Throwback To Our Top 7 INNOVATIVE Hackathons

Throwback To Our Top 10 INNOVATIVE Hackathons

18% of hiring managers state that finding qualified entry-level technology talent has become even more complex over the last year (an 8% increase from 2021). Enter hackathons!

Hackathons have always brought out the best and the most innovative solutions for the most abstract problems. They are a great way to bridge the ever-increasing gap between developers, recruiters, and hiring managers.

Because we at HackerEarth have conducted countless hackathons in the past decade, two points stood out starkly:

  • Developers LOVE fighting real-world challenges with hackathons
  • Hackathons are immensely popular among companies as branding, engagement, crowdsourcing, and upskilling tools

Ten years of our journey of playing matchmaker for companies in finding the right tech talent, we know exactly how hard the sourcing-to-hire cycle is. The last two years have reiterated the fact that community engagement needs to be at the forefront of every company’s tech recruiting process. On that note, let’s take a look at some of the recent innovative hackathons that we are incredibly proud of 🙂

Also, read: The complete guide to organizing a successful hackathon

Let’s go down memory lane of our 7 most innovative hackathons!

Our Top 7 Innovative Hackathons!

hackCOVID 2.0

In 2020 when covid-19 was at its peak, HackerEarth in collaboration with IIMB launched the HackCOVID hackathon. We saw an amazing response from the community and consequently went on to conduct two more hackathons in this series – hackCOVID 2.0 and hackCOVID 3.0.

This hackathon in particular had two goals, to help industries mitigate the Coronavirus outbreak and to bring out the best developer talent around the world. We asked developers worldwide to come up with the most innovative and unique solutions to tackle COVID-19.

For the same reason, we had several relevant themes in place:

  • Healthcare
    • Outbreak management
    • Covid-19 Patient Symptom Screening and Reporting
  • Public Administration
    • Home-quarantine tracker
    • Tracing and monitoring
  • Economy
  • Virtual Learning
  • Open Innovation for Covid-19

This hackathon was a massive success with over 700 teams taking part. This event brought out some of the most innovative applications such as “Using Anonymised Mobile Network for Identifying Hotspots and Covid-19 spread”, “Ventilator Monitoring”, etc.

Also, read: How Hackathons Can Help You Attract, Engage, Hire, And Train Top Talent

Pride Hackathon 2020

Yet another hackathon that is a part of our Inclusion and Diversity program. This was the very first hackathon of its kind in India, an LGBTQ+ exclusive hackathon to come up with tech, non-tech, and social solutions to secure internships, and jobs, and of course win other prizes as well.

This was done in collaboration with multiple organizations with multiple themes and sub-themes:

  • Technical: Induction process – Streamline the candidate journey (candidate selection, interview process, and pre-onboarding process) to make it free from bias and more inclusive to the LGBT+ community, during the interview process for both the candidate as well as the interviewer.
  • Non-Technical: Inclusion at Atlassian – Propose a framework to create a more LGBT+ inclusive environment at the workplace. Your idea might include current challenges, baselines on company practices and policies, and recommendations.
  • Social Good: Employment Opportunities – Enable the transgender community to broaden the scope of employment opportunities (For example – by removing bias from the interview).

During the course of this hackathon participants came up with fun and amazing yet practical solutions in every area (tech, non-tech, and social). This was hands-down one of our most fun hackathons!

Missing Hackathon

In my opinion, this is one of the most unique and innovative hackathons held.

People go missing almost every minute around the world with women and children being the main victim, this, of course, is a great cause for concern. This hackathon was conducted to find innovative solutions to locate and rescue missing people.

There were themes included that helped in further breaking down different avenues for searching and rescuing missing people. They were:

  • Facial Recognition System –  to help global law enforcement agencies identify missing people via facial recognition
  • Decentralized Directory of Missing Persons – the creation of a public missing person inventory to help identify missing people
  • Search Mapping – this is to figure out and trace the pattern of offenders to locate and save victims of abductions/human trafficking
  • Open Innovation – this theme has no boundaries, developers have the option of coming up with any solution they deem helpful.

This event was yet another massive success. In fact, one of the missing people hackathon solutions helped state police in locating and rescuing 2 missing people. How amazing is that?

Live Love Be: AR/VR Hackathon 2.0


Live Love Be: AR/VR Hackathon 2.0

Love knows no gender, freedom of rights knows no bounds, and the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, +) community is the epitome of this thought. In honor of Pride Month, we conducted a hackathon to celebrate the impact and change that the LGBTQIA+ community has made globally.

The proposed themes were:

  • Pride – Virtual Events: People all over the world are gearing up to attend the Pride Parade virtually. Participants were given the task of creating the tech infrastructure needed to host the event.
  • Open Innovation: Participants were asked to ideate and create a prototype on anything in the domain of AR/VR to help businesses scale.

We created the Live. Love. Be.- AR/VR Hackathon 2.0. to find solutions that will pave the way towards a more inclusive future in tech and the incredible HackerEarth community did not disappoint!

Also, read: Virtual Hackathons: All You Need To Know

ICTs for Indigenous Languages

The gradual disappearance of languages, particularly indigenous ones gave us some food for thought. We had to think of an answer that was unique and innovative. Like always, we turned to our trusty hackathon model to throw up some valuable ideas for this problem.

As part of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2022 Special Track on ITCs and Indigenous Languages, WSIS, UNESCO, in collaboration with other stakeholders co-organized an online hackathon on our platform, inviting all interested stakeholders to ideate and create solutions that contribute to the preservation and promotion of indigenous languages.

Some of the interesting themes were:

  • Knowledge: Creation of favorable conditions for knowledge-sharing and dissemination of good practices on indigenous languages.
  • Empowerment: Proposing online training, chat rooms, educational games, and solutions to learn indigenous languages, especially for the young generation.
  • Preservation: Developing online archiving tools and online dictionaries to access preserve, protect and revitalize indigenous languages

Read the complete case study here – How UNESCO and the WSIS Forum engaged developers from over 70 countries to help preserve indigenous languages

Hack To Enable

Shining the spotlight on the underrepresented sections of our society, it is imperative to talk about how hard people with disabilities have it in the world; and how hard they have it in the tech space.

This hackathon was specially conducted to find unique solutions to help disabled individuals get into any sector. In other words, the Hack To Enable hackathon is an initiative to help specially-abled folks get access to education, and work in any and every industry or come up with unique solutions that will help them lead much better lives.

Solutions can be created under the following themes:

  • E-learning – build solutions to help specially-abled individuals learn
  • Healthcare – to develop innovative tech solutions to help disabled people live much better lives.
  • Wearables – smart watches and similar smart wearables with features to help disabled people
  • Transformative transportation –  propose innovative ideas or prototypes of travel tech
  • Open innovation – here you can come up with your own ideas that you deem helpful toward specially-abled individuals.

The participants of course came up with some great ideas like a fall detection smart wearable, a human-machine interface, and similarly many others.

Also, read: Internal Hackathons: Drive Innovation And Increase Engagement In Tech Teams

Love is love

This 2020 hackathon is a part of our Inclusion and Diversity program in collaboration with Pride Circle. The goal of this hackathon was to create an ML (machine learning model) combined with NLP (Natural Language Processing) and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to assess the sentiments (positive, negative, or random) of quotes and statutes put up on social media.

This hackathon was a unique one and hell-bent on making the internet a safe space for everyone. Considering the unfortunate times that the entire world was facing due to the Coronavirus pandemic back in 2020, the prize money for this hackathon was distributed for the welfare of society.

See you at the next big HackerEarth hackathon!

As 2023 is almost upon us, we have an exciting line-up of innovative hackathons. If you’d like to organize one for your company or are interested in knowing more about this cost-effective way of engaging with developers that can benefit your business then book a demo right here.

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