Student powered world changing hacks: Pioneered by Toshiba & Kioxia, enhanced by Middlesex University.


The linear sequence we have all been made aware of is one of believe and become. Moving a couple of notches above that is the upcoming Toshiba and Kioxia (previously Toshiba Memory) pioneered HACKcellence Fest, enhanced by Middlesex University Dubai and conceptualised and engineered end to end by ISD Global Dubai. Where students from the Middle East, Levant, Africa and the Indian subcontinent are encouraged to Dream and Dare in a first of its kind Hack Festival that has been established to discover solutions that can solve the real life problems of the day.

” The incredible potential that lies kinetic within the student community around the region is beyond doubt. In the context of age,10 is indeed the new 20 and 20 is the new 40. That has been established beyond doubt. To facilitate and harness such vast potential within the student communityToshiba and Kioxia (previously Toshiba Memory) are pioneering a first of its kind HACKcellence Fest in association with Middlesex University Dubai, and branding agency ISD Global, where students are encouraged and mentored to find hacks and solutions that will solve real life problems that humanity is grappling with. Hackathons are happening all over and all the time. Our endeavor (and the notable distinction) with the HACKcellence Fest is to ensure that game changing hacks and ideas find appropriate competent suitors, get the encouragement and the mentoring/guidance, the financial and management wherewithal to bring their solutions to the real world. In that respect, the HACKcellence Fest is an end to end platform that begins with the generation of a stack of hacks or ideas and find them getting their due place and recognition in the market/s that need them”, avered Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE.

The HACKcellence Fest is open to school pupils from Grade 8 and above and students from Colleges and Universities across 26 countries. Participating teams are being encouraged to think big and use their creativity when coming up with their hacks and ideas, with suggested focus areas including but not limited to Data Storage and Privacy, Robotics and AI, Edge Computing and IOT, Digital Health, Digital Humanism, Sustainability and Infrastructure, Smart Cities, Transport and Mobility, and Education.

” What makes this initiative unique is the fact that students are not limited by the guidelines we have put in place, but encouraged to break them and think beyond. We believe that challenges come with opportunities, and the HACKcellence Fest is a fantastic opportunity for students to make an impact and find solutions to the major issues affecting the global community. We are providing participants with an open platform to submit ideas inspired by any topic that interests them. We are looking for their wildest, brightest hacks. As a leading UK university in Dubai at the cutting edge of future-forward education, we at Middlesex University Dubai are best placed to unlock the skills, ideas and innate ability that the region’s student community can offer the world. As proud partners with Toshiba and Kioxia and ISD Global, we look forward to launch the HACKcellence Fest and provide students with this platform to make their ideas a reality”, said Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University and Director of Middlesex University Dubai.

Submissions for hacks and ideas are open until mid-July 2021, after which a panel of jury will shortlist candidates to progress through to the next stage. Those who make it through will gain access to exclusive personalised mentoring sessions and workshops over an 8-week period that will provide them with expert guidance as they bring their idea to fruition.

Toshiba has been at the supreme forefront of innovation and research over the past 145 years of its legacy. While all the time being Committed to People, Committed to the Future.

“ At Toshiba we turn on the promise of a new day. Guided by the essence of Toshiba, we harness our knowledge and experience in the areas of energy, social infrastructure, electronics devices and digital solutions to help communities thrive. We achieve our common purpose together but each in our own different ways”, said Santosh Varghese, Vice President, Toshiba Gulf FZE.

A leading British university with a 5-Star rating from the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Middlesex University Dubai is one of the most sought-after higher education institutions in the region and is actively involved in the growth and development of the international student community in the UAE and across the world.

This collaboration conceptualised and engineered end to end by ISD Global, between Toshiba and Middlesex University Dubai comes from a shared vision of putting the region’s student community at the forefront of global development and empowering them to make a real impact.

” At ISD Global we always walk the walk on the power of cooperative marketing and the collaborative advantage energy that it releases for all stakeholders involved. As brand builders and new business and market enablers working with top of the line brands across 4 continents over the past almost two decades, the ethos we practice at ISD Global is that of being counterintuitive and disintermediating. Our idea with the HACKcellence Fest is to unleash a committed, purpose filled visionary foray into the ecosphere and to establish a Davos for the student universe in the Middle East, Levant, Indian Subcontinent and all of Africa, a virtual meeting of young, bright minds coming together to discover tangible solutions to solve real life problems,” added Suresh Dinakaran, Chief Storyteller, ISD Global Dubai.

The HACKcellence Fest will have its grand finale in the form of an Awards Ceremony in Dubai in October 2021. Students are competing to win a range of exciting awards, including cash prizes of more than 10,000 USD, University Scholarships, Entrepreneurship Training, Start-Up Mentoring, Data Storage and Incubation Facilitation, Electronic Gadgets and much more.

The future is already here. Albeit unevenly distributed. Time to make those little dents in the universe. And what better platform than the HACKcellence Fest to do that.

Find out more about the HACKcellence Fest, including the participating countries, eligibility and how to participate at

To register for the virtual launch event on the 16th June @ 1 pm, UAE time, please visit

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About Author

Suresh Dinakaran

Suresh Dinakaran is the Chief Storyteller at ISD Global, a brand strategy & creative ideations entity based out of Dubai and Managing Editor, BrandKnew. With over two decades of insights, expertise and experience in building and growing brands across multiple geographies and media platforms. Passionate about innovation, disruptive ideations, creative leadership and imaging the future apart from writing, movies, music and sports. He can be reached on

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