Over 850 people with 111 projects to battle the coronavirus crisis in the largest hackathon in Bulgaria

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Over 850 people with 111 projects to battle the coronavirus crisis in the largest hackathon in Bulgaria

Posted by: Sonya Trivedi
Category: At a glance
coronavirus crisis

The past weekend provided us with a great mix of inspiration, innovation, and unity of people around Bulgaria with one single goal – to hack the problems related to the coronavirus crisis. 

More than 850 people joined the online competition presenting 111 ideas in three main categories – Save Lives, Save Communities, and Save Businesses. Leading entrepreneurs from different businesses provided mentoring to the teams to develop their concepts. One of the primary assessment criteria was the sustainable impact of the products and services proposed, as well as their potential in the context of the digital reality people are already facing. 

The online event was supported by the Ministry of Labor and Social Politics and the Municipality of Sofia, which also provided the teams with problem statements that need a solution. 

On Sunday, 29th of March, we were able to attend the finals of the hackathon, during which the selected 15 teams presented their ideas. Among the winning concepts were a platform for online medical consultation, SaaS software for delivering food from supermarkets, sports initiative to work out at home, and consultation for mental health during the quarantine period. The jury also selected a project for software platform monitoring the demand in the hospitals in Bulgaria that will track the availability of hospital beds and other medical equipment, which will help combat the new coronavirus.

“The hackathon is just the beginning. Our idea is to create an ecosystem that is strong, a powerful community, which strives to solve real problems in Bulgaria,” commented Todor Gigilev, founder of Power of BG and CEO of the software company Dreamix. 

Next steps

The organizers of the initiative are already planning the next stage of the competition! It is expected to be in two weeks when the 15 teams will be able to present the progress of their concepts. This time the competition will be open to other teams and companies as well, which did not take part in the hackathon but have ideas on an advanced stage related to solving the coronavirus crisis. The jury will decide on the teams with the highest potential for impact, which will win the award of 10 000 BGN.

The support for developing innovative social ideas will be ongoing. The plan is to grow the initiative with the creation of a fund, which will include different companies from around the country willing to support the social projects financially. 

Guest presenter at the finals was Paul-Olivier Dehaye, director of the Swiss nonprofit organization PersonalData.IO who participated in revealing the case with Cambridge Analytica. He presented to the audience how to model the epidemics based on Ebola and the SARS-CoV crisis and the response of the community. 

The digital event is covered by leading business and start-up media in Bulgaria, such as Forbes Bulgaria, Manager, Trending Topics, and many others. 

Adithana Marketing is the communication partner of the initiative. 

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