About The Hackathon

  Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) play an important role in socioeconomic resilience, with their creative ideas and new business models, while tapping on available science, technologies, and/or innovative tools. In order to tap on SME’s potential to be a frontline of economic recovery process,  UNDP,  and the General Secretariat of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development (GSSCPD), are hosting this “Kuwait hacks the Crisis” hackathon in partnerships with  the National Fund for SMEs Development, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR).


Overcoming supply chain vulnerabilities

We call for SMEs innovative business ideas to  overcome  supply-chain vulnerabilities (constraints, slowdowns, and/or breakdowns) for 1) food and agriculture sectors, or 2) non-food commodities (items sold in grocery stores that are not food) at the time of COVID19 challenges  and beyond in a mid- and  longer-term 


New Innovative business ideas for health services & well-being

We are looking for innovative new business models in the area of health services (medical supply chain can be part of it) at the time of COVID19 challenges  and beyond in a mid- and  longer-term


Who can Join?

SMEs with innovative solutions to tackle socioeconomic challenges incurred by covid19 pandemic 

Participating SMEs must be registered in Kuwait.

Each team should have  at least 3 (three) members and maximum of seven (7) members. We encourage participating SMEs to form a multidisciplinary team to benefit from diverse background, ideas and experiences to come up with innovative solution. 

At least one of team members should be Kuwaiti, it is up to your company whether to invite external people to form a team.  


How It Works


12PM May 4 - 11:59PM May 11 

Interested SME  should form a team and register to submit their ideas.  


9PM May 13

The coaches shall be introduced to participants on Slack and Zoom platform. Teams begin brainstorming and formulating solutions. 


Hackathon Begins
9:30PM May 13

Teams start developing their solutions in the span of 5 days. The coaching team is there to provide guidance and encouragement. 



11:59PM May 17

On the 5th and last day of the hackathon, teams submit their finalized written proposals and business plans along with links to videos, as well as pictures and graphics according to given submission guidelines.


Awards Ceremony

The two winning teams are announced during the awards ceremony. Winners are presented with a 5000 KWD award. The award ceremony to be held end of May under the auspices of H.E The Minister of Economic Affairs. 


Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony will kickstart the hackathon on May 12 at 9:00pm. It will include remarks from the organizers and partners, introductions to the coaching teams, and will be concluded by an interactive Q & A for the SME participants.

Director General
Kuwait Foundation for Advancements of Sciences
Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin
Director General
The National Fund for SME Development
Manaf Al-Menaifi
Director General
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research
Dr. Samira Omar
Secretary General
 of the Supreme Council for Planning and Development
Dr. Khaled Mahdi
UNDP Innovation Advisor
Jennifer Colville
UNDP Kuwait Resident Representative
Hideko Hadzialic

Selection Criteria For Challenge 1

  • Clear identification of supply-chain vulnerability within identified sectors (which goods and/or services; clear indication of current sources)

  • Creativity in addressing defined vulnerabilities

  • Sustainability of solutions: Does the proposed set of solutions can be also effective in a longer-term?

  • Cost-effectiveness / cost conscious ness of the proposed solutions

  • Overall benefit to people residing in Kuwait,  

  • Is the solution based on sound forecast of supply chains?  

  • The degree to which a proposal can contribute to SDG 12 on responsible production and consumption,  

  • Replicability by other SMEs.  

  • The degree to which a proposed business plan can contribute to any of the 7 pillars of Kuwait Vision 2035, in particular “Diversified Sustainable Economy” pillar.  

  • [Secondary criteria] Replicability to other goods and/or services. 

Selection Criteria For Challenge 2

  • Creativity of proposed new business

  • Feasibility of starting up in 2020/2021 per proposed business plan

  • Potential number of beneficiaries

  • Sustainability of proposed ideas

  • Replicibility by other SMEs

  • The degree to which a proposed business plan can contribute to any of the 7 pillars of Kuwait Vision 2035 

  • The degree to which a proposed business plan shall contribute to any SDGs (in particular SDG3)  


The Coaching Team

The virtual coaching team is made up of advisors from various background, ranging from innovation advisors, business administration, science and public administration. The role of the Coaching Team is to facilitate your design thinking and invigorate discussions amongst team members to arrive at a set of solutions. 

UNDP Consultant
Ines Cheniour
Nawaf Al-Shalan
Director of Innovation & Enterprise KFAS
Bassam Alfeeli
Advisor to Secretary General GSSCPD
Dr. Faleh Alrashidi
Advisor to Secretary General GSSCPD
Faris Al-Obaid
Dr. Abrar Al-Awadhi
Assistant Professor of Operations Kuwait University
Dr. Mohammad Ghuloum
Management Analyst Commercialization Division KISR
Fatma Shah Aswar
Director of Commercialization Division KISR
Eiman Al-Awadhi
Dr. Haytem Troug
Mohammed Alrefaie


Top team in each challenge wins 5000 KD (Yes two winners!)

Committed to support science, technology, and innovation solutions that contribute towards building a knowledge-based economy, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences will start the winners on an application track a financial grant through the KFAS Emergency Resilience Program

UNDP_Logo-Blue w Tagline-ENG.png

Contact Us


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

 © 2020 powered by UNDP Kuwait