Biggest Dutch tech players tackle coronacrisis with hackathon

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Amsterdam, 31 March 2020 - This weekend, the fast-growing global movement #hackthecrisis is coming to the Netherlands. From the 3rd to 5th of April, volunteers from the Dutch startup and tech community led by TNW and Innofest are organizing an online hackathon to come up with innovative solutions to fight the corona pandemic. Since the #hackthecrisis movement was born in Estonia two weeks ago, a growing number of hackathons have been organized around the world, with tens of thousands of people involved. Next Sunday, an expert jury led by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, CEO at TNW, will pick the winning solutions of the Dutch edition.

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. As a global community, we are facing some of the most significant health, business and economic challenges we have seen in the last decades across every continent. A global pandemic calls for global action, and inspired by the #hackthecrisis global movement at Garage48 - TNW, StartupAmsterdam, Innofest and many more Dutch startup and innovation leaders, are leading the charge in the Netherlands with their own Hack The Crisis initiative. 

As highlighted by the project lead Sebastien Toupy, from TNW: “We’re organising this hackathon to find solutions to multiple issues created by the coronavirus. Our team is reaching out to experts and innovators in all fields; from policymakers, to healthcare professionals, but also designers, engineers, and startups. In 48 hours, the participants will be building solutions that can be tested fast locally, and that with the help of the right partners, can be implemented at scale to save and improve lives”.

From April 3rd, TNW, Innofest, StartupAmsterdam, Startupbootcamp, GoodUp, Brain Fuel, Women in AI, Hoax, SmartCamels, and EY will manage a volunteer-led online innovation marathon over the course of the weekend. Participants across the Netherlands and beyond will work on developing solutions for some of the biggest challenges we are facing right now as a global community. On Sunday, April 5th 2020, an expert jury led by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten, CEO at TNW, will pick the winning solutions based on their potential impact and award them with funds and resources for further development. 

Michel van der Wal, Creative Director at EY, is a keen supporter of the initiative: “We think Hack the Crisis is a great opportunity to show how the digital community is able to collaborate on creating solutions that potentially can help humanity out of this crisis. This illustrates perfectly on how we can all work together towards a better working world.”

Looking for participants, mentors and partners Dutch and international communities can join the Hack the Crisis hackathon as a participant, mentor or partner. Participants will gather in teams to help create innovative solutions to tackle this crisis. 

Mentors will guide the participating teams and help maximize their impact. 

Partners will help create awareness by sharing content via their channels and providing monetary and in-kind prizes for the winning solutions. We are particularly looking for more experts and challenges from the healthcare sector. 

The organizers aim to create a long-term platform for innovators from the tech and creative sector around this common theme. Therefore, the hackathon will only be the starting point for collaborations supported by a number of platforms where the teams will be able to receive support to come up with concrete solutions to counter this crisis in the coming weeks and months.

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Notes For Editors

For more information about this press release, contact: 

Sebastien Toupy

Head of Startup Relations at TNW

[email protected]

Hack the Crisis Project Lead

Inge Wijnja

Head of Government Relations at TNW

[email protected]

Jurre Plantinga

PR at Innofest

[email protected]

About the organisers 

Together with TNW, Innofest and StartupAmsterdam, our partners are working hard to not only support this initiative, but also support the projects and solutions which come out of this hackathon. These include GoodUp, Smart Camels, Hoax Amsterdam, Women in AI (#WAI), Brain Fuel, Startupbootcamp, EY and Lubbers de Jong TECH PR

#hackthecrisis is a global movement started by Estonian accelerator Garage48 and has been now organized in over 41 countries including Germany, Australia and India, which inspired a group of Dutch leaders to bring it to the Netherlands.

A hackathon is a fast-paced event, where participants team up to create solutions and concepts from scratch in a short amount of time, addressing current problems. There are hackathons of various lengths and types, but one common characteristic of them is that they are centered around a specific theme, such as in this case. 

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