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Global hackathon names three champions who developed solutions to fight COVID-19.


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What an experience!

Over the past week, we’ve had the fortunate opportunity to collaborate with hundreds of people from all over the world to fight back against COVID-19 through a gender-inclusive global hackathon with youth at the center. CodeTheCurve was organized by UNESCO, SAP, IBM Z, UN EQUALS, iHackOnline, AngelHack, Internet Society, and many other collaborators. We were lucky enough to be part of the leadership team that created the concept, and we can say that we felt like we were living our best lives — and that best life is still not over!

Nearly 200 project teams from all over the planet submitted innovative CodeTheCurve proposals. Of the 40 participating teams selected as CodeTheCurve quarterfinalists, 34 teams from 26 countries submitted their solutions following a week of intense and hands-on virtual learning, hacking, and collaborating with mentors and speakers. More than 400 people played a role in participating, speaking, mentoring, judging, and/or organizing our CodeTheCurve magic. Three winners were selected … let’s take a look at them now!

And the winners are…

Master Winner + Winner, Health & Social Issues category: X-COV (Spain)

It’s with great excitement that our team announced the Master Winner and Health & Social Issues category winner, X-COV from Spain. X-COV spent three days building a smart X-ray solution using a combination of IBM products and services that incorporate image recognition, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and tons of other cool tech magic.

We had the opportunity to engage with X-COV throughout their journey from idea to reality, and are incredibly excited to connect them to our team of IBMers and collaborators to further develop their idea into a scalable and lasting solution that goes beyond use cases relating to COVID-19.

Winner, Information & Data Management category: CovidImpact (Canada, Mexico, Bangladesh & Kazakhstan)

It was a joy to see such a diverse team come together to empower the world during times of crises. CovidImpact brought the noise by creating a solution that will initially roll out in Canada and later hit scores of U.S. cities with curated content focused on enabling small business leaders to gain access to COVID-19 funding and/or relief opportunities. With so many small businesses hit by such unprecedented economic challenges and uncertainty, having a place to go for information inspired us to think about how such a solution could help secure the livelihood of Canadian and American small business owners.

We look forward to working with the CovidImpact team to take their product from GA to scale as we partner together to incorporate IBM Z data and analytics and machine learning into their solution.

Winner, Education category: VRoam (Canada)

Who is missing the gym? Who is not exercising enough while we are all practicing safe social distancing and confinement? Us! VRoam incorporates exercise and learning together into one solution that enables the world to learn, visit historical sites, and exercise — all from home. This group of innovators from Canada found an incredibly insightful way to combine all of this together in an unexpected and innovative way. We just want to know how soon we can get our hands on it so we can all start checking out the world from home and get fit again!

What’s next?

All 34 teams that submitted their CodeTheCurve Hackathon artifacts will take part in a series of invite-only sessions geared toward fostering a community of hackers, hipsters, humanitarians, and hustlers for social good.

Oh, and did we tell you that Melissa (yes, Melissa) is finally going to learn to code? She will take this journey along with our participants and create her first application. Wish us all luck!

Want to read more? Check out the UNESCO announcement blog here.

You can follow along with our journey at @codethecurve on Twitter.

Your Chief Penguin, Melissa Sassi @mesassi

Your COBOL Queen, Sudharsana Srinivasan @Sudharsana_SS

Melissa Sassi
Sudharsana Srinivasan