Technology Developers Have Created 7 Innovative Products at Open Data Hackathon
Jan 28

Last weekend, during the hackathon “Hacker Games. Open Data”, 50 tech enthusiasts formed teams and, using the opened up data of the public sector, created 7 innovative products. The tourism promotion, pupil engagement and university search products were recognized as the products with the greatest potential.

During the 48-hour hackathon, the participants had to develop innovative products or services to solve the problems of Vilnius city or, based on open data from institutions, they had to raise problems by themselves and to find solutions for them. Vilnius City Municipality raised 8 problems for this hackathon: from monitoring of emotional health in the city, use of real estate to waste management in Vilnius city.

“We are delighted by the fact that the use of open data leads to the emergence of high-potential products, and that innovators are not afraid to look for opportunities for collaboration between politics, information technology and business. The innovative products that were created this weekend responded well to the problems that we have raised, and the solutions, though in their infancy, have a potential to be commercialized when working together, or adapted for the use by city authorities”, – stated Eglė Radvilė, the representative of Vilnius City Municipality.

During the second open data hackathon organized by “Startup Lithuania”, the team from Alytus “e-savanorystė” (e-volunteering) has created an online platform that encourages pupil engagement in active activities. This team of 16 and 18 years old pupils won a prize that was set by “Change Makers‘On“ – the opportunity to participate at the entrepreneurship summer camp. As the creators of the solution themselves state, this prize is a great opportunity to continue a successfully started work and further develop the product that was born over the weekend.

“We knew by the time we arrived that we will deal with this problem because we ourselves are young people and we notice that our peers are reluctant to engage in various volunteering or other active activities, are not looking for themselves. For this reason, using the open data of Vilnius City Municipality, over this weekend we have created a platform on which event organizers may post about a planned event and that they are looking for volunteers to help during it. Even though the project is in its infancy, we are already planning to seek cooperation opportunities with Vilnius City Municipality, we intend to do more work to attract educational institutions, and, after having tested the opportunities in Lithuania we will look for international opportunities“, – say the representatives of the team “e-savanorystė” (e-volunteering).

During the open data hackathon, the team “Toorist”, that has created a platform of customized tourist routes, won two prizes: the opportunity to leave for Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, and an invitation to introduce themselves to Lithuanian Business Angels. The team “Social”, that has created a University search and comparison platform, won the membership in the Collaboration Area of Vilnius Coding School and mentor consulting.

According to Roberta Rudokienė, the Head of  Startup Lithuania, using open data to create business products is not common in Lithuania. It is therefore delighting that the society is becoming increasingly bold in taking on to tackle the problems surrounding data managed by institutions, and to check the potential of business ideas they have, prospective start-ups choose to attend such events: “Hackathons are usually attended by people who have business ideas. But they lack knowledge of how to turn them into a successful business. Precisely for this reason, when organizing hackathons, we arrange mentoring sessions with market experts who use their insights to help prospective start-ups to better understand the peculiarities of business development, market trends or how to properly use the data opened by the institutions“, – says R. Rudokienė.