Inspired by the #WirVsVirus Hackathon (15,000 participants in Germany) and HackCrisis (Poland), several Swiss organizations brought Switzerland together for the Swiss-wide virtual hackathon #VersusVirus on 3-5 April to develop fresh ideas and solutions in dealing with and against the coronavirus.

During the 48h hackathon, 4’500 registered hackers from all over the world with a variety of backgrounds formed 600 teams and collaborated to find solutions for the selected 190 hackathon challenges in the topic areas

  • Protection of risk groups
  • Prevention of proliferation
  • Data against Fake News
  • Economic impact
  • Quarantine & mental health
  • Hospital & Care
  • Family & Children
  • Education
  • Home & Team Work
  • After the crisis
  • Support & Solidarity
  • Art & Culture
  • Crime Reduction

They were supported by 500 mentors and frequent “how to” sessions that were streamed live via Zoom and Youtube.

After the project submission deadline on Sunday, April 5, 6pm, ~270 results were submitted. A jury rated the submitted solutions according to five criteria: 1. Relevance for Swiss ecosystem, 2. Relevance of the solution in addressing the specific challenge, 3. Potential for impact on the long term, 4. Progress in the last 48 hour, 5. Value added and collaborative spirit.

Besides the actual hackathon, a broad offer of inspiring panel discussions, live-concerts, yoga sessions – all streamed on Youtube – enabled the participants to get some new energy and inspiration. One of the highlights of #VersusVirus was a live-interview with the Federal Council Alain Berset, who highlighted the importance of innovation and collaboration in current times and encouraged the participants in their hackathon activities.

The hackathon ran under the patronage of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) and the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER). Among the organizers of #VersusVirus are, Impact Hub Switzerland, Panter, Powercoders, Gebert Rüf Stiftung, digitalswitzerland, Staatslabor, GEN Switzerland, Swisscom, ETH Entrepreneur Club, foraus, and many others.