What connects Zapier, GroupMe, CloudMine, Zaarly, LaunchRock, and Foodspotting? These successful startups were created during weekend hackathon events and, combined, have gone on to raise $51.4m in funding.

However, when you search for “hackathon success stories,” you’ll see that these examples are somewhat rare. Partly that’s because the teams involved don’t stay together after the weekend (no matter how unique the ideas are or how well they worked together). Partly it’s because they don’t get the ongoing support necessary to take the concept further.

The Applied Data Hackathon solves those two issues and will run from February 28 to March 7. 

Included in the €120,000+ total prize package is a place at the Applied Data Incubator in Berlin for the winning team. Its six-month startup program supports first-time founders from Europe in launching sustainable data startups based on validated, industry-relevant business solutions.

So what are the challenges being set during the Applied Data Hackathon?

Predictive Maintenance

Powered by hackathon partner QuickMOVE GmbH – an expert in machinery and plant engineering, including innovative conveyor technologies – this challenge focuses on machine data and machine learning.

For example, in logistics and manufacturing, customers expect that conveyor systems have a regular availability rate of 99.7% during their productive hours. Current systems work on the basis that maintenance is called for in a crisis. Future maintenance must be predictable, optimized, and done outside of regular working hours. 

This challenge aims to develop predictive analysis tools to solve those existing and costly problems. QuickMOVE will support the challenge with actual customer data readings from machine controls.

“QuickMOVE regards access to data-driven analytics as very important for future technology development, maintenance, and life cycle management,” Thomas Brüse, Managing Partner at QuickMOVE, said. “Data is the new gold. Applying data-driven solutions will help significantly improve technology in the near future. Startups will generate dynamic fresh eye views on the available technologies and help improve these rapidly.”

Object Classification in Real Environments

The University of St.Gallen and IntellIoT provides this challenge in manufacturing and logistics.

The problem? How to reliably classify objects in real industry environments. Participants are provided with a data set of RGB and low-quality depth images of an industrial scene. While the background is static in these pictures, there is not have enough control over the environment to modify the background, lighting, and other artifacts that occur.

Intrepid hackathon participants will need to develop innovative solutions for such environments.

Alerting for Emerging Topics

Hackathon partners ITONICS – a software platform that helps organizations around the globe to identify emerging technologies, trends, and market potentials and translate them into powerful growth strategies – posed an intriguing challenge. 

When scouting for disruptive information and scanning the corporate environment, it is paramount that one acts promptly to recent developments. ITONICS has built data ingestion and enrichment pipelines that store documents such as news patents, publications, and named entities that allow its users to search and discover those. However, there is too much information to sift through manually and identify whether changes are happening. 

Hackathon participants will research, build, and validate a proof of concept prototype that uses search fields a customer has defined and automatically alerts them if significant changes occur within it.

“Our vision at ITONICS is to empower everybody to innovate,” Moritz Kobler, Senior Product Manager, Cloud at ITONICS, said. “In line with this vision, we aim to offer solutions that will propel innovation management through data-driven processes. Aside from sharing our insights with the hackathon teams and supporting them in creating something innovative, the Applied Data Hackathon provides us with a fresh lens on how we might address authentic customer challenges.”

BYOC – Bring Your Own Challenge

Do you have another real-world issue that you’re burning to solve? Good news! You can bring your own to the table.

The Applied Data Hackathon is looking for data-driven solutions, including data analytics, embedded systems, digital twin applications, processing and analysis models, and AI technologies.

The start of a life-changing weekend

The hackathon, which will take place in person at The Drivery in Berlin – which will also be the location for free co-working space for the winners – and online, could be the first step for the next startup weekend success story.

“The Drivery is proud to be a partner of the Applied Data Hackathon,” Timon Rupp, Founder and CEO at Drivery, said. “We are a marketplace for innovation that provides the perfect infrastructure for the hackathon. With our onsite GPU farm and our coding area, and the Algorithm Farm, we contribute to the hackathon’s success.”

Budding hackathon challengers have formed teams and are ready to get started. 16 teams will be working throughout the weekend of March 5-6, 2022 to deliver solutions to both the big challenges our partners have set and those they brought to the table.

The hackathon culminates with Pitch Day on March 7, at 4 PM CET, and you are invited to witness their unique and inspiring solutions. Whether you need new ideas, want to discover the startup stars of tomorrow, or invest in the future, this event is for you!

Register for the Grand Finale and maybe you’ll be there when the next Zapier or GroupMe is created.

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