Community focussed ideas took centre stage at the TCA Vikatan Hackathon showcase

Chennai| October 24, 2016 | 16 innovative solutions that had the potential to be built as a successful venture were on display at the TCA Vikatan Hackathon showcase event. These projects were handpicked from the Vikatan Hackathon event that concluded last month in the city by eminent panelists consisting of Ms Padma Chandrasekaran Angel Investor, Mr. A D Padmasingh Isaac, Chairman & MD-Aachi Group, Mr Sameer Mehta Director-Mehta Hospitals, Mr Suresh Sambandam, Founder & CEO – Orangescape and Mr Murugavel Janakiraman Founder & CEO – .

The showcased projects were diverse ranging from auto irrigation model to direct farmer-consumer connect to community building to empowering the women SHG to gamification of civic problems like sewage collection to managing natural resources to making learning fun for kids to name a few. 

Chennai has no dearth for talent, and it was proven yet again by the team of enthusiastic mix of students and budding entrepreneurs. The socially inclined ideas were built to address some of the challenges faced by the communities at large.

Vikatan Hackathon was a hands-on CSR event organised by the Ananda Vikatan Group as part of its 90 years celebration, supported by The Chennai Angels.  A structured prototyping event, Vikatan Hackathon was designed to spark, cultivate and promote open innovation in the areas of education, agriculture, environment, women empowerment & employability and civic life & community power.

The event had a phenomenal response with more than 1500 software developers, marketers, students, entrepreneurs, designers, business developers and civically engaged individuals participating from across India. Out of 380 ideas, 40 potential projects were handpicked on the basis of solving a real community problem by building a prototype during this Hackathon with the possibility of scaling it up to a prospective business. 19 of the handpicked ideas were at the showcase event 

Mr B Srinivasan – Managing Director, Vikatan Group and TCA member said “Most of these ideas are doable, cost effective and scalable as a business venture. We wanted to showcase some of the projects and take this to the next level by giving the required handholding to the teams and getting this executed.”

Mr M M Murugappan,Vice Chairman-Murugappa Group, while sharing his experiences on interacting with the teams said, “I found it very inspiring to see these amazing ideas which removes my worry about the future of India.

Mr Sameer Mehta – Director Mehta Hospitals said “being a problem solver and entrepreneur is not an easy path to start. So always dream and focus on the vision you have laid in front of you and keep working on it”  The prototypes and ideas presented were cynosure of most of the industrialists and angel investors who had come forward to mentor the team to build to a successful model.


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  • Registrations Open. Participant Check-in

    Welcome to Vikatan Hackathon. Please bring a valid ID Proof along with you, in the name in which you registered for the event. Copy of the invite in Electronic form, would suffice.
  • BootCamp

    What goes into the building of a prototype? How do you spot a problem, validate it and arrive at a solution for it (the idea)? The bootcamp helps define, what the participants should keep in mind when building a Prototype especially for people-oriented situations.
  • Participant Intro & Networking

    Your peers are your greatest ally to bounce off ideas and get feedback on what you are planning to build over the weekend.
  • Dinner & End of Day One

    That concludes the activities for day one, over dinner.
  • Check-in. Breakfast Served.

    Good Morning! Please make sure you are nice and early.
  • Team Introductions

    We are expecting close to 30 teams to participate in the event. During this time the Team leader will introduce the team members and mention the challenge that they are trying to solve. Make sure you meet teams working on similar challenges during tea time!
  • Prototype Building, starts.

    Work starts. Mentors at the event will be dropping in periodically, and spending time with teams. Have a visibile white board / progress chart near you, so that if you do not need help and are progressing well, you can just point to that and explain quickly. Unless and otherwise absolutely stuck, the mentors won't deeply engage, beyond giving general feedback on shaping the idea and the market positioning. Some tech mentors can help you pick tools and frameworks to make your job easier, rather than building everything from scratch.
  • Lunch.

    It can be rather tempting to ignore food and keep at building the prototype, but fuel up before you continue. Use the opportunity to get your team to talk about what they are passionate and good at, and allot tasks to them that leverages that. Make sure everyone gets to enjoy the work they do - rather than slaving to build out a prototype for YOU. Use the lunch to build rapport.
  • Prototype Building, Continues.

    Work Continues. Mentors at the event will be dropping in periodically, and spending time with teams. Have a visibile white board / progress chart near you, so that if you do not need help and are progressing well, you can just point to that and explain quickly. Unless and otherwise absolutely stuck, the mentors won't deeply engage, beyond giving general feedback on shaping the idea and the market positioning. Some tech mentors can help you pick tools and frameworks to make your job easier, rather than building everything from scratch.
  • Dinner.

    Dinner, is served.
  • End of Day Two

    Day two, usually is a rather tense day. But by now you'd have all your team in place and know exactly where this is heading. However before you part ways, make sure everyone exchanges contact info - so that you can co-ordinate to be on time, and start work the next day.
  • Check-in. Breakfast Served.

    It's a sunday, We know, but do come in early. Just, this weekend!
  • Team Updates. Continue Building.

    A quick shoutout by the teams to see if they are on track and if their team members are all back and getting started.
  • Lunch Break

    We might invite a few mentors and entrepreneurs to talk to you all during this time. Most of them are entrepreneurs who have been exactly where the participants are, not too long ago. Experience, counts for a lot.
  • End of Prototype building. Prepare for Demo.

    By now, the prototype should be looking like whats its meant to - with all the Ps and Qs checked. Practice the pitch and the demo - even Steve Jobs did. Don't try to wing it.
  • Demo Starts

    A select jury presides over this bit, and so do a few participants who have come to witness and show support for the teams. Each team gets 3 minutes to demo the product and seven minutes of Q&A time with the Jury, and audience. The jury doesn't judge, but provides feedback on the prototype built, and what to keep in mind moving forward.
  • End of Vikatan Hackathon. Winners Announced

    You come in as strangers and strangely leave as friends. The top three teams are picked and prizes are awarded.


The event is spread over a weekend, approximately 50 hours - starting from Friday evening and ends on Sunday evening.

The agenda is simple. Selected teams are given the space and the resources over a weekend to build solutions for the challenges that we have identified. The top three teams to build elegant solutions are declared winners.

Venue Details and Participation:

  • Date: September 23th, 6:00pm - Sept 25th, 9:00pm
  • Venue : Thoughtworks, Ascendas, Taramani, Chennai
  • Participation Fee : Invited on Selection. Free
  • Prizes : Rs 75K for 1st Team. Rs. 50K for 2nd Team. Rs. 25K for 3rd Team*
    Prize Money subject to appropriate tax deductions as per tax norms.


  • Currently: Open for Expression to Participate
  • August 5th : Acceptance of Solutions for Challenges
  • September 5th : Deadline for Solutions
  • September 15th : All selected teams are notified
  • September 23-25th : Vikatan Hackathon


You can be an individual or a team that can both ideate and build a prototype for a solution that solves one of the problem areas denoted below.

  • #1: Education
  • We mean Education in the sense of "learning" and expanding one's knowledge. How do we help cultivate a sense of learning among kids? How can we enhance creativity and the sense of curiosity in learning? how can we help self help groups improve their capability so that they can expand and scale? Can we aid and train those involved in manufacturing or farming with timely advice on techniques and skillsets that will help them be more productive? Can we leverage Virtual Reality / Augmented reality to make learning fun?

  • #2: Agriculture
  • Agriculture is the backbone of our economy, yet there is very little support beyond subsidized loans that are made available to the average farmer. Can we aid the producers in terms of market access - both B2B and Direct-to-consumer? How do we involve consumers and urban dwellers to be part of the farming process so that there is respect and acknowledgement to the roles that farming plays in our lives? Is it possible to connect farmers to each other so that they can share and aid each other for advice and support? Can we leverage data - such as land records, soil patterns, water table levels and market trends to advice on crop cultivation patterns?

  • #3: Environment
  • How can we reduce our wastage? All the way from recycling, to home composting to upcycling: Is there a way to gamify the system so that we can involve more people to be part of a self-conscious society? How do we reduce carbon footprint; or reduce the usage of paper - all the way from bank statements to textbooks, to the magazines and newspapers that we consume?

  • #4: Empowerment & Employability
  • Be it rural or Urban centres, a large community of women are still struggling to be part of the equitable society. Can we empower them by making them contributing members of the family by providing work-from-home opportunities? Can domestic help become an organized sector for the largely women populace, so that it can do what uber has done for cab drivers? Are there tools and technology that we can build which can empower those with disabilities?

  • #5: Civic Life & Community Power
  • How do we leverage the power of technologies to connect people - be it our neighbours, our locality and the cities, towns and villages we live in? Can we build systems that will serve as emergency aids for women at night, for elderly if they have an emergency or for those who required medical support? can there be systems that can come together faster and in an organized fashion when disaster strikes? Can we come together as a community, connected using technology and armed with the right expertise to bring about positive change?

  • #6: WildCard Entry
  • If you have observed a problem personally or in your community or society, and have an elegant solution - and it fits the criteria of community, content and connect, but is outside of the scope of the topics mentioned above, then you can file it under this category.


Are you interested in Participating in the Upcoming Vikatan Hackathon?

About us

Established in 1926, Ananda Vikatan is the oldest Tamil magazine today.

It flourished and grew under the flamboyant S S Vasan ( of Gemini Studios), a writer, translator, advertising agent, an editor, publisher, producer and director of blockbuster hits like 'Chandralekha' (1947) the feather on his cap, being the first ever South Indian film to rock in Hindi, Bengali and English ( all language dubs), in India and worldwide.

Born T S Srinivasan, of humble origins in Tiruthoraipoondi in delta Tamil Nadu, and having lost his father at a tender age, young T S Srinivasan did not lack courage or vision. Cycling his way to Chennai (literally), he chanced upon the then legendary 'Moore Market', fell in love with books and the rest they say, is history.

In its 90th year, Ananda Vikatan is a fully diversified media and content house with interests in magazine, books, tv and the web/ mobile/ social space.

With its 12 magazines selling over 60 million copies annually, over 800 books in print selling over a million copies a year, TV daily soaps dominating prime time and hooking audiences for over a decade, and its web, social & mobile presence reaching over 10 million Tamils worldwide, Ananda Vikatan continues to stay on top of its game and connect with the communities it serves.