Presidential Hackathon @ Finland-Korea Startup Summit 2019

It is not often one gets an invitation to a hackathon that is launched by two presidents but then again, first time for everything.

I was approached during Arctic15 by N15, Korea’s biggest startup accelerator specialized in manufacturing and asked if I would be available to mentor and judge Finland-Korea Startup Summit, a hackathon revolving around two ideas: building united teams between Finnish and Korean students, and providing a possibility to join the final round of the K-Startup Grand Challenge program that offers opportunity to start a business in Korea.

Of course I was available.

The event was launched by two very important gentlemen, namely presidents Sauli Niinistö and Moon Jae-in. Not needing too much more prestige, the teams rushed into a 48 hour stint of intense work.

The quality of teams really impressed me, especially in the field of hardware. Among great ideas, Jubilee stood out with their IoT-stick designed to aid aging population in their daily life. Very impressive demo as well!

Being part of something this special is of course amazing. However, given the fact that Järvenpää was the only city having representatives in such an esteemed exercise is even more astound. For me, it certainly opens up new possibilities regarding co-operation between Korea and Finland. As Järvenpää already has a good connection with Korea thanks to Charlie Kim’s visit to the city in 2018, this is definitely something we must build on in the future as well.

Marko