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Sysco LABS partners with University of Peradeniya for 9th consecutive Computer Engineering Hackathon

Sysco LABS joined forces with the Faculty of Engineering at the University of
Peradeniya for the 9th consecutive “ACES Hackathon” held at the university. The
hackathon was launched with the objective of encouraging entrepreneurship amongst
undergraduate students to inspire a generation of future world leaders in the IT industry.


This year’s contest saw the participation of more than 150 participants across 23 teams,
with the first day focused on idea pitching sessions and the second and third days
consisting of the development and demonstration of their solutions. Participants
competed under five categories – Environment and Sustainability, Lifestyle, Medical and
Healthcare, Transportation and Safety, and Agriculture and Irrigation – which covered a
wide range of disciplines related to Computer Engineering.

In order to facilitate this initiative, Sysco LABS provided all the tech support necessary
in addition to a panel and mentors to who provided guidance to the participating teams.
“Hackathons are a great way to develop and showcase the skills of well-rounded
engineers, and we are ready to support the industry in any way possible to produce the
best quality engineers for the country,” said Technology Partner Rasika Karunatilake,
Vice President and General Manager at Sysco LABS. “We see this as a long-term
partnership that will ultimately help develop the IT industry in Sri Lanka as there is an
enormous need for IT graduates at present.”


With the guidance of the academic staff at the university, the alumni of the Computer
Engineering Department and industry experts, students were given the opportunity to
participate in new categories this year that not only inspired ground-breaking solutions
to real world problems, but also better facilitated product development and
commercialization.

Among the many changes made to the event was the initiative to take the ideas that
ranked on top and provide support to the relevant teams to initiate their own startup by
providing the necessary guidance and mentorship to continue improving their solutions
beyond the constrained time period of the competition.

This provided a great platform for fresh graduates to showcase their innovations to industry experts and get an idea of what level the industry’s expectations are at. At the conclusion of the three-day event, participants were not only able to showcase their innovations, but were also able to present a business plan that outlined how the product would be developed and applied.


Chathurangi Edussuriya, the 2018 winner, is a testament to the importance of initiatives
such as this for IT undergraduates in the country. She developed a computer software for on-the-spot inspection of soil samples for road construction projects in an
international new inventors’ competition conducted by Construction Of Industry
Solutions (COINS) and adjudged by a panel of world-renowned professors this past
June.

About Sysco LABS

Sysco LABS is the innovation arm of Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY), the world’s
largest foodservice company. Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and
distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging
establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of
products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality
industries. With over 69,000 associates, the company operates approximately 325
distribution facilities worldwide and serves more than 650,000 customer locations.

Sysco is re-imagining the global foodservice industry: our Sysco LABS engineering
teams based out of Colombo, Sri Lanka, San Mateo, CA, and Austin and Houston TX,
will help to drive innovation across the entire supply chain – sourcing of food products,
merchandising, storage and warehouse operations, order placement and pricing
algorithms, delivery of food and supplies to Sysco’s global network – culminating in the
in-restaurant dining experience for the end-customer. Operating with the agility and
efficiency of a tech-startup and backed by the domain expertise of the industry leader,
Sysco and the Sysco LABS team is poised to reimagine one of the biggest industries in
the world.

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