During the weekend of May 15-17, 181 participants, 24 mentors, and 16 judges united efforts to look for solutions that could help businesses in the post-quarantine period. The Hackathon was co-organised by ELEKS, Lviv IT Angels and Lviv IT Arena. Participants focused on tackling the isolation caused by worldwide restrictions, while addressing other key issues, such as business continuity, ensuring safe interaction, dealing with logistical difficulties and solving networking problems.
The Hackathon was the first attempt going international and English-run. However, inside Ukraine: we gained together participants from over 15 countries worldwide, and some of those from Germany, Canada, Mexico, India, Kazakhstan and Pakistan made it to the final-pitching teams. Ukraine has proved itself as an excellent opportunity to expand international cooperation.
Thirteen teams came to the grand finale, presenting innovative solutions in ten thematic areas. Top three - won money prizes that will help in the future development of the ideas. Here are the Hackathon winners' highlights.
The winner of Hack the New World Hackathon is a startup called Kolo. Track. The team developed a solution that will help farmers to return to work after the crisis. The startup offers farmers corporate systems that would automate internal processes, help obtain appropriate certifications, control product quality, as well as communicate with regulatory authorities. "Since I've been working in the area of organic trade, I got my idea from observation. The existing system is bureaucratic, slow, and fragile due to the human factor. It's inefficient because most standards are written in a complicated foreign language. Most farmers and operators have never read those standards and will continue to work as they used to until someone comments. Therefore, I decided to make an EPR system that will instruct operators on what they need to do daily to comply with certification requirements as well as create a unified standard for information exchange in the chain of trade of certified operators, which will speed up and simplify the process. Participating in the Hackathon was useful for me. First, I was able to test my idea with mentors from the leading Ukrainian tech companies, and they liked the idea. Before the Hackathon, I only had a chance to try the concept with the market players. I hope Hack the New World will give birth to new collaborations", tells Vlasyslav Kovtun, СЕО at Kolo Agrarhandel GmbH, project Kolo. Track.
"We at ELEKS are proud to know that quite a few teams suggested so many industry-focused useful solutions for the post-COVID world, and it's a pleasure to know that winners found the solution for local farmers. It's great that somebody is helping ecosystems that don't normally benefit from a lot of technology work. The Hackathon showed that it is a powerful instrument for generating solutions, ensuring border-less collaboration and making a tremendous social impact," commented Klaus Sonnenleiter, CTO at ELEKS.
The Hackathon's runner up was SafeMenu. The idea of the startup is to make restaurants and cafe visits in Lviv safe finally, and in particular – to replace all printed menus with those generated online. To see the menu, one has to scan a QR code: the chatbot will quickly create the menu, allowing you to make an order safely.
Always carrying an antiseptic is already becoming the norm, and so is temperature measurement in public places. The third place went to Thermal Camera, an idea for automatic temperature measurement. Thermal Camera offers a unique tech solution that can be used with already existing temperature measurement devices in schools, museums, factories, restaurants, etc.
Apart from the three winners, the four other Hackathon finalists were nominated for special prizes. They created such solutions as distant travel and sightseeing platform that can satisfy any exact requests; application for health monitoring and notifications to parents and doctors for diabetes; a chatbot which allows instant reporting of harassment or bullying and transmits information to the police; and a chatbot which records your spontaneous thoughts, structure them in diary and analyses your emotions to enable your wellbeing self-control.
Among the judges of Hackathon were representatives of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Digital Transformation as well as Lviv City Council. During times of severe disruption, the Hackathon showed that gathering creative minds can deliver effective solutions for Ukraine and the world. Oleksandr Bornyakov, Deputy Minister at Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation, commented; "Unfortunately, quarantine has been severe for businesses and entrepreneurs. This situation applies not only to Ukraine but also where there is a viral pandemic. But we all have the opportunity to keep working, and now we are trying to help with effective solutions and technologies. And this Hackathon is a beautiful, enjoyable achievement for our IT community. I thank everyone for their participation, and I hope that the teams can implement their projects, and they are all trying to help people. Also grateful to the organisers for their initiative and desire to give life to new startups."
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