Between 20th to 22nd of March, 2020, the Kineo.ai team supported the #WirVsVirus hackathon by providing participants with the company’s machine learning modules and hassle-free access to all AWS products (read more here). This includes our team’s observations about AWS cloud usage, even highlights, and where you can find information on the event and projects.
The #WirVsVirus Hackathon was a nation-wide call by the German government and seven leading organisations for assistance on solutions to the current Covid-19 crisis. The event was reportedly organised in a few days, but had an overwhelming response from the public, which included participants outside of Germany as well. Because this event was hosted remotely, the organisers have gone to great lengths to do documentation. There were over 800 proposed solutions and you can find them on DevPost.
You can find the following:
The event had a bumpy start on Friday evening by stretching Slack to the limit. The organisers had to contact Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s CEO, directly to get all 42,000+ invitations sent out. But once we were in, the channels were set up and everyone was ready to roll!
Hi @stewart we have a bit of a situation here. We are organising the German gov #Hackathon to tackle the Corona crisis, and have over 42.000 sign ups. We already got an upgrade from your covid team, but it seems it's not enough for 40.000 people at once. Can you help us?💥👩💻👨💻— WirVsVirus (@WirVsVirus) March 20, 2020
Although the event was reportedly organised in four days, you wouldn’t have known it from the number of companies supporting. Kineo.ai was beside giants like AWS, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, Adobe, Redhat, CERN, Auth0, MongoDB, and NewRelic and the company was the second most popular in company support and cloud provider channel — supporting 100+ projects! Kineo.ai’s three co-founders, Korbinian Kuusisto, Ferdinand von den Eichen, and Robert Kaletsch, were touched by the amazing atmosphere and how polite people were when asking for help.
Some of you may be aware that AWS supports many startup and developer events by providing service credits or vouchers. Using AWS cloud infrastructure is a great way to get started on projects, but for the purpose of speed, it is often easier to join an existing account rather than setting up new infrastructure from scratch. The Kineo.ai team decided to offer AWS access through the company account, with no strings attached. The AWS DACH team, which was also present at the hackathon, supported this initiative.
“As you can imagine, before the event, we were a bit nervous to potentially allow 42k+ users to access our AWS account for free. This is why we were exceptionally happy to see how well people behaved and how it all worked out so well in the end.”
Most projects were around hosting apps and websites. When looking at the AWS services used during the weekend, the team saw that the budget went to databases and EC2 instances.
We were impressed by how responsible participants were in choosing small machines (e.g. t2.micro < $0.02/h) to keep the costs low (and keep credits free for others):
Overall the hackathon stayed far below the expected budget, with around $370 costs. As there is budget left over, the Kineo.ai team has decided to give #WirVsVirus hackathon teams more time to migrate their solutions into individual accounts as they grow their projects. Kineo.ai will keep this open account open a little longer, roughly until Sunday, March 29
As a machine learning company, Kineo.ai’s founders were also excited to see some data projects this weekend. In addition to offering the company’s AWS account, Kineo.ai’s team also provided machine learning module support, actively reaching out to projects to offer assistance. As to be expected, due to the lack of proper data, there were only very few teams who could realistically use machine learning services over the weekend. However, we did see projects that will definitely need this support if developed further. They included chatbots, fake news detection, or even image recognition to detect toilet paper:
Many participants used the AWS platform for the first time this weekend. This is great! If you want to dig a bit deeper into the resources AWS provides, check out their AWS Startup Resource Hub: https://emea-resources.awscloud.com/
“We hope that many of your projects will evolve and become a tool to navigate us all through those challenging times.”
— Robin d’Alquen, Account Manager Startups at AWS
If you decide to take your project to the next level and make it a social startup, check out this page here. You will likely be eligible to receive further funding:
Finally, a big thanks to all the organisers for their time, energy, and to make this amazing event happen 🙂
This is just the beginning for many of these teams. We encourage you to check out the submitted hackathon projects and use DeepL.com to translate them. Wherever you are in the world, they may inspire you to create your local solutions for your communities.
For more information on machine learning solutions for your company, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter and Linkedin. If you’re curious to learn more about kineo.ai and what we do check out our website!