At memorado, we attempt to create the best brain training app in the world to make people smarter. But sometimes, we are faced with challenges greater than improving retention and monetization.
Berlin, Germany, Europe, the World is facing the largest refugee crisis in the history of mankind. 60 million people are on the move globally fleeing from their homes that became uninhabitable due to cruel wars, political pursuit or hunger. So we set out to make an impact. Fast forward to the
4-day #hackweek15 of Memorado at Werbellinsee, a beautiful lake outside of Berlin.
Our goal for the week:
Make 4 apps in 4 teams in 4 days
that help refugees in their daily life
Whilst one might think that the need for an app is a first world problem, most refugees rely heavily on their smartphones. Being on the road for months and years, the smartphone is their most valuable possession as the link to family and friends as well as a great source of information to navigate through Europe.
Monday: learning and planning
We had the privilege to welcome Ulrike (founder of Berlin-based NGO freedomus), her husband Dirk as well as A. from Syria and A. from Pakistan who opened the week with their heart-breaking stories about fleeing their homes and seeking shelter in Germany.
After lunch, we split up in 4 cross functional teams (3 developers, 2 product owners/designers per team) and the teams asked the A. & A. about their most pressing needs.
Using a combination of brainstorming techniques and a practical mindset, the teams decided to go for the following projects:
- Team ReFoodG: App to connect refugees and helpers sharing a meal as a first connection (Android native)
- Team WelcomeGuide: App that converts the static freedomus pdf-welcome-guide into an app with a backend for editors to keep it up-to-date (Xamarin cross-platform with Ruby-on-Rails Backend)
- Team Namaste: App to connect refugees and helpers for language assistance e.g. translating official German documents, appointments or on other occasions (Android native)
- Team Rakoons: App that uses the user’s location to show places close by for donating clothes and other support equipment (iOS native)
After deciding on the topics, the teams began their planning (rule: no coding on day 1) to know how to build the apps in 3.5 days. Looking forward to seeing the first code tomorrow!
- Bring in target group users to really understand the problem you are trying to solve
- Whatever you have, cut everything in half if it needs to be done in 3.5 days