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06 Sep 17 15:11

Come rain or shine, feel fine

On 15-17 September, 550 hackers, from 50 countries, will descend on the Technopark Zurich for the 4th HackZurich. Established in 2014, the 40-hour hacking challenge is now a well- established tech-scene event and the largest Hackathon in Europe.

As always, programmers and developers form small teams to create an app in a round-the-clock sleepless dash. They will work from scratch in response to real world challenges set by the sponsor companies.

This year Swiss Re and IBM have teamed up, once again, as bronze level sponsors, but we are working with silver sponsor Eurapco to pose an insurance and weather-related challenge.

Eyeing-up the opportunities

After dinner on Friday evening, participants have a choice of 32 workshops where sponsors present their industry and challenge and introduce the tools and datasets that the hackers will have to use.

By 23:00 hackers pitch their ideas to one another and form teams to address their chosen challenge and the programming begins.

On Sunday morning, the Jury will focus on the strength and potential of the ideas presented. The hope is that new solutions to real problems will emerge from the event. But whatever happens, the networking impact is certain to be an eye-opener for everyone involved.

Weather geeks wanted: the Swiss Re, IBM and Eurapco challenge

From hurricanes or hail to lack of snow or drought, many different industries and around the globe are all affected by the unpredictable nature of the weather. No one can control it, and not everyone can mitigate it with things like irrigation or snow cannons. Nonetheless, companies can still protect their revenues and profitability from adverse weather impacts via new services like parametric insurance.

We are asking hackers to develop apps that will help companies reduce their weather-related risks or simplify the claims process when damage occurs. Our workshop will involve a crash-course in design principles using IBMs Bluemix Cloud and an introduction to the Weather Company Datasets.

Reaching talents for a more resilient world

Swiss Re is sponsoring HackZurich once again because "We're smarter together". And given the digital transformation of our industry, we have to reach out and try to understand the smartest developers' needs and interests. Events like HackZurich allow us to position our industry. We want these potential partners or employees to experience that their talents together with our resources can make the world more resilient.

Given the popularity and success of the Swiss Re / IBM Smart Home challenge in 2016, we are excited to see how the hackers respond to this year's challenge. And in the light of Harvey hitting Houston, it could not be a timelier one.

More on HackZurich

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Location: Z├╝rich, Switzerland


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