BALKAN HACKATHON CHALLENGE

 HACKING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE!

On 27 and 28 June 2018,
Balkan innovators interested in information technologies, programming, design, multimedia and marketing will meet in Sofia to create the technological solutions to the challenges and opportunities facing Europe.

The Balkan Hackathon is organised by the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria, Sofia Municipality (Sofia Development Association), Sofia Tech Park, the State e-Government Agency of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Webit Foundation.

The event is part of European Digital and Innovation Week, which will start off with the European Digital Assembly under the leadership of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel.

CHALLENGES:

Тhe main challenge at the Balkan Hackathon will be the digital divide in all its forms. Ten years ago, the digital divide was about the barriers to getting everyone online. Today, it is no longer only an issue of access to connectivity. The digital divide of the future will include security and the ability to leverage the internet for a broad range of economic opportunities. As new threat vectors emerge, a security divide will arise between those with the knowledge and resources to protect themselves from cyber threats and those without. The Balkan Hackathon welcomes all who are ready to explore and prototype the solutions that will guarantee the inclusion of all citizens in the digital era, regardless of their income, social situation, geographic location, health, or age.  

How to overcome the lack of access to the internet, devices, software and applications?   

Internet connectivity promotes efficiency, inclusiveness and a wave of new economic opportunities.   

How to make public e-services more appealing, user-friendly and trustworthy?

The huge gap between e-commerce and online public services like healthcare and government tools is widening. Adoption of public e-services now lags by a cavernous 27%, up from 15% as recently as 2008.  

How to guarantee the inclusion, contribution and leadership of women and girls in ICT?

Globally, 250 million fewer women are online than men and the Internet user gap between the sexes has increased to 12 percent in 2016.

How to strengthen the ability to use internet technologies and services safely? 

With the growing integration of services and devices in our lives, improving users' security literacy and access to security and privacy protection tools will be essential.

How to make the internet and technologies more accessible and appealing to non-users? 

Currently one in three persons with disabilities has never used the internet, representing 54% of those who have never been online. And only 52% of the less educated are regular internet users. 

How to provide quality and affordable digital training to create and add value? 

It is estimated that there will be 500,000 unfilled vacancies for ICT professionals by 2020. Moreover, digital skills will be necessary for careers like medicine, art, architecture and nearly all future jobs. 

PARTICIPATION

Who can participate and how? 

Developers, designers, startup companies, students, and other ICT professionals - anyone with the technical skills, vision for the future, creative ideas and the courage to stand up for them is invited to participate. The event will require intensive cooperation and team work to develop new and innovative solutions within an extremely limited time frame. If you are not developer, you can apply, but keep in mind that you have to develop a working prototype in 24 hours. At least half of your team must have sufficient development skills.

Your solutions can address the challenges listed above, as well as other challenges we face. Listed are just a few issues to get you thinking about the impacts of the digital divide for European citizens. Check out this 2015 EU report on the digital divide for more ideas on how to bridge it.

What about teams? 

Teams can have 2-5 members. We do encourage participants to start forming teams before the event. However, if you don't manage to find one, you can apply as an individual. We will organize a team forming activity before the hacking starts. If you are looking for a bigger team or looking to add people with specific skills, you can find the right individuals on the spot or join another team.

Changes in team composition are admissible during the hackathon, but only if you have registered for participation beforehand. We are looking forward to meeting you!

How can I register? 

Participants should register prior to 1 June 2018 and accept the general conditions for particpation in the Hackathon.
Please note that seats are limited to 100 participants from all Balkan countries, and we will be selecting teams in order of registration, on a first-come, first-served basis! 

What should I bring to the event with me?

Bring your laptops, mobile phones, wearable computing devices and whatever technology inspires you. Make sure that you will feel comfortable during intense hacking, and if you are going to sleep on the venue, please bring a blanket or a sleeping bag.   

We will manage work spaces equipped with wireless internet and power sources for you.

What about food and accommodation?

We will make sure that you don’t run out of energy during intense hacking! Besides breakfast, lunch and dinner, there will always be coffee and snacks provided in the refreshments corner. If you have any special dietary needs, let us know in the application form. 

We have arranged two nights of accommodation for you - on 26 and 27 of June - at a hotel in Sofia. After you register for the Balkan Hackathon, you will receive details about accommodation. 

How do I get there?

We will take care of your exciting stay during the event, but it is your responsibility to organize and cover your trip to Sofia. 

BONUS FOR STARTUPS

Get a free pass to pitch at Webit Founders Games when you register for the Balkan Hackathon! 

The Balkan Hackathon is on the last day of Webit.Festival Europe. Teams who pitch at the Founders Games startup competition on June 26 will receive a refund once they register at the Hackathon. 

AWARDS
Subtitle

First prize: 

5 000 euro

Second prize:

 2 500 euro

Third prize:

 1 500 euro

The winning team will attend Europe Code Week 2018 in Brussels, upon invitation of European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel! 

JURY

YORDANKA FANDAKOVA

Mayor of Sofia

OGNIAN ZLATEV

Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Bulgaria


PROF. NIKOLAI D. DENKOV, PH.D., D.SC.

Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering, Sofia University


ALEXANDER YOLOVSKI

Deputy Chairman, State e-Government Agency of the Republic of Bulgaria


Assoc. Prof. Teodor Sedlarski, Ph.D.

Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; Member of the Supervisory Board of Sofia Tech Park

Aniela Russeva

Founder, Webit Foundation



DENITZA LOZANOVA

Programme Director, Sofia Development Association


Lyubov Kostova

Country Director, British Council



YURIY VALKOVSKI

Country Manager Bulgaria, Reach for Change Foundation

STOYAN MITROV

Co-Founder Гражданите & Partner at Dreamix


KIRIL VALCHEV

Lawyer

RADOSLAV GAYDARSKI

Chief Executive Officer, Upnetix


GEORGE BRASHNAROV

General Manager, Nemetschek Ltd Bulgaria

ALEXANDRA KOZBUNAROVA

Communication Specialist & Startup Enthusiast


Maria Marinova

Director, Bulgarian Private Equity and Venture Capitalist Association

Anton Gerunov, Ph.D., PMP

Sofia University, Faculty of Economics and Center for Modeling Socioeconomic Systems

Dessislava Simova

Community Manager, MOVE.BG


Mentors

Passionate web developers, talented designers, and helpful support staff.

Teodora Gandova

NGOLink


Stoyan Ivanov

Dreamix


Bozhidar Bozhanov

LogSentinel


Gergana Koleshanska

Director of e-Government Policies Directorate at the State e-Government Agen

Iva Gumnishka

Human in the Loop


Petar Jivkov

Airlief


Metodi Terziev

betahaus


Ivan Vasilev

Obecto


Blagovest Belev

Tavex


Petya Lipeva

Puzl


Hristo Laskov

UXperience


Деница Маринова

Мрежа Enterprise Europe network,
Област: бизнес модели за стартапи и малък бизнес 

Димана Тотева

СофтУни,
Област: C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP

Димитър Манов

Ontotext,
Област: софтуерна архитектура

Иво Ценов

СофтУни,
Област: C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP

Севдалина Войнова

Асоциация за развитие на София ,
Област: образование; инфотейнмънт

Симона Симеонова

СофтУни,
Област: C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP

Филип Янков

x8academy, Област: софтуерни и хардуерни технологии; изкуствен интелект

Христо Тодоров

Head of Mobile, Imperia Mobile, Област: мобилни технологии и приложения; бранд мениджмънт

LOCATION AND AGENDA

Sofia Tech Park, Sofia, Bulgaria

The Balkan Hackathon will be held at Sofia Tech Park in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Registration and breakfast starts at 8:30am on 27 of June. Don’t be late if you don’t want to miss your morning coffee!
At 9:30am we will start with the event kick-off - keep in mind that you have to be registered before that.
For more info check out the schedule: 

27 June 2018

8:30am - 9:30am
9:30am - 10:00am
10:00am

Registration and breakfast
Kick-off and welcoming ceremony
Start of coding 

28 June 2018

10:00am
10:30am - 1:30pm
1:30pm - 2:00pm

End of coding
Presentation to the jury
Award ceremony 

CONTACTS 

Sofia Office

  • Sofia Development Association
    Adress: 92, Patriarh Evtimii Blvd.,
    Sofia 1463, Bulgaria
    Tel. + 359 2 952 03 46
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ORGANIZERS

PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY

PARTNERS

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