A challenge of unprecedented magnitude, the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the world as we know it – and we are not out of the woods yet. Governments, companies, and civil society have all been trying to navigate change through leadership and innovation. Germany is not an exception. Given top priority on the political agenda, the crisis has quickly opened doors to cross-sector collaboration and social innovation amid the lockdown. It was only within days that the world’s largest hackathon to date, #WirVsVirus, came together in March 2020 to develop solutions to the most pressing issues arising from the pandemic.
It All Began With the World’s Largest Hackathon to Date
Organized by the federal government and seven social initiatives in record time, the #WirVsVirus hackathon provided a virtual collaboration platform for about 27,000 developers, designers, creatives, and other problem solvers. Two days and some 1,500 registered projects later, 130 ideas were selected for implementation and funding from the #WirVsVirus Solution Enabler Program. One of the winning initiatives was get it!, an intelligent marketplace aimed at helping local retailers, their customers, as well as couriers. Thorsten Jankowski, Team Lead and Product Owner, explains the rationale behind their idea.
One Has It, Some Need It, Others Bring It – get it!
“In a nutshell, the get it! app enables local retailers to continue running their business with occasional and regular customers even in difficult times like these. As soon as a customer assembles a shopping list, we start assigning orders to several retailers in our system. Through integrated routing and mapping functionalities, couriers use optimized routes to bring orders from retailer to customer as quickly as possible. By supporting local infrastructure, we ease the burden on traditional delivery services, save retailers shipping costs and logistics, and allow customers to buy goods from home, without putting themselves and others at risk.”
In hopes of making a difference, the team, made up of different nationalities and professional backgrounds, keeps on spending every spare minute to make their platform even better. This rich diversity allows for get it! to better reflect local and cultural preferences. With Phrase as a reliable partner on their side, the international team is able to release translations for their marketplace in close to no time. For its part, Phrase is throwing the full weight of its scalable translation management system behind the initiative so that more and more people can benefit day by day. Thorsten Jankowski believes in the success of the multilingual approach.
“Our concept is local in every regard. Our mission to foster solidarity and neighborly cooperation sets us apart from mainstream online marketplaces. As soon as we identified that many people in the local communities are bilingual – only think of the Turkish community in Germany that is barely addressed by similar platforms – it only made sense that get it! goes live in different languages. Phrase streamlined our entire translation workflow – from managing translations with greater context over using machine translation to faster releases – and we hope to be able to continue growing together. Now that a solid foundation has been laid, we can definitely expect retailers from other countries of the European Union to join get it! in the long run.”
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