Through the Innovation Fund, established in 2013 and recognized as a good European practice by the European Commission, Sofia Development Association annually organizes hackathons and funds specific solutions to challenges, assigned by public institutions such as Sofia Municipality, The European Commission in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Nuclear Society and others.
Currently, over 20 hackathons have been organized and co-organized through the Fund by the Sofia Development Association. Among the biggest events are:
Participants: 30 teams of different companies, universities, technology parks and innovative companies from 9 Balkan countries
Partners: Sofia Tech Park, the State e-Government Agency of the Republic of Bulgaria, A1, Webit Foundation, Ministry of Education and Science, Software University and others.
Challenges: innovative solutions that will overcome the Digital divide – how can we guarantee the inclusion of all citizens in the digital era, regardless of their income, social situation, geographic location, health, or age.
Awards: 10,000 EUR in cash and other non-cash prizes, including invitations to visit Brussels during Code week 2018
Winners: The winner among 40 innovative solutions was the team that created the application BookvAR that adds augmented reality to schoolbooks. The app makes easier the teaching and learning of many subjects.
In the same year was organized also the first Southeastern Europe hackathon "Information Technology in Nuclear Science and Technology".
Participants: Over 350 participants from 10 cities, at age 15-67
Partners: The European Commission in Bulgaria, Sofia Municipality, Webit Foundation, The British Council in Bulgaria, Microsoft Bulgaria, The ministry of Education and Science, 12 universities and others.
Challenges: Technological solutions in the areas of Education and Environmental Sustainability and the identification of possible new challenges that the future holds.
Awards: 38,000 BGN cash and non-cash prizes
Winners: More than 30 technological solutions were presented, but the winners were the participants who developed a prototype application for direct translation of camera-captured text into sign language.
During the same year, two more large and significant hackathons were organized, namely Hack4Health and the first architectural hackathon Elevated Habitat V1.0.
Sofia Municipality Innovation Hackathon 2016
Participants: 600 students from 7 universities
Partners: Innovation Starter, Student Innovation Academy, National Palace of Culture, Mtel, Ontotext, Superhosting, Webit, Reach for change Foundation, Sofia University, NBU and others.
Challenges: Technological solutions in the fields of Education, Health and Cultural and Cultural-historical Heritage.
Awards: more than 30,000 BGN cash and non-cash prizes
Winners: Among the many creative solutions five winning teams were selected, and the grand prize was given to the multilingual application Your Sofia, through which everyone has the opportunity to search and find information and create their own routes according to their interests.