The Australian team took out first prize at the 2017 APEC App Challenge

10:32 | 19/05/2017 Ten Years An APEC

(VEN) - After a 24-hour coding marathon in Hanoi, Chris Gough and David Elliot from Australia stood out among a field of nearly two dozen other developers from across the Asia-Pacific region with their app APEC CONNECT that helps small businesses register a global export identity, grow their reputation as exporters, and access export-related standards and regulations.  

the australian team took out first prize at the 2017 apec app challenge
The winners of the 2017 APEC App Challenge Chris Gough and David Elliot

The two software developers were announced as the winners of the 2017 APEC App Challenge at the APEC Symposium on Trade and Innovation in May. The award honors the best mobile or web application that helps micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) take advantage of the internet to begin exporting.

The winning app, APEC CONNECT, is an online platform designed to bring the benefits of globalization to the smallest business owner by providing small businesses with their own global trading identity via an open digital identity registry, interoperable localized Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standards and Blockchain-notarized transactions. APEC CONNECT is designed to help even the smallest business establish their own global reputation for good and services, and provides businesses a fast and secure mechanism for building an irrefutable reputation for the purposes of global trade.

“We want to help more SMEs get online and take advantage of digital technology to grow,”H.E. Dr. Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam said when he announced the winners. “We have done this by placing innovation at the center not just of what we are hoping to create, but of the very process itself with this App Challenge.”

the australian team took out first prize at the 2017 apec app challenge
Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh

For the App Challenge winners, the award marks the culmination of an intense 24-hour period in Ha Noi during which they completed their new app. Before returning home, the team expressed excitement at the outcome of the challenge and the future of their product.

“Digital technology promises to lift up millions of micro and small businesses the world over, and we’re really encouraged by APEC’s focus on innovation in this space,” said David Elliot upon receiving the award.

The 2nd prize went to a team from Vietnam led by Bùi Đắc Thịnh and Trần Hoàng Hiệp who developed a marketplace and matchmaking platform for local artisans, AirLaLa. 3rd prize went to the Malaysian team of Qamra Jema Khan, and Andrew Ken Sean Lee, developers ofConnect, an app designed to make it possible for inexperienced small businesses to share information and knowledge on trade issues via an online platform.

In addition to their recognition from the APEC Secretariat and the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, the pair will receive a valuable prize package. The event was supported by The Asia Foundation and Google.