Two students of École Polytechnique’s Bachelor of Science, Noah Sarfati (BX21) and Elouan Gros (BX22), both in the Mathematics and Computer Science double major, participated in the Hackathon Covid19 from the 10th to 12th, April 2020. The goal of the event was to gather people with various profiles, students, entrepreneurs, freelancers, in order to find solutions to the many challenges brought by the Covid19 crisis. About one hundred projects were submitted to the jury. Thanks to their project called “DIO – Do It Ourselves”, the team of Noah and Elouan won second place.
Congratulations to them!
Why did you decide to participate in the hackathon?
We had some free time and wanted to make the most of it by using our skills in a team project. Moreover, hackathons are a great way to develop your network with people from different backgrounds. In our opinion, it is very important for the personal development. We also wanted to relax and do something different than studying for once!
How did your team get built? Who were the members?
All the members of the team were interested in the same issues around the ecology and sustainable development. This broad topic created a very diverse and versatile team. Though most of the members were students, we also had professionals with us.
The team got smaller over the weekend. While we were more than 20 members on Friday night, we were only 12 on the final team. This team was composed of students from Sciences Po Paris, HEC, Agro Paristech, École des Mines and young professionals and entrepreneurs from the financial sectors.
We were also helped by several mentors of the hackathon, among them was Phillippe Bensussan, an alumnus of l’X. They enabled us to better understand issues we wanted to address. They also helped us to narrow our focus to one solution to avoid getting too spread out. Finally, they put us in touch with some very skilled people from their own networks.
Could you please tell us about your project “DIO – Do It Ourselves”?
This project comes from our desire to help French companies
to relocate. The crisis that we are facing highlights the fact that we rely on a global value chain. When this chain was broken due to the various confinements that happened around the world, we have been unable to meet our health and food needs. In addition, many companies couldn’t restart their activities because raw materials couldn’t be delivered to their production sites anymore.
In practice, our idea would be to identify trusted third parties to meet local needs and to make available the services they may need. Moreover, our platform would put companies in contact with local producers in order to shorten the production cycle. Finally, our solution aims to strengthen the new production line to ensure resilience in the event of a future crisis.
What are the next steps?
For the moment, the first step is to test our solution with an actual company. It would allow us to ensure that our ideas are adapted to real-life situations. We would also like to develop a first platform, in beta version, to gain visibility. And above all, to continue working with a great team!