With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all sectors, especially overwhelming the health care sector, initiatives, hackathons and challenges are being announced by national and international entities both on the private and governmental levels.
They are calling on innovators, entrepreneurs, professionals to come together and come up with solutions that can support our fight against COVID-19 and its implications.
If you are an innovator, ideator, or an entrepreneur with a solution and want to help solving the crisis, here is a list of 7 open challenges that you can join :
Local Open Calls.
1- Wild Card Hackathon- by Robusta
After the first COVID-19 Hackathon ‘Fight Not Flight’ success, Robusta, decided to kick-off another hackathon. “Fight Not Flight” is a local movement hackathon powered by Robusta with more than 20 other companies, aiming at building a response system that helps people, businesses and nations deal with the disruption gracefully.
Wild Card is a 3 day online hackathon spanning teams from across MENA, starting Friday 27th till Sunday 29th of March to help find reliable solutions to fight the virus. The hackathon is not exactly a coding hackathon, but rather a thought leadership movement approach for all leaders and innovators in all different industries and areas of expertise to come up with solutions to help us deal, cope and fight this virus. You can learn more, and apply through their website.
2- Corona Hackathon- by StartEgypt, Yomken and Egyptian Red Crescent
Yomken announced “Corona Hackathon” that is supported by the Egyptian Red Crescent and sponsored by StartEgypt. The hackathon is calling for Egypt’s innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers, and product designers to hack 3 of the timely challenges faced by our society today; Safe Public Transport Challenge, Myth-Busting for Day-labourer challenge, and Safe Banknote Challenge. The best solutions will get a chance to get a symbolic award of up to 10,000 EGP.
First stage includes applications which are open from 24th to 30th of March, short listed ideas will be announced by 31st of March. The second stage includes submitting pitch videos or prototypes by April 3rd, and the top ideas will be announced on April 5th. You can learn more and apply through their website.
3- SeekNotHide Virtual Hackathon- Seedspace Cairo
Seedstars is launching the hackathon: “SEEKNOTHIDE” to help combat the issues the entrepreneurial community, entrepreneurs & startups are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with Startup Haus Cairo, Gemini Enterprises Africa, and Ibtikar Khana, the hackathon will take place from 29th of March until April 4th.
In partnership with Startup Haus, Gemini Enterprises, and Ibtikar Khana, Seedspace launched the Virtual Hackathon to combat the challenges that entrepreneurs, startups & the ecosystem is facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Winners will get acceleration to the SSw Cairo 2020, 2 months free membership at Seedspace Cairo, and will be eligible for 500.000 USD investment from the SSW 2020 tour. Apply if you can address one of these challenges: How to create a healthy/enjoyable lifestyle, work atmosphere and motivate employees/entrepreneurs during the outbreak? How to increase/maintain sales during the outbreak, especially (Fashion, E-commerce, Events & travel focused) sectors? How to manage to shift operations to remote locations, especially with big teams?
Apply and check it all out from here.
4- Egyptian Cabinet Opportunity to Fight Coronavirus
The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research announced an innovation challenge to fight Coronavirus and its implications in Egypt and they are allocating 30Million EGP to support it.
They call for tech solutions to support the healthcare system and provide innovative solutions that can cover shortages. The Scientific Research Academy will provide technical support, materials, and logistical support to power the Egyptian innovations to reach the stage of quantitative production.
The grant targets several areas including the manufacturing tools, 3D printers and CNC machines to design masks that can be reused after only changing the filter. The proposals will be evaluated, and researchers or innovators whose projects are accepted will be invited to specialized scientific committees held by industry and investment specialists, university professors, academic researchers and experts in project management for the final evaluation through a video conference. The winners will be informed and contract signing will begin in the first week of April 2020.
Deadline to apply is 28th of March. Check all details from this link.
5- Ventilator Design Challenge by ASU Innovation Hub
The challenge is organised by Ain Shams University’s Design House, calls for teams of three to twelve participants fulfilling the following criteria; having a communication representative, a medical lead, and a technical or engineering lead to design a low-cost, simple, easy to use and easy to build ventilator that can serve CoronaVirus patients, in an emergency time frame. It should be easy to build locally, must be easy to verify its functionality, and must meet the design requirements specified on the website. Three finalists will be selected and their designs will be available to download for free.
The Ventilator Design Challenge is organized by the ASU Design House, by providing their experts, along with many experts from the community to mentor, guide and support contestants throughout the design and prototyping process.
The participating teams should deliver the full designs by April 20th, and the winners will be announced by May 21st, and will be awarded EGP 100,000. After winners are announced, the top three designs will be manufactured and tested before finalising the design.
To learn more and apply please visit their website.
Regional Open Calls
5- Berytech Hub Challenge- in Lebanon
The Lebanese entrepreneurship hub Berytech announced on their website an open call for Lebanese startups that can help fight the coronavirus. The opportunity is for anyone with a feasible healthtech solution that can help address emergency medical needs in Lebanon, including test kits, respiratory devices and mobile applications for detection, tracing and information sharing.
You can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Open Calls
6- Code Life Ventilator Challenge for COVID-19 Crisis
The Montreal General Hospital Foundation , in collaboration with the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), is launching a global innovation challenge, backed by a $200,000 CAD prize. They are calling for teams to design a simple, low-cost, easy-to-manufacture and easy-to-maintain ventilator which could be deployed anywhere needed to save COVID patients’ lives anywhere in the world.
The ventilator should be easy to build locally, must be easy to verify its functionality, and must meet the design requirements specified on their website. Three finalists will be selected and their designs will be available to download for free.Teams can include from 1-20 people, and they can participate multiple times. Few days left, you can join the challenge here.
7- #BuildForCOVID19 Global Hackathon
Facebook is joining health organizations and companies across the tech industry to participate in the #BuildForCOVID19 global hackathon The World Health Organization, scientists from the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and experts from other industries will provide guidance on what projects will be most valuable for engineers to take on, and Facebook engineers will be joined by teams from Microsoft, Slack, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, WeChat, Giphy, Slow Ventures and more to build tools to help tackle some of the health, economic and community challenges coming from the outbreak.
The COVID-19 Global Hackathon is an opportunity for developers to build software solutions that drive social impact, with the aim of tackling some of the challenges related to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Project submissions open Thursday, but if you’re interested, you can register now. The deadline for ideas is March 30, applying requires a two-minute video walkthrough on YouTube or Vimeo.
The projects accepted for the scheme will be announced on April the 3rd. You can check the rules and apply through this link.