Accelerate Estonia & Garage 48 organize hackathon against coronavirus

The accelerator program Accelerate Estonia and Garage48 organized an online hackathon to develop solutions to help Estonia emerge from the coronavirus crisis and create competitive advantages for the post-crisis period.

By Elis Tootsman

The initiative, which has become the largest online hackathon in Estonia, was opened by President Kersti Kaljulaid and Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Kaimar Karu.

According to President Kersti Kaljulaid, organizing an online hackathon demonstrates the attitude of Estonians, who at difficult times do not lose their heads but start working on solutions. “It is my sincere pleasure to see that this initiative, organized in just a few hours, has become an international event bringing together more than 1,000 participants from more than 20 countries and 14 timezones. This is a genuine example of an initiative that leads people to look for solutions to the challenges we face, ”said President Kaljulaid.

“The spread of coronavirus is a threat to our health and to our social and economic environment. It’s important to join forces and work towards solutions,” the President added.

Online hackathon can set a good example

Viljar Lubi, idea author of Accelerate Estonia, said the online hackathon is a great example for other countries. “We just proved that it’s possible to organize event with international impact and that just with some few hours. In difficult times we have always two options: remain seated when the ground is burning or start searching for solutions. We chose the last option! I hope that other countries will follow our initiative, the Accelerate Estonia and Garage48 teams have confirmed their willingness to share their experience with other countries looking to organize a similar online hackathon, ”says Lubi.

“I have to say that It is gratifying to see that the European Commission has also taken the initiative here. Specifically, the European Commission is inviting start-ups to participate in a competition seeking innovative and technological solutions to prevent the spread and impact of the coronavirus. At this point, I can say that among the ideas that have taken part in our online hackathon, there are a large number of those who, within 48 hours, have developed solutions that have not only a perspective in Estonia but a global impact, ”Lubi added.

Ideas included connecting people t risk to volunteers via a call center and dispatch app, a breathing apparatus, a medical volunteer management database, a virus tracker, and a temporary workplace exchange platform.

Learn more about the hackathon here.

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