#HackCorona Virtual Hackathon by Data Natives & Hacking Health: 1 million social media impressions, 300 participants, 41 nationalities and 23 solutions to fight COVID-19


On March 17th, Data Natives, Dataconomy & Hacking Health called its global community of 78000 data scientists and enthusiasts to come together to find solutions for the most pressing COVID-19 outbreak challenges within a record short period of time (48 hours) during an online hackathon HackCorona taking place online on March 20th-22nd.

Pitching session recording is available via this link.

Winning ceremony recording is available here.

In just one day, the initiative gathered over 1700 people interested to participate in the following challenges:

  • Protecting the Elderly challenge focused on finding digital solutions for a voluntary care network for the elderly population, supported by young and healthy people.
  • Open Source Childcare challenge aimed at creating digital solutions for open source childcare networks.
  • Self-Diagnosis challenge targeted the development of an online self-diagnosis COVID-19 solutions that would allow to input symptoms and suggest next steps to take.
  • Open Source Hardware Solutions challenge intended to build fast and easy medical devices that can be produced to solve problems defined by hospitals and other healthcare providers.
  • Open challenge allowed participants to suggest and wok the challenge of their own choice

HackCorona hackers were joined by renowned juros and mentors selected by the Data Natives team from Germany, USA, Israel, Switzerland & other countries to guide the teams along the way. 

“I encountered some very committed people, who presented amazing analyses. I really hope that they can actually use their solutions to fight the virus,”Max Wegner, Regulatory Affairs at Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

“What a fantastic event with incredible outcomes! Thank you to you all for such an incredible Hackathon! We at MotionLab.Berlin absolutely loved the motivation and enthusiasm. Your energy was felt and we could not be prouder to have been part of such a positive and community building initiative. Thank you DataNatives and all those involved for making this happen. You are truly the best!”, Tayla Sheldrake, Operational Project Leader at MotionLab.Berlin

“It is unbelievable how many interdisciplinary experts from all over the world offered their participation in such a short time in order to team up with people they have never seen before to build solutions for the common good. It’s inspiring to see that In times of crisis, the motivation to contribute to healthcare innovation is stronger than ever. We must now build on this and establish a consistent format to further foster international cooperation.”, Joscha Hofferbert Lead Organizer Hacking Health Berlin

“We are happy to have created a new community of inspired, talented and creative people from so many different backgrounds and countries eager the change the course of this critical situation - this is exactly the reason why we, at Data Natives, are building and nurturing data and tech communities”, Elena Poughia, CEO at Data Natives

“Congrats to everyone! Awesome work. Thanks to the organizers for all your hard work and patience with mentoring. Great experience!”Antoni Zolciak, participant.

“Best way to spend a Sunday afternoon! I am just listening to the pitches of the #HackCorona teams. Some of them like the team from Anne Bruinsma just came together 48h ago to fight coronavirus. Hands up for the 140 entrepreneurs that spent their precious time to come up with new ideas!”, Maren Lesche, Founder at Startup Colors, Head of Incubation at Vision Health Pioneers


Among jury members and mentors:

The hackathon pitching sessions and award ceremony took place on March 22nd and was moderated by Stewart Rogers, Managing Editor at GritDaily, MC at VentureBeat, founder, keynote speaker. 


Right after the online kick-off session on March 20th, 300 selected data scientists, developers, project managers, designers, healthcare experts and psychologists of 41 nationalities formed 30 teams to collaborate intensively throughout the weekend to come up with the working prototypes for selected challenges.

All in all, solutions were dedicated to creating easily-marketable solutions to connect volunteers to the high risk population, encouraging people to volunteer by transforming their time into a digital currency, low-cost shirt tracking body values such as temperature, heart rate and moisture, assisting parents to deal with anxiety, using biomarkers to help authorities to better manage the lockdown situation, global outbreak predictions system and many more.

Winners & prizes

8 winners were selected to receive prizes provided but the HackCorona partners Hacking Health, Bayer, Vision Health Pioneers, Motion Lab and Fraunhofer.

  • Distrik5 team from the CODE Universtiy of Applied Scineces in Berlin developed a community currency to incentiviuze people to volunteer and help elderly with their needs by rewarding their time via a digital currency. The team won a fast track to join the current batch of incubation at Vision Health Pioneers.
  • Team Homenauts worked on creating a directory of resources to help people stay at home, deal with isolation and take care of their mental health. Homenauts created a participatory platfrom with ideas on how to better cope with isolation where users can submit useful resources. The team won a prize of connections from the Data Natives team, who will support the development of the platfrom by connecting the team with marketing and development experts. 
  • DIY Ventilator Scout team created a chatbot (currently available on Telegram) to help engineers that want to build a DIY ventilator by giving instructions, list components and any data regarding the availability of components need to build a ventilator. The team received a prize from Fraunhofer to use DIY Ventilator Scout system to guide Fraunhofer’s  engineers who are currently working on ventilators hardware. 
  • Covid Encounters team by Polypoly.eu developed a mobile app for tracing the exposure and alerting citizens without compromising their privacy. The app allows to notify any encounters of the possibility of the infection through public alert service that sends a notification to all connected devices.  The team won a prize of connections from the Data Natives team, who will support the development of the app by introducing the team to relevant stakeholders to push the release of the app. 
  • HacKIT_19 team developed an easy-to-use app to help individuals, families, and decision makers to make better decisions based on self-reported symptoms and real-time data and exctract those insights for a heat map. The team won a prize of connections from the Data Natives team, who will support the development of the app by introducing the team to relevant stakeholders to push the release of the app. 
  • Quantum Drug Screening team developed an algorithm for drug screening using quantum calculations to describe the drug molecules that have been already approved allowing to adopt in therapy very fast. Drug discovery for virus infections usually takes a lot of time and manpower and consumes over 15% of pharmaceutical company revenue. The faster way is using computer simulations to target virus with an array of available drug molecules and look at hundred of thousand of possible drugs in a short time. The team won a prize of connections from the Data Natives team and further support of the project from Bayer AG
  • BioReactors team developed a small data AI powered tool for the optimization of bioreactor settings and nutrition mixtures based on their existing xT smart_DoE solution to scale the vaccine production much faster than usual. The team received a prize from MotionLab Berlin who provided access to their facility infrastructure of 4000 square meters to help with the project development
  • “Our Team” focused on creating prediction models for of Covid-19 outbreak based on machine learning algorithm with an option to chage the parameters and view results. They focused on the following parameters: when will the the peak take place based on the actions taken, what is the efficiency of each action taken, what are the mostimportant factors playing into the scenario. The team won a he team won a prize of connections from the Data Natives team and will be introduced to the relevant network stakeholders to push the project further.

Sponsors & supporters

Sponsors: Hacking Health, Bayer, Vision Health Pioneers, Motion Lab

Supporters: Fraunhofer, Enpact, gig, INAM, Photonic Insights, SIBB, Unicorns in Tech, StartUp Asia Berlin, Start-A-Factory


About Data Natives
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