Creative industries get the hackathon treatment

From May1-3, an online hackathon brought together more than 300 industry representatives from 30 countries around the world to work together on projects that could potentially address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

In total, 26 ideas were created during the 48-hour hackathon. At the end of the hackathon, a jury of experts consisting of Solvita Krese, Director of Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Dace Resele, Head of the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture Secretariat, Uldis Zariņš, Deputy State Secretary for Cultural Policy at Ministry of Culture, Alex Antolino, Creative Director of Typeform, and Sebastien Toupy, Head of Relationships at The Next Web, selected the three most promising projects that performed best in a fierce competition.

1st place and a cash prize of 5,000 euros were received by the team BRAINFOOD, which developed a platform where various representatives of the creative industry and artists can earn extra income by offering private lessons and masterclasses.

“I think that a hackathon is a great experience, whether the participants already came with a specific idea or it is being developed in a short period of time. The time allotted makes it necessary to gather all the skills in an organized way and focus on using them at all times. We worked in a small team of 4 people and it was easy for us to both communicate and meet the deadline. I hope that other people will also use these types of events to improve their skills,” said Elvi Kustavus, a representative of the BRAINFOOD team.

Second place and a cash prize of 3,000 euros for further development of the idea was received by the team #visitmuseum, which offered online registration and ticketing tools for museums, libraries, and archives, based on the database  .

Third place and seed capital of 2,000 euros for the further implementation of the project was awarded to team Cosimo, who presented an initiative in which business can be combined with creativity to support unique cultural projects through tax relief, which acts as a donation.

During the online award ceremony, special prizes were presented: the team LaikaForma received a 1000 euro cash prize from the Northern Dimension Partnership on Culture (NDPC) for further development of its idea. This team developed a digital platform that includes the largest archive of contemporary art in Latvia, educational materials, and a transparent cultural heritage.

Another special award was presented by Make Room Global, who selected two teams that won a fully paid opportunity to visit and participate in the Innovation Lab program, which will take place in India in February of 2021. 5 people from each team will be given the opportunity to go on a very exciting knowledge trip. During the Innovation Lab program, all participants will have the opportunity to participate in a project in which 3 best teams will share a cash prize of 20 000 euros, which will help in the further development of ideas. The winners of the Make Room Global award are the 3rd place winners Cosimo and the team Business of Creativity which developed an educational online platform where the creative industry workers have the opportunity to learn the basics of business from other leaders in the creative industry who already run successful companies.

The cash prize fund worth 10,000 euros was provided by Swedbank which has also previously supported hackathons such as HackForce and The Global Hack, which brought together members to work together to develop solutions to help fight the COVID-19 crisis.


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