1991 Hackathon: Media is a Ukrainian-European hackathon focused on identifying digital solutions to counter disinformation, analyze data for media, and develop cyber hygiene.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine shattered both territorial and informational boundaries, heralding a new era of disinformation and propaganda. In response, Ukrainians worldwide and their European allies united against this onslaught, defending the truth amidst a deluge of falsehoods.
1991 Accelerator, a stalwart in the European startup landscape, has fostered impact-driven startups since 2016. In 2023, it embarks on an ambitious international endeavor, hosting the 1991 Hackathon: Media. This event, which was held in Warsaw, Poland, on January 2023, aimed to forge digital solutions that empower governments, media, businesses, emerging tech players, and the wider public to harness information as a potent force for societal progress.
In anticipation of the hackathon, a pre-event brought together industry heavyweights from Google, Meta, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, OSCE, Voice of America, and Radio Liberty. These experts dissected critical issues surrounding disinformation from the standpoints of Government, Big Tech, and Civil Society.
Three engaging panel discussions followed, covering state-level strategies against disinformation, the tech sector's role, and collaborative efforts by civil society and international organizations. The opening night concluded with a compelling speech by Jamie Fly, CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The hackathon, open to tech enthusiasts globally, invited participants to collaborate on challenges in areas like Algorithms, Real-Time Monitoring, User Education, Strategic Communications, Open Data, and Big Tech Responsibility. Evaluated by a jury including industry leaders and experts, the hackathon aimed to foster innovative digital solutions for information security, empowering individuals to make a meaningful impact.
A dynamic convergence of 120 online and offline participants catalyzed a creative surge, yielding a plethora of tech solutions. Ideas spanning automation, cyber threat prevention, information hygiene education, and innovative use of big and open data took shape over the intense 48-hour event. The final day witnessed 15 diverse teams from multiple European countries presenting their projects.
The jury meticulously assessed the projects in a climactic showdown, ultimately declaring OSavul, MindGuards, and Dattalion as the triumphant champions. Notably, Osavul, a Ukrainian AI-focused software company, experienced a significant post-hackathon boost. The following spring, the company secured a remarkable $1 million investment from the SMRK venture fund. This capital injection is earmarked for amplifying the technology platform, international expansion, and robust marketing endeavors.