HackForce hackathon solutions are already being implemented

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The first virtual hackathon in Latvia HackForce ended with LIVE pitches of all 28 hackathon ideas aimed to find solutions for the crisis caused by coronavirus. Thanks to the high interest, teams hard work and potential, the initiative gained huge interest by the public and media. In 48 hours over 850 people from 25 countries joined the public Slack, 70 mentors helped the team succeed, and at the end, live-stream has been viewed already by over 15 000 people. The President of Latvia Egils Levits also joined the live-stream to congratulate and thank the teams. 

Top teams were chosen by the jury with professionals from the startup community, the government, investors, and the health industry. Jury who chose the top teams were: Edgars Labsvīrs, Director at National Health Services, Olga Barreto Goncalves, Chief Startup Instigator at Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, Cristobal Alonso, CEO at  Startup Wise Guys, Andris Berzins, Managing Partner at Change Ventures, Solvita Kostjukova, CEO at ALINA and Reinis Znotiņš, Deputy Minister at Ministry of Education.

We have gathered information about the top five teams, who are already implementing their ideas thanks to the huge support from the partners, community and everyone involved:

1st place: Face Shields

3D printed face protector for medical professionals

The team:  Didzis Dejus, Jānis Jātnieks, Einārs Edziņš, Fricis Pirtnieks, Maruta Skudra-Rumba, Sofija Jakobsone, Elvīra Krēķe, PSKUS doctor Armands Buļs and others.

In consultation with the PSKUS specialists at Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital, the first prototypes of facial protectors were produced, which were presented by the team to the leading Latvian epidemiologists on day 2. Today, the team is in contact with doctors and hospitals, manufacturers and representatives of the Ministry of Health, who are very interested in using the solution and plan to introduce them.

For further development of the project, the team was rewarded with EUR 12 000, of which EUR 10 000 was allocated by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, EUR 1 000 – Tet and EUR 1 000 – Ubiquiti Riga.

2nd place: Emergency Ventilator

Emergency ventilators treating patients with short-term respiratory failure

The team: Einārs Deksnis, Guntis Kuļikovskis, Davis Kuma, Margarita Matulenko, Aivars Ritovs, Ilmars Poikāns, Linda Lancere un Edgars Zvirgzdins.

As part of the hackathon, the team worked on manufacture of artificial respiratory equipment that treats patients with short-term respiratory failure and is heavily needed to treat complications caused by COVID-19. Within 48 hours, the first prototype of an artificial lung-venting machine was created. Currently, the team is actively consulting industry experts to make improvements and begin its testing.

For further development of the project, the team was awarded €8 000, of which €7 000 was allocated by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and €1000 – Ubiquiti Riga.

3rd place: Exonicus

Keeping safe medical personnel caring for COVID-19 patients

The team: Reinis Balmaks, Aija Vilde, Ieva Šlēziņa, Sandis Kondrats, Janis Kondrats, Paul Keire, Vilnis Kleper, Raimonds Udris, Natālija Prave Lukina, Silvija Pole, Andre Nitzschmann, Arnis Cirulis, Arvis Magone, Jānis Grinvalds un Liene Mingailīte. 

Exonicus team is developing a computer and smart-device simulation program that provides training to medical personnel caring for COVID-19 patients. In cooperation with the University of Riga Stradins Medical Education and Technology Centre, Vidzeme University and Digital Health Cluster Latvia,  Exonicus team is currently working on a video simulation programme for the development of a training scenario, which will be distributed immediately throughout Latvia through the Infectology and Disease Prevention and Control Centre.

For further development of the project, the team was rewarded with EUR 6 000, of which EUR 5 000 was allocated by the Ministry of Economics in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and EUR 1 000 – Swedbank Latvija.

4th place: Flipful

Business rescue package to fight coronavirus fallout

The team: Jānis Putniņš, Ivans Dorohovs, Darja Nipere, Viktors Saulītis.

The Latvian government has promised to provide 75% of salary payments to employers affected by the consequences of the virus in order to avoid the liquidation of companies. Flipful’s team is developing a corporate support tool – a solution to idle payments management as a one-stop point to make processing easier for both the National Revenue Service and businesses, making it simple and understandable without additional administrative burden.

For further development of the project, the team was rewarded with EUR 2 500, of which EUR 1 500 was allocated by the Ministry of Economics in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency and EUR 1 000 – Swedbank Latvija.

5th plac: Paliec Mājās

A volunteer-based crisis communication hotline managing contactless delivery solutions for every age group.

The team: Mārtiņš Zeps, Inese Vaivare, Gustavs Upmanis, Maija Kale, Anete Agneta Krišjanova, Uldis Jansons, Daniel Zohar, Mairita Lūse, Arina Stivriņa.

 “Stay Home”, in close cooperation with state and non-governmental organisations, has developed a hotline and an Internet platform for volunteers connecting those who need help with those who can provide it. The Facebook group of the “Stay Home” Voluntary Aid movement already has nearly a thousand members organizing to offer help. Anyone here can join the group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/661487034599519/

For further development of the project, the team was awarded €6 500, of which €1 500 was awarded by the Economy Ministry in cooperation with the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, €3,000 – LMT, €1000 Ubiquiti Riga and €1000 – Swedbank Latvia.

Organisers:

HackForce hackathon was created in 12 hours and organized by 16 individual volunteers from various fields – Zane Bojāre, Uldis Žeidurs un Egita Poļanska (StartupWiseGuys), Madara Ermansone un Anna Marija Ķiesnere (TechChill), Līva Pērkone, Zane Grēta Grants, Laila Ratmane un Kristīne Šeiko (Helve), Edgars Zvirgzdiņš (et Sons), Kirils Solovjovs (Possible Security), Ieva Upeniece (Baltic SandBox), Katrīna Peipiņa un Olga Barretu Goncalves (LIAA), Elīna Lidere (LMT), Mārīte Aleksandra Silava (Swedbank) and Diāna Lāce (Startin.lv).

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