The event will take place in May, most likely in Sao Paulo, although practical details remain to be confirmed.
It isn’t the first time BlueVia has promoted a hackathon in the country. Currently participating in Brazil’s Campus Party, it has recently sponsored a programming event organized by the Brazilian app-focused accelerator Appies. For BlueVia, it was also an opportunity to approach the local developer community, ahead of its official launch in Brazil.
However, the focus of this new initiative is slightly different. With the ambition to promote e-inclusion, it encourages two types of hacks:
- Contributing to Wikipedia
- Open Government & Smart Cities
This also explains why Wikimedia is promoting the initiative. The foundation considers Brazil as one of the places where Wikipedia can still considerably grow, and unveiled a series of programs to catalyze these efforts.
The hackathon is obviously part of this strategy. Yet, it goes beyond attracting mere contributors; as developers, the hackathon’s participants should be able to come up with mobile and web apps to support Wikimedia’s growth.
More precisely, the hackathon’s organizers want teams to target the millions of Brazilians who don’t have broadband access and don’t own a smartphone. As we previously reported, feature phones are still the most common mobile type in Brazil.
In other words, developers interested in winning the hackathon’s awards – which include a cash prize and a trip to Silicon Valley – should focus on democratizing Wikipedia and promote digital inclusion. To do so, they will get access to BlueVia’s APIs, but also to Evernote’s – as you may remember, the note-taking startup has recently launched operations in Brazil.