Forty-eight hours. A challenge to choose from a hundred social challenges. More than a thousand participants, including students, teachers and volunteers from 24 universities across Spain. Among them are Maria Cabrero and Jesus Valverde, graduates of the University of Vigo and this year’s winners. Hack for Good Big Day, And Hackathon (or time trial competition) in which participants had only two days to develop in teams an innovative solution to a social challenge or problem. Their project is a smart greenhouse for the home managed from a mobile app, which helps control both the temperature, humidity and light the crop receives at each of its stages.
“The most innovative thing about the application is the presence of the “recipes” section, a series of programmed orders that control the climatic variables necessary to maintain optimal conditions for each type of garden,” Industrial Engineer Valverde discovered. Plants. Throughout the 48 hours of the event, he devoted himself to the physical development of the greenhouse, while Cabrero, a telecommunications engineer, was responsible for the application and its interaction with it. The Depresso projects of the University of Castilla-La Mancha and the E-Lab of the University of Salamanca received second and third prizes.
Held at 42 Madrid headquarters in the Telefonica district, the event’s final call brings together university entrepreneurs to innovate and solve problems that arise in our daily lives. “Technical elements are essential for acceptance by the jury, which bases its evaluation on three criteria: the creativity and innovation of the proposed solution; the degree of success achieved during Hackathon; and its social impact,” explains Alejandro Chincilla, head of relations with universities and leaders at Telefónica. And, incidentally, soft skills such as teamwork, communication, critical thinking or leadership are encouraged, highly valued and needed by companies.
A senior ‘hackathon’ with a social purpose
Los hackathons, No doubt, they have been in fashion for a long time, and the good health of the event organized by Telefónica, one of the oldest held in Spain, is proof of this. “They are important because many innovative projects come to light, and at the same time they inspire young people who try to solve everyday problems, while also trying to solve other complex problems,” says Daniel Iratier, a Telecom engineer and The spokesperson of the depressed is more important, in addition, they force you to enter other fields, for example, to create a business plan, and “they promote values such as diversity, access and everything inherent in sustainability in its three pillars. Economic, social and environmental,” says Chinchilla. But they also facilitate collaboration, knowledge exchange and access Feedback Professionals and other entrepreneurs.
Emotional Well-Being is a digital platform created by Depresu, Iradier, Juan Cano, David Ortega and Ayan Mameyev: Daily tests to measure your emotional state; Self-help that has been validated by psychologists and psychiatrists to measure levels of depression, anxiety or stress; Direct contact with these experts; Information resources (including the suicide prevention number 024) and cloud synchronization if the phone is transferred or lost. “We believe it’s very effective in preventing mental illness because we’re informing about basic concepts, assessing, counseling and teaching relaxation techniques,” he says.
In addition to the well-being and mental health of young and old, other successful projects in this edition of HackForGood worked on environmental challenges, depopulation in rural areas or educational innovation. This is the case E-Pisteme.TechThe Initial The university responsible for the E-Lab was ranked third Hackathon of Telefonica. “Our program focuses on providing innovative solutions for training in science, technology, art and mathematics. We use interactive and digital production technologies to create learning paths and immersive experiences for students, teachers, institutions and other training centers,” says its founding director Manuel Vailma.
Presented by Wilma, a physics graduate, and her sister Greta, a fourth-year biotechnology student, the project consists of two parts: E-Lab School, An array of extended labs with low-cost interconnected equipment and instruments that allow schools to develop science activities with hands-on experimentation; and teaching tools, aimed at students between the ages of 8 and 14 (or older). Processor Interactive. The goal, he argues, is to “make STEM education a more accessible and enriching learning experience.”
And after the ‘hackathon’, what?
Come, see and win, as Julius Caesar said, is not the goal of successful hackathon projects: for most of them, it is the beginning of an adventure that they hope will lead to much more. “We make it possible to turn that innovative technology solution into a business entrepreneurship program. But entrepreneurship is not just about building a company, it’s about knowing how to manage it, and making students an entrepreneur is about giving them the mindset to become an agent of change,” says Chinchilla.
Winning projects in each of the 14 cities Hackathon They have several months to develop their plans into a business plan and defend it publicly. big day, The final ceremony was recently held in Madrid. “During that time, they get support and advice from their universities and from us,” he adds.
Over the years, there have been many attempts to surpass the competition and achieve success. Projects such as BionicLab, an initiative of the University of Salamanca and the Pontificia de Salamanca, created an exoskeleton to restore movement of the hands of the disabled. behind hackathon, The team responsible won the Innovation Award in Castilla y León and ended up in Silicon Valley (USA).
But there are many more: Atoba, for example, is an app developed by University of Vigo students for early detection of bullying; BlooMod, a modular natural system of vertical gardens for indoor use that allows for the absorption of polluting gases and suspended particles, developed by students of the Polytechnic University of Madrid; Or Yaokar, A Processor This made it possible to connect elderly people from different places in rural Spain.
“Many projects that win a national award continue their journey in incubators or accelerators that allow them to reach the market with a minimum viable product, or even within universities and research groups, for more scientific development,” he recalls. Chinchilla.
Not just technical profiles
Although the most common profile in this type of competition usually corresponds to technical degrees in STEM fields, mainly computer science and telecommunications, the presence is increasingly diverse, with participants from other engineering fields related to the environment (such as forestry engineering) and students. from the Department of Social Sciences. As Chinchilla describes, in short, an ecosystem that is increasingly diverse: “They are all filled with designers and students from Fundación Telefónica’s Campus 42; And although they are very technical profiles, we must remember that the participation of STEM students is increasing, which makes us proud.
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