SAS Hackathon 2022 Kickoff live event Wednesday, Jan. 26th

Event also on-demand; Registration is open for teams and individuals seeking to use technology to solve big challenges

When 28-year-old Fabian Bolin was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2015, he began documenting his cancer battle on a blog, processing the emotional trauma. The huge response to his posts led Bolin and friend Sebastian Hermelin to create War On Cancer, a social app and company dedicated to improving the lives of everyone impacted by cancer. Members can connect, share stories, ask questions and help each other.

This Wednesday, January 26th, during the 2022 SAS Hackathon Kickoff event, Hermelin – now CEO of War on Cancer – will talk about his team’s Hackathon experience. In 2021, a Swedish team from War on Cancer and Knowit, a digital-transformation consultancy, won the Startup category in the first ever global SAS Hackathon.

By using the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities of SAS® Viya® running on Microsoft Azure, the War on Cancer team conceptualized a novel approach to improve its app’s ability to help patients with their mental health over time. By using natural language processing and SAS risk scoring analytics, the concept showed how to encourage patients to take action based on research and interactions among War on Cancer members. In the future, the plan is to empower the War On Cancer app with SAS conversational AI, engaging with and guiding patients to self-service solutions and treatments.

"Our goal at War on Cancer is to help people who have received cancer news, may have mental health issues as a result, and might not otherwise get the support and treatment they need,” said Hermelin. “Our vision is to predict mental health problems that could be avoided.”

Kickoff event

The SAS Hackathon Kickoff event will take place this Wednesday, Jan. 26th, on YouTube and LinkedIn. There will be two sessions to accommodate a global audience and different time zones. For U.S. audiences, the Kickoff will take place at 10:00am Eastern Time. To join the Kickoff and to view information about it, including times by region, see the SAS Hackathon Kickoff site:

The Kickoff event will showcase the SAS Hackathon and answer questions about registering for it. It will include an interview with SAS Senior Vice President of Technology Gavin Day, details on the Hackathon from its Program Leads, and a conversation with War on Cancer’s Hermelin, among other featured segments.

The Kickoff event will also be available on-demand via the SAS YouTube and LinkedIn channels.

Hackathon registration open

From now through Feb. 15, teams and individual data scientists, technology enthusiasts and business visionaries can sign up on the SAS Hackathon website. Those not signing up with a team will be matched with a team of like-minded, curious individuals. Teams will tackle issues across 10 industries and areas: AgTech, Banking, Energy, Health care and life sciences, Insurance, IoT, Manufacturing, Public sector, Retail, and Telecom.

During a hackathon, teams of participants collaborate and compete to find the best solutions to a business or humanitarian challenge using technology.

How to participate

Anyone interested in analytics, including SAS customers and technology partners, independent developers, students and startup businesses can join the 2022 Hackathon. Hackathon teams can include people from one or more organizations, or an individual looking to join a group. Register your team (of two to 10 people) or sign up as an individual by Feb. 15, 2022.

Teams will need to provide a brief description of the real-world challenge – a business or sustainability issue – that they will address. Individuals will need to share more on their interests and skills so they can be best matched with a team. Once registration is confirmed, participants will receive emails with further instructions.

Throughout March 2022, teams will network and collaborate with each other and with SAS mentors and partners to improve their ideas and technologies. Finalists will be selected in April and connected with SAS experts for further application development. Winners will be announced at a 2022 SAS event.

Through the SAS Hackathon, participants can explore entrepreneurial approaches, network with fellow innovators, and try out technologies like SAS Viya. And in the process, Hackathon teams can create potentially viable applications and products for the marketplace that SAS will assist in developing and commercializing.

Learn more

War on Cancer’s experience with the SAS Hackathon is notable but not unique. Read eight additional stories of innovation by SAS Hackathon teams in the e-book, Data scientists use SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to develop big innovations.

Follow ongoing SAS Hackathon news and updates via social media using #SAShackathon.

Key SAS technology partner Microsoft is a sponsor of the SAS Hackathon, powering innovation with analytics on Azure.

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Live virtual Kickoff event for 2022 SAS Hackathon on Jan. 26th (and on-demand). Curious? Learn more and register today!