The very first BeRider Hackathon is behind us. Fourteen days of brainstorming, prototyping, discussion and workshops and a total of 312 hours of work in the workshop and at home, involving 102 people in 21 teams. People with great ideas, enthusiasm for technology, a passion for urban mobility and its continual improvement. People there at the birth of the creative community forming around BeRider. Thank you all on behalf of the whole team. We have to say that we are delighted!
Together with our technology partner, PrusaLab, we were able to provide the participants with professional facilities that they were able to use to bring their gadgets to life, gadgets that will make riding our scooters all the more enjoyable. We would first like to present to you the winners, united by their creativity, innovative approach, and passion for work. Our own philosophy in a nutshell. A hackathon should not simply be a competition, but an opportunity too, and we found new partners to develop the BeRider project among the winners.
The winning project can carry anything on a scooter
The absolute winner of the hackathon, receiving prize money of CZK 50,000 was the HCD Riders team with the idea of a smart restraint system to safely transport anything from food cartons to large pieces of luggage. "It was a perfectly-crafted concept from a marketing perspective. What is more, they were the only team who thought about how the solution would help BeRider as such– i.e., which would improve the use of scooters, which could lead to more rides," said Jan Charouz, Marketing Manager at BeRider.
Second place, and the loan of a Škoda Enyaq iV electric SUV, went to the Light Riders team for Light Rider safety lighting. Lights on the profile of the body of the scooter can connect to an application and change colour when the scooter has been borrowed or when it is tampered with, and which offer great personalisation options. "This is something that makes the scooter far more visible and adds a high-tech element," adds Martin Li, CEO at BeRider. This team also won the Safety challenge.
The social overlap of the hackathon was also important to the participants: "I am delighted that the hackathon took place at all in these times, when it is difficult to meet and get to know new people," says Tobiáš Vybíral from the winning team. "It was an opportunity to connect with a lot of like-minded people. It was also great to meet others at PrusaLab and work together, even among the teams." To him, the greatest reward would be to see the actual application of their smart solution on the scooters themselves.
Ideas for winter, rain, and riding pleasure
Comfort and protection against the weather were the issues considered the most. As a result, the organisers subsequently announced another competition category called Blasters. This is the word used in motorcycling speak for the protective cover of the hands on the handlebars, and we were lucky enough to see several designs in the final. We decided to award the prize to the blasters created by the Pat and Mat team. "Good practice from the motorcycle industry was transferred to the prototype - we were impressed by the shaping and working of the blaster and the production technology," adds Martin Li.
Protection from outside influences is an essential element in any scooter, one which increases comfort and enjoyment of the ride. The winner in the Protection against the Weather category was the Protokuře team with their Weather Packet - a combination of several improvements, as they say themselves, against weather that is too good and too bad. The raincoat on the saddle-jacket can be rolled up into a net, which also acts as additional storage space, while the anti-glare shield increases the visibility of the display.
The Comfort challenge was dominated by the Drex team, which intelligently used the technological openings in the scooter, into which an ergonomic step for the passenger can easily be inserted. "We really liked the non-invasive solution in the form of ‘snap-ons’," adds Jan Charouz. But riding a scooter is also about pleasure and lifestyle – and part of that is being able to enjoy your favourite drink. This was an idea taken up by the Safari Bar team, winner of the Personalisation category: Their gyroscopic cup holder balances itself along all three axes during the ride, meaning that your morning coffee will reach your destination with you.
A recycled helmet you can't miss
Urban mobility is not only about scooters and public transport, but more and more about shared bikes. Borrowing a bike is often a spur-of-the-moment idea that catches us unprepared, and without a helmet. Without one, we shouldn’t even ride even the short distance “to the shop to pick up some rolls” – accidents can happen no matter how long the journey is, and everyone can work out the consequences. The question is where to find (and not steal) a helmet for a shared bike? That was the task set out in the final challenge, We Love Recycling.
The Drex team designed a distinctive cycling helmet made of pressed plastic recyclate. The helmet is cheap to make, stackable for easy storage and can be attached to the wheel to make it uncomfortable to ride off without putting it on. As a result, this idea will act as a discrete reminder to riders and help them ride safely. "The magic of the product lies in its unique and distinctive design, and we were also impressed by the detailed economic processing of the product and its variants,” adds Jan Charouz.
The BeRider Hackathon aimed to arouse the interest of technology enthusiasts in urban mobility and to show that shared rides is an area in which creativity can be let loose, while at the same time promoting the comfort and safety of the riders. And it was a great success. Interest in the event, the participants' ideas, discussion with professionals and mentors in workshops… it all pleasantly surprised us. The participants learned something about 3D modelling, prototyping, the design of thinking and more, tried to bring their own project to a successful conclusion and work in a slightly different team from the one they are used to. The BeRider Hackathon was also the first step toward creating a community that we intend to keep on supporting – whether through further collaboration with the finalists or by organising other similar events.