Winners of TC Disrupt Hackathon will help refugees with education, identity and social inclusion

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The TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon was the launchpad for three ideas, which will help refugees with social inclusion, access to education, and keeping track of their identity even if essential papers get lost.

Running for a total of 24 hours and taking place in the run-up to the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, the hackathon attracted nearly 300 participants. The three winners selected by Techfugees from eleven competing teams used IBM Watson, Twilio and Twitter APIs to develop ideas which will help refugees with social inclusion, gain access to education, and show proof of identity.


Who were the winners?

  • RefuTweet

RefuTweet aims to provide refugees on the move with the help they need by connecting with local individuals sympathetic to their cause.

The messages are parsed through IBM Watson to extract both the location and request. RefuTweet then searches Twitter in a radius of up to 16 miles around the area and identifies all handles which have tweeted about the refugee crisis in the past week.

A personality insight analysis is run on all relevant Twitter profiles to identify specific users in the area who are sympathetic to the refugee cause and exhibit personality traits such as love, harmony, idealism, sympathy, and altruism.

RefuTweet sends out friendly tweets and a link, asking the top three users if they would like to help a refugee in their area who is in need. If the link is clicked and confirmed a message is sent back to the refugee alerting them that someone is willing to help and how to arrange a meeting.

Watch the video and find out more about the team: Harley Katz, Brett DeWoody, Dhaval Patel, George Stefanis, Michael Curtis.

  • ResID

When refugees are in a foreign country they often have very limited papers with text information, papers which can be easily lost or stolen. ResID helps people never lose track of who they are.
Watch the video and find out more about the team: Danil Gontovnik, Andrey Staroseltsev, Jon Miller.

  • Sensei Hub

Sensei Hub provides a simple capture mobile app that photographs and records student test papers.

Computer vision understands the test paper results, and instantly records this against the student and test IDs from the one photograph.

A facial recognition feature is also available where the student doesn’t have their student ID. This is stored locally in the teachers own mobile device until they are within wifi and an upload to the SenseiHub.online repository can be completed and the test data securely archived.

Watch the video and find out more about the team: Luka Topolovec, Blaz Magdic, Tine Postuvan, Joanna Alpe.

 

What’s next for the winning teams?

Techfugees has offered to support the three teams in developing their prototype into a working MVP with the help of partners TechHub, AltCity and TheToolBox. They will also support field trips to Calais and Lebanon.

After the winners were announced Josephine Goube, CEO of Techfugees, said:

“The prototypes that have been presented have the potential to provide relief to millions of refugees, because unlike distributing aid, tech solutions scale. We were delighted to see so many teams pitching solutions and so many of them really understanding the potential of AI, chatbots and voice recognition systems, thus saving time for refugees and NGOs by automating many time-consuming tasks. Especially in the domain of education, knowing that one out of two refugees is a child, we can’t stress the importance of the need to create solutions that scale now and can be deployed as soon as possible. A child that does not go to school for years will find it extremely hard to catch up later and may never get another chance.”

As part of the hackathon, Techfugees partner Lebanon-based entrepreneur and AltCity CEO, David Munir Nabti, mentored the hackers taking on the Techfugees challenges.

“It was great to see so much energy at the hackathon from teams working to build scalable solutions for refugees and other marginalized communities. We’re excited to see how we can mobilize some of that great talent and energy to support innovation emerging from refugees themselves. If we can build stronger links between these innovators and entrepreneurs and the refugee communities, we can make great strides towards addressing deep challenges that affect us in Europe, the Middle East, and beyond.”

Elizabeth Varley, CEO of TechHub, explained:

“Technology has the ability to transform lives, from everyday experiences to times of crisis. As an advocate of diversity and inclusion in tech, TechHub is delighted to partner with Techfugees in recognising the efforts of entrepreneurs seeking to improve access and opportunities for refugees. We look forward to having the winning team as part of the TechHub community to support them in their awesome work.”

More information

See what else went on at the TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon
Find out more about TechCrunch Disrupt

Techfugees at TechCrunch Disrupt Hackahon: donate to win your ticket!

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Saturday, December 3 at 12:30PM – Sunday, December 4 at 2:00PM

Copper Box Arena

London UK

Techfugees is partnering with TechCrunch Disrupt at one of the most anticipated hackathons of the year – TechCrunch Disrupt London Hackathon 2016! Together with other amazing partners – Twilio, IBM Watson, Amazon Alexa, etc. – we will present our key challenges and support teams during this 24-hour contest. The contest will be announced on the Hackathon website and on-site during the opening remarks. Techfugees will also provide and present the prize during the award ceremony on Sunday, December 4. 

For a chance to be part of it, make a minimum donation of £25 to our crowdfunding campaign with a TC Disrupt reference by December 1, 2016 – the deadline has been extended!

And if you donate £100 and above with a TC Disrupt Conference reference – you could win one of the 12 tickets to the Disrupt Conference worth £1200 each!!! Please find more information below

Donate by December 1, 2016 and win:

  • Donate £25… enter a draw to win 1 of 10 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon tickets happening in London this December 2016.
  • Donate £100… enter a draw to win 1 of 12 TechCrunch Disrupt Conference tickets (Face Value £1200) happening in London this December 2016.
  • Donate £500… enter a draw to win 1 of 2 TechCrunch Disrupt VIP Dinner Tickets on Monday 5 December — £2,000/each value, AND be on our thank you wall of donors publicly available on our website and receive exclusive free tickets to all Techfugees events.

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About TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon 

Preceding the Disrupt Conference is Hackathon weekend on December 3-4, where  developers and engineers descend from all over the world to take part in a 24-hour hacking endurance test. Teams join forces to build a new product, present it on the Disrupt stage to a panel of expert judges and an audience of tens of thousands and compete for a variety of prizes, including the chance to win free tickets to the Disrupt Conference. Products created at the Disrupt Hackathon have seen great success beyond the event, like GroupMe which was created overnight and ultimately acquired by Skype for $80M.

About TechCrunch Disrupt

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies, and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators. Disrupt gathers the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors, hackers, and tech fans for on-stage interviews, the Startup Battlefield competition, a 24-hour Hackathon, Startup Alley, Hardware Alley, and After Parties.

Techfugees Marks World Refugee Day by launching Basefugees, in partnership with Schibsted

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Mike in Lebanon

Techfugees is marking World Refugee Day on Monday by launching Basefugees, in partnership with Schibsted Media Group on June 20th.

Watch our broadcast from the event.

Attendees and donors to the event will be able to enter to a raffle to win tickets for a rare concert of the Syrian National Orchestra, the Damascus-based orchestra which was scattered around the world by the country’s civil war, and is reuniting for the first time in London on Saturday 25th of June.

The event will start with a presentation by Mike Butcher on the progress made by the Techfugees’ team and community since its inauguration in September 2015, where it began life as a simple Facebook group with a big idea. Nine months later, Techfugees is proud to say that it is represented in 25+ hubs globally, is following 100+ tech refugee related projects, and is looking to support those projects further via Basefugees, its new web-based platform supporting technology projects around the world that respond to current refugee needs and NGO challenges.

Next, Lena K. Samuelsson, the Executive Vice President Communications and CSR of Schibsted Media Group, a global media company driven by new technology, will introduce the global strategic partnership on events with Techfugees, the purpose of which is to provide tailored support to Techfugees’ global network of local chapters & events.

Schibsted is familiar with the refugee situation having been involved with humanitarian organisations on the ground (see The Second Hand Effect and Saving lives with the Yellow Boats). The vision for this global strategic partnership is for Schibsted and Techfugees to work with each other on global events to (1) accelerate the creation and development of technological solutions that directly address refugee needs, and (2) develop and deploy solutions – into camps, as part of the refugees’ journey, or in host communities.

The evening will conclude with the drawing of the raffle winner.

We hope you can join us on June 20th to celebrate World Refugee Day and mark it as a day of hope and faith in technology will be part of the solution!

Click here to grab a ticket and more information on the raffle.