The first “Tech for Good” hackathon took place last weekend at Technoport in Belval. 6 teams competed during 24 hours, for good! Launched from scratch, this event aimed at bringing innovative ideas to life. We asked Nicolas Sanitas, organizer of Lux4Good and manager at InTech in the Innovation & Development department to share his feedback.
14 projects, 6 teams, 3 winners
“This first edition was a great success!” started off Nicolas. Out of the six teams, two were composed of InTech employees, the others were from NumericALL, Foyer, IT students from Paris and one “melting-pot” team composed of individuals interested to participate. “We were quite open and did not want to create any barriers at entry, everyone with a willingness to participate was welcome!” declared Nicolas.
From the projects side, the participants were quite diverse. “We received 14 applications from various players in the ecosystem, such as governmental institutions, CSSF and IMS for instance, startups, companies” detailed Nicolas. In order to propose a project, a non-lucrative object together with a social, societal and/or environmental impact were required.
The participants that brought subjects had to identify a topic paramount to their activities. Part of them had a specific idea to validate, others were searching for the idea to help them develop. “They all needed innovation to be implemented in their projects and that’s the promise we made to the teams eager to propose innovative solutions. Real innovation needed to be proposed, such as blockchain utilization, mobile app, AI, etc.”.
As only six projects were selected at the end, the 14 participants needed to be as attractive as possible to convince the teams to choose them. The projects were released end of September to avoid a disadvantage between the teams. Each team received their attributed projects one week before the Hackaton. “As the projects had specific issues to consider, we wanted each team to document themselves, had some first contacts with the project holder in order to think about potential ideas and be operational to work on the tech aspects on Friday” said Nicolas.
Tout est (très) bien parti ! et les équipes s’apprêtent à passer une longue et productive nuit…???? pic.twitter.com/aEr9pA6W11
— Lux4Good (@lux_4_good) 12 octobre 2018
A win-win situation for all the participants
The 6 selected projects were: APMEH.lu, IMS.lu, CSSF, Open Village, My Pledge, Food4All. At the end of the 24 hours, the teams had a five minutes pitch to present their solutions to the jury.
Jury was composed of the Grand Duchess Maria Teresa, Nadine Muller,Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and solidarity economy, Yves Francis, Deloitte Managing Partner and Bernard Simon, Member of the Executive Committee at the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
They awarded the following projects:
- 1st prize: InTech’s, in charge of the APMEH.lu project, proposed an app to educate future parents with mental disabilities during the pregnancy.
- 2nd prize: Foyer’s team, working on he IMS.lu project, has developed a diversity dashboard for companies.
- 3rd prize: CSSF’s team created an app to educate young children (between 12 and 18 years old) on the banking world, by simulating loans with their parents, awarding them badges that will be worth something, such as lower interest rates, at their majority with sponsored banks.
“At the end, all the participants won! The six representatives of the projects were impressed and convinced by the innovative solutions proposed by the teams. They now have a concrete solution to bring to potential investors!” said Nicolas.
On that note, during the closing speech, Nadine Muller offered the six projects to join the 6zero1 Social Incubator to develop further their ideas. “We are eager to follow-up on those projects and help them as needed in the future” said Nicolas.
Lux4Good: building awareness
The idea behind this hackathon was to build awareness to the measurement of impact. “We wanted the participants to be sensitized! Building an app is more than the cash it will created, it is also a mean to save money and help the community,” said Nicolas.
With that idea in mind, Lux4Good asked a coach from Compellio to be present on Saturday to brief the teams on that aspect, and most importantly help them identify three important measures to be implemented in their project. Those measures being as simple as the average age, the number of users on a determined period, etc, “Identifying those and taking them into account in the coding in an early-stage is easy to do and can down the road help convince investors or business angels” explained Nicolas.
A second edition of this Hackathon is definitely on track for next year. “It was such a huge success that we have no other choice than to reiterate this experience!” proudly said Nicolas. “We are proud of the achievements made last weekend. We had no doubts, but Luxembourg is definitely a perfect place to develop Tech for Good. We have the capacities to develop our knowledge for Good!” concluded Nicolas Sanitas.