Balkathon is an online, regional competition that invites interested young people, start-ups, entrepreneurs, students, digital innovation hubs, scientific parks, universities, SMEs, etc. from all Western Balkan economies to propose and develop innovative digital solutions as a response to the challenges of our day-to-day life.
Applications for this year’s Balkathon are open from May 6 to 15 July 2022.
Balkathon 3.0 is open for teams composed of participants coming from Western Balkan economies. Teams are encouraged to include amongst their members qualified individuals, ICT companies, students, non-governmental organisations, educational institutions, start-up companies, etc.
You can apply by filling out an online application form and uploading the necessary documents. Before filling out the application form please read the Balkathon Guidelines carefully in order to prepare all needed information and documents.
No, only teams are eligible to participate in this competition. Please read section 1.4. of the Balkathon Guidelines.
For this year's competition we seek digital innovation solutions in the following areas:
- eCommerce, Virtual Promotion Tools, Video and Influence Marketing
- Agriculture, FoodTech & Rural Development
- Renewable/ Sustainable Energy
- Transportation & Logistics
For the selected participants, the competition will start on 29 August 2022.
Mentoring sessions will be held 29-30 August 2022.
The mentors are experienced experts from the region, with expertise in the topics of the competition. You can find the list of mentors here.
Award fund budget is 60.000 euro. Six winning teams will win 10.000 euro, per team.
All information is available in the Balkathon Guidelines. You can also contact the organiser via the contact form.
IS THE INFORMATION RELATED TO THE TOPICS YOU PROVIDED ON THE BALKATON WEBSITE BINDING OR LIMITING, OR IS IT USED MORE AS A GUIDE?
No, there are no limitations, these are more of examples in which direction you can go. These are just some of the ideas you can think of for each topic, but other ideas are welcome.
There is a list of eligibility criteria. For each phase of the competition, there is a list of defined criteria, which are explained in more detail in Balkathon Guidelines(section 2.3. Evaluation criteria). The list of criteria that will be used for the first phase is published HERE and includes a description for each criteria.
IF I PARTICIPATED IN ONE OF THE PREVIOUS COMPETITIONS ORGANISED BY RCC, CAN I APPLY FOR BALKATHON 3.0?
If you are not the winning team from any of the previous competitions ogranised by RCC, you can apply to Balkathon 3.0.
REGARDING THE EVALUATION CRITERIA IN THE FIRST PHASE, IS THERE A MINIMUM SCORE THAT THE IDEA NEEDS TO WIN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COMPETITION?
No, there is no minimum score. The ideas will be ranked by the points they won, and the first 10 ranked ideas for each topic will participate in the second phase of the competition.
WHAT IF THERE ARE TWO IDEAS WITH THE SAME SCORE, AND ONLY ONE CAN GO TO THE SECOND PHASE? FOR EXAMPLE, IF THE 10TH AND 11TH ON THE RANKING LIST HAVE THE SAME SCORE?
In that case, the jury will reevaluate to decide which idea will participate in the competition.
All participants of the competition will choose a mentor based on the following:
- All participants will get the list with mentors and time slots, and they will choose the timing of the mentoring session.
- In case the participants are not sure which mentor to choose, the organiser will propose a suitable mentor.
WILL THE TEAMS HAVE A PRESENTATION OF THEIR IDEAS? DOES IT HAVE TO BE IN ENGLISH OR CAN IT BE IN ONE OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGES?
Presentation of the idea is not needed for the first phase of the competition but will be required after working with mentors. More precisely, after mentoring session, you will need to submit a video presentation of your idea/solution together with a Submission Form that will be provided to you in advance.
All documents and the presentation have to be in English.
THE IDEA HAS TO BE GENUINE AND NEVER BEEN IMPLEMENTED BEFORE, OR IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN IDEA ADAPTED FOR THE REGION?
Idea/solution that has been implemented, commercially used, published, or promoted will not be accepted.
CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THE 'PROFILE OF THE TEAM’S COMPOSITION' DOCUMENT? WHAT EXACTLY SHOULD IT CONTAIN?
Profile of the team should include a list of all members of the team and their CVs, outlining relevant knowledge and experience, including contact details (e-mail, LinkedIn, website), with a Statement of team members agreeing to be represented by their team leader.Profile of the team composition should be submitted by a team leader. During the competition, RCC will communicate with the team through its team leader.
If you are offering a new service then your idea is eligible.
Each idea has to be categorised and during the registration the topic you are applying for has to be chosen. Having a cross-cutting idea is welcome, but the topic you are applying for has to be defined.
HOW DETAILED DO WE NEED TO BE WITH PRESENTING THE IDEA? DO WE NEED TO HAVE A COMPLETE PLAN FOR DEVELOPING THE IDEA OR NOT?
To apply for Balkathon competition you will have to prepare a Concept Note (section 1.7. Application documents) where you can explain your idea/solution (purpose, structure, implementation, etc.), and it does not have to be described in technical detail. You do not have to have a complete development plan for the first phase, but you will have to work on it during the second phase.
THE APPLICANT SHOULD INITIALLY HAVE ONLY THE IDEA TO BE IMPLEMENTED (PROJECT IDEA FOR THE SPECIFIC FIELD) OR SHOULD THEY ALSO HAVE THE PLANNED INNOVATION/SOLUTION TECHNICALLY DEVELOPED?
Both proposals are acceptable. If you have a new idea that fits Balkathon 3.0 topics you can apply for the competition.
I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEVELOP MY IDEA FROM THE TECHNICAL POINT OF VIEW; ARE THESE DETAILS NEEDED IN THE EARLY STAGE OF THE APPLICATION?
In the first phase, we do not need specific details, just to understand the concept of the idea, focus, target groups, and benefits for the region. But for the further phase and potential implementation, a team should have a developer that will work on the development of the solution.
REGARDING THE DEVELOPMENT STAGE OF THE IDEA WE ARE APPLYING WITH, DO THE IDEAS WHOSEDEVELOPMENT HAS ALREADY STARTED HAVE ADVANTAGE OVER THE IDEAS WHOSE DEVELOPMENT DID NOT START?
No, there is no advantage. This information that you will provide when applying is needed so that you can get suitable mentoring support.
IF THERE IS A SIMILAR IDEA IMPLEMENTED SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD, WILL I BE DISQUALIFIED FROM THE COMPETITION?
In case you copy the existing solutions, you will be disqualified. In case your solution is similar to the existing ones, but not the same, you will not be disqualified.
DOES THE IDEA THAT I AM APPLYING WITH NEED TO BE IMPLEMENTED IN ALL ECONOMIES OF THE WESTERN BALKANS OR DO I START WITH ONE ECONOMY AND CONTINUE WITH IMPLEMENTATION IN OTHER ECONOMIES?
About the implementation, you start with one economy and continue to include others. The implementation does not need to start in all economies at the same time.
The Agreement/Statement between RCC and the winner will define the procedure whereby the first installment of the prize will be awarded immediately, while the second one after the development of the solution. If the winning team fails to develop the solution in six months, they will not get the second installment.
IF I NEED SUPPORT FROM THE LOCAL OR CENTRAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY TO IMPLEMENT MY SOLUTION, WILL I GET ANY KIND OF SUPPORT?
Having in mind that RCC is a regional organisation that cooperates with authorities from all WB economies at different levels, RCC will endeavor to provide support to implement your solution.
All obligations will be defined by the Agreement/Statement between the RCC and the winner.
No, there are no such restrictions on spending the funds. The funds will be used for the development of the solution.
No, the winning prize is 10.000 euros, and there is no possibility of getting a higher amount.
Yes, each solution developed under this competition will be obliged to use RCC and European Union logos.
The promotion will be mutual, the organisers will also promote the winning solutions.
You can apply to Balkathon 3.0 only as a team. The maximum number of team members is 7.
WHAT ABOUT THE 6 MONTHS OF DEVELOPING THE IDEA? WILL WE GET SUPPORT FROM RCC AND WHAT WILL IT LOOK LIKE?
During the 6 months after the end of the competition, you will have the support of a mentor, if needed. Also, the idea/solution will be presented at the most important digital event in the region - the WB Digital Summit.