Posts by Charlotte Tucker
There has been a flurry of activity online recently related to online coronavirus themed hackathons. What’s wonderful is the cross-border collaboration seen between remote participants, each bringing their experience to the table and working together ‘virtually’ to offer solutions to the only pandemic many of us in Europe have seen in our lifetimes.
But what happens after the hackathon is over? With such a buzz of excitement before, we often hear less than a whisper after the event has closed. With this in mind, we wanted to spotlight some of the useful innovations that have come out of these online events and re-activate support for their continuity. Below we’ve featured concepts which have signs that they are realistically being developed by existing startups, or are in the process of becoming the sole focus of newly formed European teams.
Suncrafter – This Berlin-based startup already works on using eco-friendly SolarHubs to power urban and rural environments. Suncrafter took part in Estonia’s online hackathon organised by Accelerate Estonia and Garage48 back in mid-March, which was one of the first hackathons of tackling the pandemic. At the hackathon they came up with a ‘hand-washing’ solution which uses ultraviolet light to do the disinfecting. It was such a solid idea that the team actually won the hackathon. You can check it out here.
Velmio – Velmio was founded in Tallinn, and usually focuses on its pregnancy health app which combines AI with lifestyle tracking to risk mothers-to-be of possible complications. During the Estonian Hack the Crisis hackathon, they came up with a ‘coronavirus tracker’ which analyzes user symptoms to estimate a COVID-19 risk level, shows risk level of nearby locations, with the option to anonymously log symptoms. It’s currently available to download in Estonia and Australia.
Linistry – Linistry, founded in 2016, has been working on its state-of-the-art digital queuing service for a few years, aiming to enhance customer loyalty and boost sales for clients. The team from Budapest took part in the EU hackathon in late April. Using its existing technology, it created a solution that aims to reduce virus transmission when people go to the supermarket, by limiting customers in store, managing the queue outside and helping people to buy online instead. You can see the pitch here.
Bankera – Bankera, the international payments service startup, was founded in 2017. Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, they took part in the EU hackathon. The solution they came up with was Bankera Business Care, which aims to help companies experiencing cash-flow issues during COVID-19 using a guarantee from its business partner. Via their system, loan repayment is flexible and can be made after the quarantine ends.
Colivery – Colivery came out of the 48-hour German online hackathon #WirVsVirus, which was supported by ImpactHub Berlin, Code for Germany and Tech4Germany, among others. Colviery’s platform brings together ‘helpers’ who can aid their fellow citizens with things like buying basic food, going to the drugstore and picking up over-the-counter medication. You can check out their video (in German but with English subtitles) here.
Wamapp – Founded in Oslo, Wamapp focuses on giving joy to family and friends through giving small, thoughtful and fun gifts. Having taken part in Norway’s hackathon, they came up with an idea to support small businesses by allowing customers to buy vouchers for use after the pandemic, as gifts for their family and friends. Watch the pitch here and follow their development on their LinkedIn (they just launched their landing page!).
VoiceMed – This wonder team won both the Hack the Crisis Italy and Hack the Crisis Sweden events. As coronavirus tests are few and far between, VoiceMed’s solution allows anyone with a smartphone or computer to test themselves. Simply by coughing or speaking towards your phone/pc and answering a few questions, users get an analysis based on voice recognition software that compares your voice against the voice of infected people.
SUVE – The startup eebot took part in the Estonian hackathon too, over a month and a half ago. Their quick thinking brought to life SUVE, a live chatbot to answer all citizen questions about the coronavirus pandemic. Since its creation, it’s been snapped up by the government of Estonia and has been installed on many websites of theirs to attend to the public’s questions, planning to stick around long after the pandemic as a permanent fixture.
WeCare – Coming out of the Bulgarian ‘Hack the Crisis’ virtual event, WeCare aims to help young families with children who have lost their main sources of income due to closing business during the pandemic. The team already has a complete website and social media channels, and is dedicated to continuing with the project that was put together in late March.
CoronaFree – Winner of the Swedish hackathon in the ‘Community’ category, CoronaFree is the brainchild of the Coronafree team, UniLabs, Gunnar Klein at Örebro University Hospital, Uppsala University, Karolinska Institute and staff from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention – ECDC in Stockholm. Their solution aims to issue and verify coronavirus “immunity certificates” to facilitate the transition to a post-lock down life.