What happens when you take Fazer’s heritage and season it with a healthy dose of start-up creativity and 30 developers?

Fazer has invited start-ups, professional developers and students to join a hackathon on 28–30 October to innovate with Fazer’s experts. The challenge is to create solutions that help maintain and improve brainpower and well-being at different stages of life. Fazer organises the event together with Industryhack, which has run more than ten hackathons with Finnish corporations since 2015.

During an intensive weekend, 10 teams will plan and develop solutions that improve cognitive performance through the combination of food, sleep and activity. “We are interested in gaining a wider understanding of the technological opportunities available to us in supporting the cognitive performance and well-being of people,” says Simon Panelius, Vice President, Operational Development at Fazer Food Services.

The solutions can be, for example, a personal “plate model” that utilises technology and takes individual dietary choices into account or a workplace catering concept that nudges people to make brain-friendly choices with on-site displays, apps and sensors. “I am very excited about this hackathon as it is a great platform to achieve out-of-the-box thinking and generate new ideas. I really look forward to seeing how the teams approach the Brainfood challenge and what they come up with,” says Heli Arantola, Head of Strategy & Renewal at Fazer.

The hackathon event starts on Friday when the teams meet with Fazer’s experts and work together to refine the teams’ preliminary ideas. The teams will give their first pitches on Saturday after working intensively through the night and continue to work on their concepts throughout the day. On Sunday afternoon, the teams will pitch their final concepts to the jury that consists of Christoph Vitzthum, CEO of Fazer Group, Heli Arantola, SVP, Group Strategy & Renewal, Simon Panelius, VP, Operational Development of Fazer Food Services and external judge Kiti Müller, MD, PhD, Leader of clinical research at Digital Health Lab, Nokia Technologies. The winning team will be awarded 3,000 euros and the runners-up will compete for a prize pool of 2,000 euros.

Fazer Brainfood programme

Schoolchildren and students need brainpower to learn, working-age people to focus and create, and older people to enjoy vital senior years. Food and nutrition together with sleep and physical and mental exercise are the central factors of cognitive performance and brain health.

Fazer has started a major new research and development programme called Brainfood. In this programme, Fazer explores the links between food, lifestyle and cognitive performance. The hackathon is part of the Brainfood programme.