Smogathon is an initiative aiming to fight the air pollution through technology. Our idea is to get start-ups from all over the world to compete for $25,000 in cash and $75,000 as a contract to implement their idea in Krakow, in order to find the best solutions to solve the problem of smog. Over 92% of the world’s population inhales unhealthy air and over seven million people worldwide die prematurely every year because of smog. This needs to stop and we’re here to help!
Our story started in Fall of 2015 when our city, Krakow, was covered in heavy smog and loaded with air pollutants. Back then Smogathon was a multidisciplinary 24-hour hackathon. During that hackathon, diverse teams of scientists, developers, designers, entrepreneurs, sociologists, marketers, as well as other students and professionals, worked to create specific, practical and implementable solutions to fight air pollution. Ideas developed by the teams were judged by a jury and presented to the authorities of the city. 250 participants and mentors created 13 teams that proposed 44 ideas and worked on 11 projects. Eight finalists were nominated to pitch their projects and five of them took awards home.
The initiative continues to develop, and in 2016 we organized Smogathon in the form of a boot camp for teams from all over the world. Over the course of 24 hours, selected projects were assessed and rated by dozens of extremely curious, critical and all-questioning mentors. Top 10 projects proceeded to the Grand Finale, where they competed for a $25,000 prize. Overall, 60 teams from 10 countries and three continents applied to take part in the boot camp and half of them were accepted and invited to Krakow.
In 2017, we once again decided to take things to the next level by organizing the third edition of Smogathon in the form of a truly international contest with semi-finals in five locations around the world: Warsaw (Poland), London (UK), Berkeley (USA), Bangalore (India) and Hong Kong (China), and a final in Krakow (Poland).
Our aim is to provide great teams and start-ups with means to implement their air pollution-fighting ideas so they could bring a real change to the daily lives of people around the globe.