Students from the DCU@PNU Masters in Business Administration programme have won first prize in a STEAM Innovation Challenge Hackathon held in Riyadh on October 20th – 21st. The programme was established by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Entrepreneurship Centre, supported by Saudi British Bank (SABB), to engage and showcase Saudi-led innovation.

STEAM is a two-day intensive ideation event involving students from KAUST and partnered Saudi universities, where teams with expertise in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics work to propose and present a solution to major real-world problems of both local and global relevance. Students work in mixed, interdisciplinary teams with students from other Saudi universities to learn the principles of design thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and time management, pitching a solution to the innovation challenge theme.

44 DCU@PNU students from both the graduate and undergraduate programmes participated in the 48-hour intensive challenge, including 9 MSc students who came up with the most innovative, feasible idea and delivered the best pitch.

DCU@PNU Masters in Business Administration students Wareef Ahmed Al-Omair, Daliah AlMazroa, along with undergraduate DCU@PNU student Ghadi Alshehri designed a project called ATM Rescue. Along with their team members, they designed a software extension that allows ATM users to save a card and get it back if it is retained in an ATM. Instead of the card being discarded, it is suspended within the machine allowing users to enter a protection pin code and security questions to retrieve the card. Speaking about the project, Wareef Al-Omair said, “the challenge was stimulating and allowed us to create a valuable product/service for SABB bank in such a short amount of time, while receiving consultations by professionals in their own fields that has proved itself to be such a wonderful networking experience.”

The team received a prize of $10,000 US dollars and an opportunity to scale up the project with the sponsoring bank.

Daliah Almazroa, a member of the winning DCU@PNU team commented, “we were delighted to be involved in such a great experience. We developed teamwork, brainstorming, business analysis, problem-solving, innovation, creativity and many more skills”.

DCU Business School currently delivers Undergraduate and Postgraduate Degree Programmes at the Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The programmes are delivered in partnership with colleagues at PNU’s College of Business and include a Bachelor in Business Studies International Finance BSIF, and Bachelor of Marketing, Innovation and Technology (MINT) and an MSc in Business Administration.

Well done to all of our colleagues at PNU to all of the students who participated.

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