HackYeah: Europe’s biggest stationary hackathon turned digital to address the needs of technological, public, NGO and financial companies in the times of COVID-19

HackYeah Online 2020: main live broadcast studio in Warsaw, Poland

Pandemic was a huge game-changer when it comes to business operations. Commercial companies and public institutions faced a great challenge of turning digital and still achieving their goals in the new environment. Hiring and managing employees, driving innovation, reaching KPI’s and responding to new unexpected difficulties in uncertain and remote reality became the #NewNormal. The formula of the hackathon turned out to be a remedy for some of those challenges. Get to know how we supported public, commercial, financial and industrial companies with their pressing needs caused by the pandemic.

Online hackathon in numbers

HackYeah powered by GovTech is Europe’s biggest stationary hackathon. Moving it to a fully virtual world was a challenge, but luckily, we have become pros in this matter soon after the first stationary event was cancelled (see a case study of international startup competition organized by us online). Thanks to the lessons learned, moving HackYeah hackathon to cyberspace was much easier and turned out to be a huge success. Here’s what we’ve accomplished:

  • HackYeah Online powered by GovTech took place on November 27–29, 2020
  • 2000 programmers took part in the competition
  • over 1500 of them undertook 16 of our partners’ tasks (read more about it below)
  • attendees worked constantly for 40 hours
  • 15 partner companies and institutions joined us
  • 100 IT mentors and jurors served our attendees with their expertise
  • 200 vouchers for food were given away
  • 34 Media Partners and 58 Community Partners wrote about us
  • we generated 2 300 000 Facebook reach
  • the prize pool crossed 435 000 PLN (ca. EUR 100 000)
  • several contests boosting interaction were organized on our Discord channel
  • our partners and mentors conducted 28 webinars reaching 5000 IT people on Facebook
  • our partner companies enjoyed broad publicity and visibility during live broadcasts from the studio and on our Discord communication channel.

But most of all, HackYeah has met our partners’ needs for innovation, specific web applications, MVP’s of IT services, demo versions of comprehensive IT systems, and creative ideas that have the potential to be implemented.

Let’s see how it went!

Need a specific technological solution delivered ASAP? Here’s a way to do it

HackYeah Online 2020 Partners

As mentioned above, companies and institutions from very different industries have joined HackYeah, each having their own unique and varied goals. Let’s get through them!

NGO: Rak’and’Roll challenge

The Rak’n’Roll Foundation promotes a different perspective on cancer and acts towards improvement of the cancer patients’ quality of life. They joined HackYeah with a specific need for:

  • informational and communication platform regarding Patients’ contacts.

After 40 hours of coding, they received a voicebot and chatbot that answer all incoming calls after working hours. Read more about the solution here.

Financial: Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego task

Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego is a Polish development bank that supports entrepreneurs by offering them a comprehensive set of modern banking services and products tailored to their specific needs. They came to HackYeah with two specific needs:

  • A mobile application (Android / iOS) that will enable employees to conveniently and flexibly consume information
  • The business model for a platform for ESG applications with a collection of proven apps useful for a more sustainable lifestyle, based on partnerships with positive impact start-ups, ensuring the possibility of comparing and searching individual categories.

After a weekend of coding, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego received the mobile app and ESGapp they were looking for.

Public: The Ministry of Finance project

The Polish Ministry of Finance joined HackYeah with a few challenges. One of them was a need for:

  • a program that replaces the manual rewriting of data from paper forms. The goal was to increase the speed of entering this data and to reduce the human resources to do this work.

Public institutions are the ones that can benefit from hackathons a lot, since they are accelerating the process of creating a solution significantly by bypassing time-consuming public tenders. In this case, the Ministry of Finance received few solutions that have met their needs.

Technological: Amazon Development Center Poland challenge

Amazon Development Center Poland has joined HackYeah with an Alexa Skill task. They asked HackYeah attendees to try their hand at:

  • building an Alexa Skill that helps with socially important problems and supports people who need special care.

The winners came up with Amazon Alexa skill designed to help its users keep track of people in their lives. Happy Bear is an accessibility feature aimed at people facing memory loss, primarily dementia — read more about it here.

CSR: Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego Water Challenge

Hackathons are also a good way to perform CRS activities. That’s what Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego did during last HackYeah.

Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego sought innovative solutions that will improve water management, such as saving water during everyday activities like taking a shower or dishwashing, but also solutions that will help to collect and use rainwater in both urban and rural areas.

As a result, our attendees created a few promising solutions, and the winning one enjoyed virtual, standing ovations!

Hackathon — where all the industries meet

Those companies and institutions are just the chosen ones that have decided to use the hackathon's potential. Before 2020, HackYeah partnered with industry brands (BOSCH, Orlen, Horus Energy), military (Polish Army), as well as a lot of public and IT companies (The City of Krakow, UBS, Luxoft, Epam, and more).

All of them had different expectations and tasks, and all of them got what they came for.

Need for brand awareness and visibility? We’ve got it covered.

Online events do not mean less brand visibility at all. In fact, digital exposure gives brands even more possibilities, direct contact with attendees and measurable results. Our partners were visible on numerous online platforms, where our attendees gathered: Social Media, webinars, visibility and live remote interviews during live broadcasts, and on our official Discord channel, where HackYeah participants spent 40 hours on chats and contests while coding.

How can you benefit from a hackathon?

It depends on you! Hackathons may be the answer to many challenges and deliver tools and solutions much, much faster compared to standard procedures of implementing innovation into the organization.

Are you facing a challenge that can be solved by a hackathon?

Let us know at olga.michaliczyn@proidea.pl!

Part of the team run the event from the live broadcasting studio in Warsaw, Poland
Most team members managed the event remotely from their homes or from the office in Kraków, Poland

HackYeah producer: www.proidea.pl

Contact us at: olga.michaliszyn@proidea.pl

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