The Green-Tech Hackathon, organized by the British Embassy Zagreb, Fil Rouge Capital and Algebra LAB, highlighted the importance of technology in sustainable development.
The main prize of 50,000 kn was awarded to the GoGreenOzonator team. The aim of the hackathon was to focus on sustainable development, such as food waste, water pollution and mass tourism, and to show how these issues can be managed by using technology, using sustainable, feasible and profitable solutions.
Green-Tech Hackathon was held on 13th and 14 th February 2021, organized by the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and partners - Fil Rouge Capital as an investment partner and Algebra LAB as an organizational-logistical and advisory one. The hackathon was held online, lasting more than 30 hours, and after more than 100 applications, 14 teams with a total of 63 competitors from all over Croatia participated in the finals. They were joined by team members from neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also expats currently living in Germany or - South Korea!
During the hackathon, the participants chose one of the three problems and developed their own solution for it. Competitors were offered three challenges - food waste (how to solve the problem of food surplus in stores, in households and in the whole food chain?), mass tourism (how to develop a model of sustainable tourism?) and water pollution (how to design a business solution that solves water pollution problem?). The tasks for the competitors were, in cooperation with the Embassy, designed by a team of experts led by Algebra LAB, Leo Mršić, Ph.D. and Maja Brkljačić, Ph.D.
The offered solutions – answers to the given challenges, had to be sustainable, feasible, profitable and scalable. And, of course, they had to rely on technology as a way to solve the problem. Throughout the hackathon, the teams had at their disposal eight mentors who helped them with suggestions and tips for dealing with project tasks, from a business or technological point of view: Mili Ibrulj (Fil Rouge Capital), Roger Blott (Fil Rouge Capital, partner), Andrija Garofulić (Mazars Croatia, partner), Matija Žulj (founder of Agrivi), Neil Whittaker (Energy System Catapult, Incubation Manager), Marko Capek (Terra Hub Croatia), Bojan Radlović (RVU, General Manager) and Tom Oštrić (O2, founder).
After two days of working on projects and presenting projects as part of a virtual pitch to the jury, which consisted of Stevica Kuharski (Fil Rouge Capital), Renata Brkić (Feelsgood Capital) and Marijan Mrkonjić n (New Business Manager, INA), the GoGreenOzonator team was chosen as the winner. All three team members – Helena Virić Gašparić, Darija Lemić and Pave Ninčević come from the Faculty of Agriculture in Zagreb. Their winning solution is based on the innovative application of ozone. GoGreenOzonator is devoted to development of devices for timely and targeted indoors pest control (harmful insects, viruses, bacteria, pathogenic fungi) using ozone. By signing the EU Green Deal strategy, the Republic of Croatia has committed itself to reducing pesticide consumption by another 50 %, which will create additional pressure on agricultural producers. Therefore, GoGreenOzonator wants to develop a new "green" solution, effective in protection, but at the same time without pesticide residues and safe for the environment - all without reducing productivity in the food production process.
In addition to the winners, the jury especially highlighted the solutions of the Alavera, MacroConverter and Omni Academy teams. The Alavera team is developing a solution to reduce the use of toxic chlorine bleach with a hybrid system that uses hydrogen peroxide and UV light, which would significantly reduce water pollution caused by the textile industry. The MacroConverter team is working on a solution to remove plastic waste from the environment using a pyrolysis-based system, which would make plastic removal significantly simpler and cheaper. Omni Academy is working on a commercial educational project, which focuses on educating all those who can contribute to reducing pollution.
"The British Embassy Zagreb is delighted to be able to host this event. We are impressed by the level of knowledge and enthusiasm shown by all the teams in the competition. The UK government is committed to the idea of green growth and finding innovative solutions to combat climate change. We congratulate the winners on their well-deserved success and hope that their innovative solution will be recognized in the industry and in the ranks of decision makers," stated from the British Embassy Zagreb.
The winning team was awarded 50,000 kn and, in addition, the organizer - the British Embassy - will help the winners to access British startup community and further their connections with the very active green tech sector in UK.
We were pleased to participate in the Green-Tech Hackathon in the organizational role and as an advisory partner and we thank all the competitors, mentors, jury members as well as partners and congratulate the GoGreenOzonator team!
Algebra LAB team