The hackathon organised as part of the activity D4STARTUPS in the framework of the project ''Diaspora for Development'' (D4D), supported by the Government of Switzerland and Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in partnership with UNDP B&H and IOM B&H, started on Friday, April 13, 2018, at 13.30 at INTERA Technology Park.

''We are extremely pleased to see so many young people here in Mostar today, who will have a chance to work on innovative software solutions for entrepreneurs in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the support of mentors. A distinguishing feature of this event, as compared to other events, and a truly important element for a sustainable future of the country is the cooperation with esteemed persons originating from Bosnia and Herzegovina, mentors from the diaspora, who will transfer the latest practices, experiences and global trends to young professionals in Bosnia and Herzegovina'', said Ms. Merima Avdagić, a representative of the United Nations Development Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNDP) and Diaspora for Development Project Manager, in her press statement.

More than 30 young people from throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina participate in the hackathon during which software solutions for real problems faced by local companies in agriculture, tourism and metal industry will be developed. Mr. Vedran Šimunović, Executive Director of INTERA TP, Ms. Ana Judi Galić, Department Head, Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Merima Avdagić, Project Manager, Diaspora for Development, and Ms. Meliha Gekić Lerić, Head of Business Incubator, INTERA TP, opened the hackathon by addressing the public. During the next 48 hours, two teams each will work on solutions for problems presented by companies Feal, Lasta Travel, Mljekara Pađeni, Nobel Corporation and Zalmo.

''We live in the 21st century and we are trying to deal with a series of costs that we incur today in order for our guests to get better and timely information. In our case, it therefore relates to a product with multiple options and importance. We are looking for a high-quality app that our guests will be able to use and consult during their stay in the region'', said Mr. Zlatko Papac, CEO of Lasta Travel.

All teams have at their disposal mentors, who are top-notch IT experts that acquired their experience both in the domestic market and abroad. On Sunday, April 15, 2018 all teams will present their solutions to an expert panel consisting of representatives of companies that presented their problems. The best solutions will then be selected.

''This is a clear win-win situation for all participants. The participating companies will obtain solutions for the problems they presented, and start-ups will get the know-how and skills from mentors from the diaspora. The five best will continue working on their solutions with the assistance of a mentor and will win 8,000.00 USD once the companies obtain satisfactory solutions,'' explained Ms. Meliha Gekić Lerić in her press statement.

The hackathon is an additional opportunity for young people to improve their skills with the assistance of experienced IT experts and at the same time make their first steps in the world of entrepreneurship.

''The importance of hackathon for all of us, young people, is the fact that we are working in the real world and real problems are an opportunity to test ourselves, first of all, but also to develop some of our products as students and help others, which is eventually a win-win situation for all of us'', said Mr. Faris Sefaragić, a hackathon participant.

INTERA TP wishes everyone the best of luck and is convinced that they can introduce novelties and improve the local economy based on their knowledge and with the assistance of experienced mentors.


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