Hackathon is a 24-hour programming marathon, during which programmers, graphic designers and project managers sit down to create applications and creative solutions to previously defined problems. The Beacon Valley project, based on the hackathon model, was initiated in June 2015 in Krakow as a joint project with the start-up Kontakt.io and HG Intelligence SA. The common denominator in all the applications developed is the beacon (small transmitters, which are one of the most promising technological solutions invented in recent years), and the underlying motivation of the project is to propagate the concept of the smart city, carried out in four categories: health, culture, transport and trade. The event brings together computer scientists, business and city representatives with the aim to create a modern beacon valley in Krakow, as an innovative technological infrastructure.
In 2015 there were two editions of this event. On 27-28 June Krakow hosted the Beacon Valley hackathon, which ended with undeniable success. It was attended by over 100 participants and 16 projects turned into working prototype. Later, on 21-22 November, Krakow UNESCO City of Literature participated in the global edition of the event, held in four cities around the world at the same time (besides Krakow, there was also New York, London and Guadalajara). As a co-organiser, the Krakow Festival Office proposed three tasks: network of sites belonging to the City of Literature, literary trails and the ReadPL! project. Computer scientists and developers undertook the tasks with enthusiasm and the results include, among others, cooperation with the teams on urban games using beacons. One of them is called Full speed ahead – the official application of the Conrad Festival and also the first city game in Krakow using beacon technology.