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Hack the Crisis – One year later

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the national hackathon “Hack the Crisis” was arranged during the spring of 2020. Many of the teams that participated have come a long way and launched products and services in the fight for recovery after the crisis. One year later, let’s follow some of them.

On the initiative of the Government Offices and DIGG (Agency for Digital Administration), in April 2020 Hack the Crisis Sweden was arranged by Hack for Sweden, AI Sweden and Openhack. Photo: Branimir Balogović

”Hackathon is a modern form of work to create new ideas that will remain in the future. It allows participants to meet across the borders between the physical and digital worlds and connects participants from different countries in a borderless world”, says Jan Burenius, chairman of the company Openhack.

On the initiative of the Government Offices and DIGG (Agency for Digital Administration), Hack the Crisis Sweden was arranged by Hack for Sweden, AI Sweden and Openhack in April 2020. The aim was to find solutions to the challenges facing society and business. Over 7 400 people from 90 countries hacked together focusing on three main tracks “Save Lives”, “Save Communities” and “Save Business”.

From AI to homework support and domestic violence

VoiceMed was one of the winners in Hack the Crisis. Through a web application where an AI program analyzes breathing, coughing and voice, data is generated to identify if the person has Covid-19. After a year of development, the program is now in a phase of clinical tests in several European countries.

“We are currently getting our medical certification and aim to start selling our product in June. Our goal is to launch a solution to do massive screening. Every municipality, event organizer, airports etc. would be able to test themselves with VoiceMed. This would help to understand the current level of the pandemic, control it and avoid new waves” says Arianna Arienzo, CEO and grounder of VoiceMed.

In another competition category, the project DoTheMath has focused on helping and supporting middle and high school students with digital homework support, free of charge. When studies show that distance learning has impaired the motivation and thus school results for some students (especially in vulnerable areas), it is even more important to have access to extra support from a network of committed volunteer teachers, university students and seniors.

“During Hack the Crisis, we developed our own app which made it both easier and safer for the students to get help. We now have over 29 000 members and our goal is to continue to reach as many people as possible. Everyone should have the right to the support they need in their education and therefore it is important for us, thanks to the non-profit commitment from our helpers, to continue to offer free homework support”, says Julia Gomér Torp, non-profit administrator at DoTheMath.

As a result of the pandemic, domestic violence has increased. The projects  BrightAct and Borta bra men hemma värst want to increase awareness and shed light on how to get help or assist others. The short movie Borta bra men hemma värst has during the year reached over 18 000 people and even spread to Germany.

BrightAct has created an award-winning app that provides a safety net for people who are exposed to domestic violence.

“A lot has happened over the last year, says Sofie Wahlström, founder of BrightAct. We initiated a pilot project in collaboration with Helsingborg and were just granted a 1-year sponsorship from Vinnova to build a data visualization for systematic follow-up to the public sector. Together with Typeform, we have developed a digital tool called Dear Neighbor to educate and inform about how the environment can support victims of violence. The goal for BrightAct is to work preventively and to break the cycle of violence for vulnerable individuals”, says Sofie Wahlström.

West Coast Hack for Impact

As a follow up of Hack the Crisis, OpenHack and Volvo Cars Corporation launched the Gothenburg initiative West Coast Hack for Impact, led by Annaam Butt. Several actors in the Gothenburg region collaborated on supporting the entrepreneurs from Hack the Crisis to implement their ideas and create value.

“West Coast Hack for Impact was initiated to support some of the participating teams with one goal in mind: to turn business ideas into reality. It was important to keep the commitment up and give the opportunity for all the fantastic ideas that emerged during Hack the Crisis to be further developed”, says Thomas Andersson, Vice President at Volvo Cars Corporation and one of the initiators of the West Coast Hack for Impact.

The Trade and Industry Group at Göteborg & Co is a proud partner of Openhack, one of the initiators of Hack the Crisis and West Coast Hack for Impact.