SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA, USA, October 14, 2022 / — Solutionists! A newly coined word to define individuals who ideate and execute solutions for day-to-day challenges. Solving real-world business problems was the theme of the recently concluded Appathon – a hackathon with a twist. Conducted in a hybrid setting by TiE University, a flagship program of TiE Global, the event brought together 598 participants from 10 different countries.

The 28-hour non-stop event on October 8th and 9th required college teams to create wireframes and provide innovative design solutions to business challenges proposed by sponsoring companies. The challenges were under two themes – Sustainability and Education Tech. BMC Software, Excelsoft Technologies, Kimberly-Clark, the Sheth Family Foundation, and were the sponsors. Major League Hacking (MLH) was an ecosystem partner for the TiE University Appathon.

Corporate keynotes provided the business challenges ranging from designing a carbon footprint calculator, developing a scoring tool for reading and speaking skills, proposing ways to make e-learning more fun, or building a tool to assess climate risk for businesses.

University students formed teams locally or globally with participants from other cities/countries to provide solutions and visualize wireframes for potential apps that could solve these challenges. During the weekend, 58 teams submitted solutions. While solving the challenges, teams were ably supported by mentors from TiE chapters across Asia, Europe, and North America who were available for timeslots during the 28 hours virtually on Zoom to provide business and technical mentoring support. The 7 finalist teams within each challenge category pitched real-time to an international panel of judges. The winning team in each category was awarded $1,000 as prize money, and all finalist teams received cash prizes. The total prize money was $11,000. MLH offered in-kind prizes to all participants who proudly became solutionists over the weekend!

Thirty-two judges globally rated the solutions. The top 4 challenge solutions are all from India (while runners-ups were from the US, Canada, Pakistan and South Korea):
Team MAD from Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala, Punjab
Team Quark from KIET Group of Institutions, Ghaziabad
Team CRAI from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Team Spark from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

The 28-hour marathon event was held entirely on Zoom, with the backend platforms being on Discord & WhatsApp to support team building and networking. To engage students, multiple workshops and keynote sessions were conducted. Project submissions and Judging primarily took place on Devpost. The prominent keynote was delivered by Prof. Jagdish Sheth, a world-renowned author, marketing guru and Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honor awardee. “TiE University’s initiative of Appathon has been great success. Real-time problems of industries like Kimberly Clark, Excelsoft are solved by students using technology applications through the “20 hours Appathon“ said Santosh Huralikoppi, Board Member – TiE Global

In addition to the virtual event, 5 TiE chapters also hosted in-person events in Atlanta and Houston in the United States, and in Coimbatore, Chandigarh and Mysuru in India. Some students stayed overnight at venues to solve challenges and practice their pitches, while others worked from home or near by cafes. Great energy and camaraderie was seen at the in-person venues resulting in long lasting friendships and business relationships. “Students used problem-solving skills to address real-world business challenges, all while building new skills and making new friends – we are so proud of them, the mentors, the judges. Organizers and all stakeholders who have truly earned their Solutionist badges this weekend!” said Dr. Paul Lopez, co-founder of the TiE University initiative.

The future is truly bright as exhibited by the many high-impact ideas delivered through the TiE University Appathon. Many participants are now being offered internships by the sponsors to help them along on their entrepreneurial journey as solutionists!

See all of the project submissions:

About the TIE University Program
TiE University, an initiative of TIE Global, aims to foster entrepreneurship among college students from ideation to investment. University startup teams gain access to learning resources, and mentorship by successful entrepreneurs and are given opportunities to participate in global Hackathons, Startup Bootcamps, and Pitch Competitions. These interactions and experiences help startups transform their business from a campus idea into a viable business. Details are available at

Vijay Menon
TiE Global
+1 6508989249
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