On January 25-27, Wachsman partnered with Irish government’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and Department of Finance to present BlockAthon Ireland, a comprehensive hackathon purposed to discuss the real-world use cases of blockchain technology in the public services sector. Held at The Innovation Academy in Dublin, the event attracted some of the best and brightest minds in the region, including Barry Lowry, Chief Information Officer for the Irish Government; Connor Cantwell, European Partner for COSIMO Ventures; and Wachsman Founder & CEO David Wachsman, who served as a mentor for the event.
Over the course of two days, 12 technical teams were provided with a list of public services concerns and were asked to examine the various ways that blockchain could serve as a solution. Topic areas included medical device tracking, document verification, and state-sponsored philanthropic efforts. Once the teams had a chance to convene and proposals were created, a panel of expert judges examined each submission based on four main criteria (innovation, relevance, solution, and proof-of-concept), with a total cash prize of €8,500.
Throughout the event, teams were provided with an opportunity to meet with top-tier experts from the blockchain space, who were there to lend a hand during the brainstorming process. In addition to our very own David Wachsman, other notable mentors included Natalia Maslova, Blockchain Lead of EY Ireland; Brian Manning, CEO & Founder of Exsilico; and Philippe Bellintani, Head of Industrial Solutions for Ambrosus. It’s not every day that such distinguished experts gather from around the world to work toward a common goal. The intimate setting provided to attendees to meet and learn from so many prominent stakeholders in the space was truly one of-a-kind.
For the Irish government, BlockAthon represented a continuation of the “Our Public Service 2020” initiative, which pledges to drive innovation in the public service sector. When asked about the event, Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, said “ Blockchain technologies have proposed new economic, business, social, and technological models that have the potential to significantly impact business and society. Consulting and engaging experts on innovation from across the public sector, academia, and the private sector to share ideas is a valuable action under the strategy, and this hackathon offers an opportunity to do so.”
We at Wachsman feel tremendously honored to have participated in this unique event. As a professional services agency that’s deeply involved in the blockchain industry, the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the Irish government to advocate for this promising technology was invaluable. As the world continues to recognize blockchain’s tremendous potential, we will continue to represent our clients as they transform both public and private sectors. We look forward to working on similar events in the future.