The second iteration of the Western Balkans’ online competition for the best digital solutions Balkathon 2.0 will offer a total of 54.000 EUR in awards. Similar to 2020, the judges will select six digital ideas that offer innovative ways to tackle some of the key challenges we are facing today. Balkathon 2021 is organised by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).
The Balkathon 2.0 competition is focusing on innovative ideas in four fields: Smart Cities, E-Health, Green Cites and E-entrepreneur. Its key purpose is to promote smartening up Western Balkans and encouraging regional collaboration, co-creation and real-life change, with the idea to help the region, businesses and citizens to strengthen their resilience to global challenges.
The last year’s Balkathon saw 88 applicants from all six Western Balkan economies pitching their innovative solutions in fields of Smart Tourism, Digital Learning and Digital Payment.
There are several eligibility criteria for Balkathon 2.0.
First, your team should come from the Western Balkans region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia). It is open to young individuals/students, start-ups/SMEs, entrepreneurs, digital innovation hubs, science-tech parks and universities.
Second, your digital innovative solutions must fit Smart City, E-Health, Green City & E-entrepreneur categories.
Third, applicants should create teams of associates to compete, be it their friends, NGOs or start-ups.
Fourth, applicants must think beyond their local community and present innovative solutions that can be applied throughout the Western Balkans, preferably globally.
Applications must arrive by 19 May.
If you want to learn more consider attending Balkathon Info day on May 14, 2021. This is a chance for all interested teams to ask questions and learn more about the process. Registration details here.
By 21st May the organisers will shortlist and announce the teams that will participate in the competition. Note that 10 teams per topic will be selected.
The applicants will get a chance to develop their innovative solutions further by closely working with assigned mentors from 24-25th May.
The final presentations should be submitted by 26th May which marks the end of the competition. The announcement of winners and award ceremony is scheduled two days after, on 28th May.
Participation in similar hackathons is usually beneficial for participants for many reasons.
Teams get a chance to gauge their innovative ideas competing against other teams in the same fields. It’s mostly a great way to network with like-minded people and learn about trends we may not be familiar with.
The Balkathon 2.0 short-listed teams will have the opportunity to get a two-day mentoring programme with experienced experts tasked to assist in fine-tuning their innovative solutions.
Perhaps the most important benefit is an opportunity for the best teams to round up their innovative solutions and commercialise them in the much larger regional market.
Finally, there are attractive financial awards.
For further details follow Balkathon guidelines.