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The Biggest Ever Hackathon in Bulgaria Takes on Challenges Created by COVID-19   


COVID-19 led to the biggest hackathon in Bulgaria so far with over 1000 participants and 110 solutions. Hack the crisis @Bulgaria gave birth to ideas, new business models and technological solutions that not only resolve the issues of today, but also have the potential to become part of our new post-pandemic daily life, adding impetus to the local economy and its various fields.   

The three topics covered during the 48-hour online hackathon were: Save lives, Save communities and groups of people, and Save businesses. On behalf of Sofia Municipality, Vladimir Danailov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia for Digital Transformation, Innovation and Economic Development, was also part of the jury of the event.

Sofia Municipality in collaboration with the Bulgarian Startup Association (BESCO) challenged the participants with specific cases from the everyday life of the city during the crisis related to: how to help citizens from vulnerable groups, how to achieve maximum efficiency of the voluntary initiatives, and ways to avoid the severe consequences for the small and medium businesses.

It is truly encouraging to see how the crisis mobilizes the collective determination to find a way out, Vladimir Danailov commented on his being part of the jury. Congratulations to all participants and especially to Arya Delivery – the winner in the ‘Save Businesses’ category, in which I was part of the jury. They were my best choice, too. Their SmallMag platform aims to integrate small retail outlets in a unified online shopping platform and addresses small and niche businesses that are not in the habit of marketing themselves. They are hit extremely hard by the current situation, yet now is the time for them to adapt to the increased online demand.

You can watch a recording of the live streaming of the final of the hackathon here