Let’s introduce the winners of the Digital Seniors hackathon


36 hours, 14 creative teams, 3 winning solutions, 1 dog found and a lot of coffee. This is how the second hackathon organized by the Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic in cooperation with the Campus Cowork innovation center could be summarized.

“The goal of the second hackathon funded by the Recovery and Resilience Plan was to design and create solutions to increase the motivation of seniors to use digital equipment and services, as well as solutions that would help them navigate the digital world more easily,” said MIRRI’s representative, CEO Peter Balík of the section responsible for hackathons.

After a demanding two days, on Saturday evening we listened to the presentations of all the teams, during which they had only 4 minutes to present their idea to an expert jury. All participants managed their task and the jury had a lot to do to choose the best solutions. In addition to creativity and imagination, however, the feasibility of the idea is also taken into account with regard to time and financial demands.

“Although there can only be three winners, this hackathon pleasantly surprised us, especially with the variety of ideas presented. The winning solution met all the conditions we wanted to see in the winners. The chosen solution is usable in reality, the team’s presentation was top-notch, and the version they created during the hackathon is in the form of a fully functional prototype,” explained Tomáš Očenáš, CEO of Campus Cowork.

The winners of the hackathon are…

The Fireflies team took third place with a project they named Digitálny lišiak (Digital Fox). The solution they proposed to increase the motivation of the older generation to use modern technologies is “teaching seniors in a playful way” how to navigate in the digital world. The basis of the solution should be a digital manual, where the senior can practice his skills in a safe environment after completing the training.

“The hackathon took place in a relaxed atmosphere and turned out to be excellent. The topic brought a great mix of concreteness and openness, which gave the teams a lot of room for creativity. That’s after all it also showed on the final results. The mentors were very helpful and the icing on the cake seniors, including Mrs. Jarka Staneková from the civic association AkSen, who came to consult solutions and provided an opinion on the created prototypes after their direct user experience. We look forward to hearing about what topics hacknime.to will bring in the future,” commented Lukáš Oškera from the Fireflies team.

The second place belongs to the T Old Stars team and their solution called začnime.to (let’s begin). It is an application with two interfaces, one that the senior can see and the other that his family can access and has admin functions. In this way, the administrator can update the content according to his specific needs for his close senior.

“Seniors in Slovakia often have push-button phones and are afraid to move to the digital world with a touch screen. That’s why we are very happy that our solution začnime.to caught the attention of the jury and we will be able to bring the online world to less courageous seniors who want to, but are afraid to start”, evaluated Lucia Maková from the T Old Stars team.

The winner of the Digital Seniors hackathon was a team called Valec. Based on behavioral economics and elements of gamification, they created an app that motivates seniors to open it every day and even compare themselves with other users. The added value of the solution is also the back-end analytics, which will provide valuable and further usable data about the generation of senior citizens in Slovakia.

“Hackathons are proof that even ordinary people can come up with great solutions to current problems. We believe that our solution will bring seniors to the forefront of digitization,” added Martin Nemeček from the Valec team.

Next year, several hackathons will be held, each with a different theme, but they will have one thing in common. Their goal is the digitization of public administration in Slovakia. The topic of the next event will be known at the beginning of next year!

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