Lëtz Hack The Virus

Hack the Crisis“, the virtual hackathon to fight the virus, reaches Luxembourg this month. The event will be held online on 24 and 25 April.
by: Marc Auxenfants
photo: Kaori Anne Jolliffe
featured: Philippe Linster, CEO of House of Startups

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The House of Startups, Docler Holding and Farvest will organize a virtual hackathon to fight the COVID-19 crisis, starting at 4 pm on 24 April until 25 April in the evening. The online event, is the Luxembourg edition of the international “Hack the Crisis” movement. Born in Estonia, the worldwide initiative has already spread to Finland, France, India, Hungary and Switzerland.

Saving lives and thinking about tomorrow

“The Hackathon aims to create solutions to help deal with the current crisis: saving lives, education, communities, social businesses, and thinking about tomorrow,” details Philippe Linster, the director of the House of Startups.

Junction, the Finnish non-profit hackathon and tech community, will join the initiative and provide his skills and experience with online competition management.

Local tech communities and organizations will also support the event.

More than 100 developers, designers and coaches are expected to participate. Individuals and teams can register free-of-charge directly on the event website and attend one or both days of the session.

“We want people who do not necessarily have an IT background to come up with alternative ideas and solutions.”

Helping during the crisis

“The goal remains to gather as many attendees, mentors and interest as possible. The teams are not limited in the number of participants and can enter the competition for free”, the organizers explain.

“The main idea is to really answer the big question we all have: how can we/you help during this crisis. We expect to receive proposals suitable for different groups of people: students, companies, startups, independents, health care workers, elderly people, etc.”.

According to Carlos Gonser, Engineering Manager at Docler Holding, the competition does not require any coding skills to participate. “On the contrary, we want people who do not necessarily have an IT background to come up with alternative ideas and solutions”, he says.

He however expects elaborated contributions that are developed using big data, AI, data analysis or augmented reality.

The jury includes Xavier Buck (entrepreneur), Philippe Linster (CEO, House of Startups), Kolos Kaszaly (CTO, Docler Holding), Sergio Coronado, (Founder & Lead Coach, Luxembourg Tech School), Diane Tea (VP Luxembourg Business Angel Network), Serge Linckels (Deputy director vocational training, Ministry of Education, Children & Youth) and Carlos Gonser. More jury members will be announced in the coming days.

The jury and the mentors will take into account key criteria such as functionality, usefulness & purpose, innovation and presentation as well as the wow factor.

Prizes in kind

The prizes will largely be in kind and announced in the coming days.

Furthermore, supporters of the initiative are warmly welcome: “Your support can be multilateral”, the organizers of the event say. “You can become an official partner, by promoting it through your community and social media or promote it within your community, network and organization(s) to get mentors and participants. You can even become sponsor the event”.

“Meanwhile, we are planning to donate the sponsorship we manage to collect to a charity fighting for digital inclusion in Luxembourg”, adds Kamel Amroune, CEO of Farvest.

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