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Ola Cabs to hold its first ever hackathon over weekend

At a time when as many as three Indian cities feature in the top 10 list of worst traffic conditions in the world, hundreds of techies in the country’s silicon city will spend the weekend working to create technology solutions for solving problems relating to city travel.

In the first ever hackathon organised by online taxi aggregator Ola Cabs, engineers will look to create applications to solve problems relating to issues like route management, traffic estimation, speed data, crowd sourcing information from the road and other aspects related to mobility that can help in making transportation hassle free.

The 24-hour hackathon will begin on Saturday morning and the winners will be announced on Sunday evening. Five winning teams will get prizes of up to Rs 5,00,000 and shortlisted participants could be offered jobs at Ola Cabs.

“Ola is currently on a high trajectory growth phase and is hiring both fresh and lateral talent across the engineering and technology function. Ola had earlier announced that they would be hiring about 500 students from campus this year and were among the top recruiters at premier engineering campuses like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT),” the Bengaluru-based taxi aggregator said in a note. “The company is also looking to hire over 200 experienced technology professionals across the board by March 2015.”

The hackathon will be conducted by Ola Cabs in partnership with Venturesity, a peer learning and competition platform. Venturesity has been instrumental in conducting hackathons for several leading startups, ecommerce companies and even large enterprises.

Amid increasing aspirations for working with startups among India youth, Ola Cabs received over 1,000 registrations for this hackathon.

Participants will be given unique problem sets related to mobility and they can choose to build their products in teams of three or four members, which will include a product manager. Venturesity will also provide relevant study material to participants who register early, to help them prepare for the hackathon.

Mobile app-based taxi aggregators have been instrumental in bringing a significant change in the otherwise unorganised market. The sector, which is still in its nascent stages in India, has seen a rapid growth along with several challenges. Most aggregators have been working to leverage technology in a greater way to overcome challenges relating to inventory management, women safety and maintaining quality.

“This is an exciting time for us as we are scaling up rapidly, both on technology and talent. We invite passionate developers and product professionals to participate in this Appathon and explore a career with us to contribute to a product that solves for a real problem,” said Ankit Bhati, co-founder and chief technology officer of Ola Cabs.

According to database of Numbeo, a website that collects global statistics such as cost of living, crime rates and pollution, among others, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkatta are among the top 10 cities with worst traffic conditions in the world.

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