Ideathon were awarded by honourable Dr. Ahmed bin Mohsen Al Ghassani, CEO of the Public Authority for SME Development (Riyada). The first prize of RO 1,500 was won by the dynamic team of Higher College of Technology, which impressed the judges with their ideas and spirit of innovation. The second prize of RO 1,000 was awarded to College of Technology, Sur; while in third position stood the team from Sultan Qaboos University, who were awarded a cash prize of RO 500.
It is worth mentioning that Sohar International remains steadfast in promoting the progression of a highly accomplished national workforce through its participation and support of events of this regard. The Bank has launched important initiatives such as ‘Tomohi – Enhancing Omani Youth Skills Internship Program’, enabling young Omani graduates to unlock their potentials, build their skills and enhance their employability. The successful conclusion of the two-day Ideathon is hence another feather in the Bank’s cap; as it has been pioneering and supporting youth-centric initiatives that encourage inventive thinking, entrepreneurial spirit and the overall development of a proficient national workforce.