HTC18: the 4th edition at USI Lugano

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Hack the City is back. After 3 years in Chiasso, the latest edition of the sunniest hackathon in Switzerland will take place in Lugano, at the University of Southern Switzerland (USI), from the 27th to the 29th of April, 2018.
Hack the City is the official hackathon of the Italian speaking Switzerland, and has become one of the most popular events of this kind countrywide, thanks to its informal approach and the rich money prizes awarded (more than CHF 40’000 in 3 years).

For its 4th edition, the competition will take place at USI, in a more suited environment and closer to the institutions that have supported it from the beginning, including the University of Applied Sciences (SUPSI), CP Start-Up and AGIRE Foundation. Moreover, since 2016, the Canton of Ticino and its office for economic development (USE) have recognised Hack the City as the entry point for those who are interested to turn their ideas into future innovative projects or startups. In fact, the event is organised within the Regional Innovation System of Ticino (RIS), which means, that those who attend will have a direct connection to the most important partners involved in supporting and promoting the innovation in Ticino and also in Switzerland.

A welcome addition to HTC18 is the presence of the 3 accredited universities of the region: SUPSI, USI and, for the first time, Franklin University Switzerland. The involvement of these academic institutions is very important, because it will foster and incentivise the collaboration among attendees coming from different environments and study backgrounds, which makes the event truly international. Developers, designers, makers and people passionate about technology and innovation will collaborate intensively on projects and compete in team to showcase their talents and to find creative and impacting solutions to everyday problems. Money prizes (1st prize CHF 5’000.-, 2nd CHF 2’500.- and 3rd CHF 1’000.-) will be awarded to the 3 best ideas and projects. In addition, the involved companies that will be present with their mentors and technical staff, will be able to observe and approach potential new hires during the 48 hours of hacking, in a more informal context and by skipping certain friction points that are usually present during the recruiting phases.

Attendees will not have an assigned theme this year; i.e. any kind of idea or project is very welcome. Of course, there will be special mentions issued by sponsors and partners, but those will range across several fields, from Fintech to original mobile app solutions, from blockchain to IoT. Creativity will be one of the most appreciated criteria, followed by the potential impact of the presented solution.

To enter the competition, the interested attendees have to register on www.hackthecity.ch. The platform has features that allow to set up a team and invite members, or join an existing team as a member. It is also possible to use the internal messaging system to communicate with each other. This is a nice add on compared to other hackathons: in fact, HTC is the only hackathon that allows attendees to set up their teams before the official start or also work from home. This is a feature that people from abroad like very much; in fact, HTC in the previous editions had attendees attending remotely from Thailand, Singapore, India, Russia, Brazil, Italy and Germany.
However, it will be possible to do it also in the “traditional” way: during the opening session on the 27th, there will be time to pitch ideas and to create or join a team while having an appreciated “aperitivo”.

As in the previous editions attendees will have to pay a small and symbolic entry fee. Early bird tickets will be CHF 20.- until the 15th of February. Visitors and guests coming on Friday the 27th and on the 29th of April will not have to pay (but booking is highly recommended).

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