Nestlé and Hatch: Winners of its First-Ever Open Innovation Idea Hackathon Announced
Nestlé and Hatch announced the winners of its first ever Open Innovation Hackathon Challenge 2021, awarding two teams for their breakthrough ideas on healthy products using local ingredients, and green initiatives. Dulanja Gamanayake, Ashan Kottagoda and Sachinthi Wirasinha, won for presenting a waste management solution for the company’s packaging waste, while Sameeha Jabeer, Keshala Jayawickrama and Shanitha Mirihana won for presenting a product made purely with local ingredients catering to local nutritional needs, with the potential to make a positive impact on the rural farming community.
“We shortlisted 12 applicants from close to 200 entries and found it incredibly difficult to pick just one winning idea from this highly competitive group. Our finalists were from diverse backgrounds, coming from all over the country, with deep local insight and rich meaningful ideas. After an intense two-day hackathon with the teams, where we mentored and guided them on how to convert good ideas to workable prototypes, we were extremely pleased with the final results. I was personally impressed by the innovative thinking and enthusiasm of all participants. Clearly, there is a new generation of interesting and open-minded young innovators in the country.” said Fabrice Cavallin, Nestlé’s Managing Director.
The two winning teams said, they were excited to be the inaugural winners of the Nestlé-Hatch Idea Hackathon “We couldn’t quite believe it when we heard there were two winners. It just goes to show that there is an innovative-mindset in Sri Lanka, and potential for young people like us to make a positive contribution in shaping Sri Lanka’s future.”
“It was a rewarding experience working with Nestlé on the Hackathon, and bringing in Hatch’s process for ideation and problem solving. Having partners that are purpose-driven and ready to embrace Open Innovation, coupled with great ideas, hungry entrepreneurs, and passionate mentors, fuelled the fires that led to not just one but two big ideas being picked.”said Jeevan Gnanam, Co-founder of Hatch.