Technology enthusiasts and business are uniting against coronavirus in HACK THE CRISIS hackathon
The state and the public are facing unprecedented pandemic challenges. As a result, tech enthusiasts, start-up ecosystem players, and innovative businesses are inviting to join a public-spirited initiative that unites the minds – hackathon Hack the Crisis. Inspired by the example of Estonia and proposed by business visionary Vladas Lašas, the initiative is not only an intense weekend dedicated to remotely create and implement real solutions to the problems caused by the Covid-19 outbreak but also a unifying platform that connects businesses, developers and professionals.
Vladas Lasas (photo from LITBAN archyve).
The idea of how business and proactive technology developers can contribute and help both the public and the state in managing the challenges posed by the pandemic was sparked by the Estonian start-up support platform Garage48, which, during one weekend, called together over a thousand participants from around 20 countries to deal with the outcomes of Covid-19. “I know and see that in Lithuania we not only have bright minds but also active and socially responsible companies that have the resources, capability, and willingness to contribute to a similar initiative here in solving the problems caused by the crisis that is shaking our country. That’s why we invite all professionals with experience, skills, and abilities to join Hack the Crisis and help create real solutions to real problems,” Vladas Lašas, a businessman and one of the hackathon organizers, invites people to join.
Although hackathon is set to start on the weekend, all related work is starting today because every citizen in quarantine faces a plethora of problems. From the delayed delivery to helping the education system organize distance learning or keeping the children, who remain at home, busy.
Hack the Crisis platform has already attracted dozens of companies and organizations ready to work on specific, formulated tasks; the list of hackathon participants and mentors is also growing. Upon hearing about the idea, the event was joined by the Lithuanian Business Angels Network (LitBAN), Vilnius Tech Park, Sunrise Valley Science & Technology Park, KTU Startup Space, Lithuanian Junior Achievement, Global Lithuanian Leaders, Startup Lithuania, Baltic Sandbox, GovTech Lab Lithuania, Kaunas IN, etc.
According to Daiva Jankauskaite, head of LitBAN and one of the hackathon coordinators, the quarantine will not be over after the hackathon, so the goal of the initiative is for the platform to remain a place where people and public authorities can identify problems that need to be resolved and coordinators to request the help of the teams to solve these problems.
“We received support not only from the business, start-up community but also from the government, which is willing to share needs and delegates real, urgent tasks (we will try to solve them not just during the weekend hackathon but as long as needed) not only to easier overcome the challenges but also to welcome the end of these challenges while being competitive and ready to move forward,” D. Jankauskaitė says.
Both companies and individual professionals are invited to join the initiative. They will be put into teams by the coordinators of the hackathon. The hackathon, which will start on Friday, March 20 will be remotely hosted for 2 days. During it, the solutions for several specific selected issues will be developed. On Sunday, March 22, there will be an open online session presenting the results of the hackathon. Anyone willing will be able to observe it.