Winners announced for Flatten the Curve Hackathon held during Easter

ACS Chief Executive Officer Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson

Five teams have won the Flatten The Curve hackathon held over the Easter weekend

Over 48 hours of intense, white knuckle hacking starting on 9 April, more than 2,400 competitors from 10 different time zones formed teams and set out to solve some of the biggest challenges our nation and world face during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hosted by ACS, the professional association for Australia’s technology sector, the online Flatten the Curve hackathon was larger than any previously held in the APAC region and was supported by 40 partners.

Teams competed across five challenge categories for the total $50,000 in prize money with first place taking $5,000; second place winning $3,000; and third place picking up $2,000.

Challenge categories were education, wellness and mental health, future of work, assisting healthcare workers and protecting the vulnerable. All of the entries can be viewed at the ACS Hackathon YouTube page.

ACS Chief Executive Officer Andrew Johnson said, “We recognised that Easter was shaping as a pivotal moment in combating COVID-19. Many workers and students had been displaced, compounded by employers being encouraged to work from home wherever possible.

“After working from home for a month, we were heading into a four-day Easter Holiday where it was critical to spend the next four days at home.  This hackathon had a 9-day preparation window and provided an opportunity to put great minds to constructive use over the holiday period. A big thanks to our 40 corporate partners for their support.

“We had 15 winners across the categories, but there were many other great ideas. I’m looking forward to seeing which ones come to fruition in the coming months as we get the spread of COVID-19 under control.”

Who won the Flatten The Curve hackathon?

Winners by category:

Education Challenge

  • Winner: Idea 11
  • 2nd place: SkyCap
  • 3rd place: Hacklings

Helping Health Systems

  • Winner: in-it-to-win-it
  • 2nd place: TeamFAST
  • 3rd place:  Healthcare Hackteam

Protecting the Vulnerable

  • Winner: UC Engineering Society
  • 2nd place: Covid Crashers
  • 3rd place: Team Carebubble

Future of Work

  • Winner:  Team U Space
  • 2nd place: BackToLife
  • 3rd place: LSNB

Wellness and Mental Health

  • Winner:  VIP Party
  • 2nd place: Care Bears
  • 3rd place: Project X

What is the significance of the Flatten The Curve hackathon?

Steve Nouri, organiser of the hackathon and Head of Data Science at ACS, said “the scale was larger than any held in APAC before, with so many competitors, mentors and partners from so many backgrounds and time zones.

“With the hackathon totally online, we anticipated challenges in forging trust between teams, communications, accountability and team creation, but the mentors and teams rose to the occasion and delivered a great result.

Steve Nouri Disruptors Awards cropped
Steve Nouri

Ellen Cresswell, lead mentor for the hackathon, added “The energy and creativity from the teams and mentors seemed endless. Many people worked incredibly long hours to complete their submissions.

“For me, it was really rewarding to see diverse teams tackle solutions for the social challenges that we now face as a result of COVID-19. This event wasn’t tech for the sake of tech, it was about finding innovative approaches that could be enabled with creative use of technology, and that’s inspiring.”

Participant Dipam Patel was also impressed by the positive approach taken by the teams and mentors, saying, “thanks so much for the consistent support and words of motivation. We were about to give up but then read a lot of people’s positive comments and suggestions and we decided, even if we lose this battle, we’ll at least fight for it. Thanks again for organising such a wonderful hackathon.”