On October 11-12, 2019, the second edition of Lux4Good, Luxembourg’s first Tech4Good hackathon, will take place at Technoport in Belval, Luxembourg, bringing together tech experts and social entrepreneurs around real-world challenges. Teams of 3-6 participants will have 24 hours to develop an innovative solution to solve the technical challenges of a project with a social impact, competing to not only win prize money but to make a real difference.
The brainchild of Nicolas Sanitas, Manager Innovation & Development at InTech (part of POST Luxembourg), Lux4Good is part of a larger effort to marry technical innovation with social purpose. “Our team is in charge of exploring new technologies and needs, but also has the desire for purpose in their job,” he explains. “In the summer of 2017, we met Share It, the Tech4Good incubator by Station F in Paris, which was a turning point for us: We saw that by working with social entrepreneurs who are only at the beginning of their project in terms of digital, we could create useful tools with frugal innovation using technologies like blockchain or artificial intelligence.”
The team began working with social entrepreneurs at Share It on a pro bono basis, accompanying them until their MVP and allowing them to show a concrete prototype or demo to investors. This proved to be a win-win scenario: the entrepreneurs could take their project forward on a technical level, while the InTech consultants had the chance to learn up-and-coming technologies between regular client projects while enjoying a sense of purpose.
Nicolas saw that the collaboration was a success and wanted to create something similar in Luxembourg, which led to the first edition of Lux4Good in October 2018. “The hackathon is the first concrete action around tech for good we’ve put in place with a local impact,” he explains. The organizers collect real technical challenges from social entrepreneurs in advance, then give each team of participants the choice of several subjects, based on their interests and technical skills. After making their choice, the teams work in close collaboration with the entrepreneur behind their challenge during the hackathon to create a technical solution that meets their needs. At the end, the entrepreneur is able to take the results back to their business or non-profit organization and apply them to the real world.
The first edition proved to be a success, with several teams continuing to work pro bono on their projects throughout the year. One notable outcome was an app created in 24 hours during the hackathon that led to a real project by a large institution. “Unlike other hackathons, we want projects to continue, and to create a community around them here in Luxembourg,” says Nicolas.
Things are already looking promising for the upcoming second edition of the event. More than 15 ideas were submitted by individuals from a variety of different social businesses and non-profit organizations, covering topics such as diversity, collaborative community, responsible finance, and environmental sustainability, and based on technology including blockchain and mobile development. Registrations are open to participants until October 4th at midnight. Technical profiles including frontend and backend developers, UX designers and data scientists are all welcome, as well as complementary profiles such as product owners, with the aim of creating multidisciplinary teams. Participants can sign up as individuals and be matched with others to form a team, or can sign up as a complete team with friends or colleagues.
Get more info and register to participate at lux4good.org
Get regular updates on the event by following @Lux4Good on Twitter.