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2020 Call for Code® Global Challenge

Creating and deploying open source technologies to tackle the world's greatest challenges

From the mom-and-pop bakery down the street, to the tech start-up looking to change the world, each small business has its own unique story, with one common chapter. This common chapter is the COVID-19 pandemic, a force that has quickly battered the economy and all businesses within it. As big businesses continue to endure the leaks in their revenue with shifts in portfolio and resource allocations, small businesses suffer an accelerated declination, and yearn for guidance tailored to their situation that can potentially reduce the onslaught of financial blows from COVID-19.

Enter CovidImpact, a smart, digital, small business care bundle created by a team of impassioned technologists from Canada, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, and Mexico, with the goal of reducing the financial impact of COVID-19 on small businesses. The team of University of British Columbia graduates includes Ali Serag El-din, Alberto Cevallos, Salman Alam, Bolat Khojayev, and Talshyn Bolatova.

About the solution

CovidImpact harnesses the power of IBM® Watson™ Tone Analyzer and the IBM ILOG CPLEX to provide a predictive assessment that forecasts risk levels for a business and curates personalized programs and tips to reduce oncoming financial threats. Additionally, CovidImpact also projects smart news, a real-time list of sentiment analysis-parsed news articles relevant to small business owners from all major outlets. Instead of scouring various news sources and articles to find relevant guidance and societal trends, the smart news function delivers information to each business for quick, pertinent insights.

In addition, CovidImpact provides an economic impact heatmap that displays areas where government business aid isn’t reaching and notifies officials so they can direct aid to specific regions or industries. CovidImpact lets the collective voices of small businesses be heard during the time of their greatest need. As Ali Serag, Team Lead for CovidImpact points out,

“Within a weekend of putting all of your creativity or mind, your research efforts into creating something, you can create a tool or a platform that can benefit the lives of millions of people. It’s nothing short of magic.”

Inspired? Join the fight now.

Thanks to the team’s immediate action to answer the call and fight back against COVID-19 through the 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge, their solution has been selected by IBM for early deployment support. CovidImpact represents just one of many solutions that IBM will continue to evaluate. This can be you! The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge submissions portal remains open until July 31, 2020. To kickstart your ideation process, check out our starter kits. We have the tools. You have the talent.

IBM Developer staff