Communication - Event

The hackAtech is back in 2021 with three editions

Changed on 12/07/2021
What if you had 54 hours to hack digital technologies and build new DeepTech startup projects? This is the promise of hackAtech, an event created by Inria.

Marathon of deeptech projects

The hackAtech is an open innovation event articulated over several major phases, from ideation to project structuring, and culminating in a 54-hour sprint at the crossroads of a startup weekend and a hackathon.

Its objective? To stimulate new deeptech startup projects based on Inria's digital technologies and expertise and on business issues proposed by partner companies.

A national event organised in different regions

Initiated by the Inria Lille – Nord Europe centre in March 2020, the hackAtech is being deployed in regional ecosystems. This year, the Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique and Sophia Antipolis – Méditerranée centres are launching their first edition, followed by Lille which is renewing the experience.

The hackAtech offers to use Inria's technologies and expertise to imagine tomorrows applications!

What does the event consist of?

The hackAtech is divided into several phases:

  • A preparatory phase during which events are organised to acculturate participants to Inria's technologies and expertise in order to understand their uses and challenges with a view to defining and building the startup project and identifying the business issues encountered by companies.
  • The 54-hour Sprint (or 48 hours depending on the centre) to validate the technical feasibility and economic viability of the projects in teams.
  • A support phase during which the winning startup projects of each Challenge benefit from 6 months of support from Inria and its partners.

What are the different challenges?

There are several types of challenges. The projects are built on Inria's, its partners' or open source technology, and must respond to a problem raised by a partner, a research team or an entrepreneur:

Open Challenge: any participant or team may propose a project based on a business problem to which a technology or digital expertise can provide an answer.

Partner Challenge: one or more employees from each partner company can formulate a challenge based on a problem they are facing that digital technology or expertise can solve.

Challenge Scientists: one or more scientists from a research team propose a challenge to build a startup project based on a use case of their technology or expertise.

Who can participate in the hackAtech?

  • Students / alumni with a scientific or innovation management background who are interested in entrepreneurship and who wish to test their knowledge and develop their network.
  • Startup project holders who would like to test an idea or who need a technological element, entrepreneurs looking for a creation project,
  • Business experts and/or employees who want to remove a technological barrier, identify talent.
  • Partners who can provide challenges and identify their future talent

It is not necessary to have a startup idea to register for the hackAtech, participants can join a team during the Sprint.

Back to the Sprint 2020 edition in Lille

Watch the 2020 edition video (in French) - YouTube


hours of work




doctoral students, post-doctoral students and Inria engineers


technology referents


projects presented to the jury


winning team


Pierre Galerneau, project leader of DataFresh, winner of the Open Challenge in 2020, commented on his participation:

Photo d'une équipe Inria hackAtech 2021
© Inria / Photo Sébastien Jarry

"I've always had a desire to be an entrepreneur and have tons of projects in mind: I've spent the last 10 years in startups in management and technical strategy roles, and in 2019 I joined the Euratechnologies incubator on an entrepreneurial project around the traceability of fresh products, and it was for this project (DataFresh) that I took part in the hackAtech. The hackAtech was a great way to meet people and a great booster for the project. In particular, we were able to create the foundations of a prototype in a few dozen hours. But it was also a great time, a good mood, meetings and a good way to test the team's ability to work together."

Three editions in 2021

  • Sophia: from 24 to 26 September

Christophe Imbert, startup advisor:

Why register for the hackAtech?

Participating in the hackAtech allows you to expand the field of possibilities... If you are passionate about digital technologies or simply curious, if you want to experience a human adventure to help improve mobility, the environment and health: join us now!

And for the partners?

Being a partner of HackAtech means being at the heart of the Côte d'Azur's scientific and entrepreneurial ecosystem and seeing future trends at a very early stage, discovering new talent that will help shape the world of tomorrow.

  • Rennes: from 30 September to 2 October

Antoine Le Graët, startup advisor:

What does hackAtech mean to you?

The hackAtech represents for me :

1. An event that brings together an entire ecosystem around Inria's digital technologies to imagine tomorrow's applications!

2. An Open Innovation experience at the crossroads of research, deeptech innovation and entrepreneurship.

3. A generator of ideas and projects that can meet the needs of our society and the economic world.

Why is this event interesting for companies?

For local companies, the hackAtech is a unique opportunity to :

- Discover and benefit from Inria's digital technologies and expertise in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, data science, etc.

- Benefit from the wealth of skills and knowledge of the hackAtech participants to develop new products or services

- Source talent in different fields of expertise: IT, marketing, design, etc.

A quick word for those who are still hesitating to sign up?

If you want to test an idea, share your knowledge and meet scientific experts around a good sausage buckwheat pancake, then join the hackAtech in Rennes!

  • Lille : from 25 to 27 November

Laurie Barbarin, startup advisor :

The hackAtech in a few words

An innovation process that allows startup projects to be promoted or accelerated around digital deeptech technologies alongside companies in the region and partners!

If I have an idea or a startup project, why should I participate in hackAtech?

The hackAtech will allow you to test your idea, to refine it, to confront it with different types of experts, and to accelerate the construction of your project!

What would you say to someone who is hesitating to sign up?

Whether you have a marketing, business developer, design, technical, scientific, junior or senior profile, etc. don't hesitate! Deeptech entrepreneurship is accessible to all those who want to take up the challenge!


Start your deeptech startup project thanks to digital technology players

Our startup support program

Startup Studio

Inria Startup Studio is based on a comprehensive, end-to-end system for supporting projects for the creation of Deeptech startups, in particular those led by young people who join the institute or its academic partners in public research to enrich their scientific career upstream of an entrepreneurial project (doctoral students, postdocs, engineers, interns) or those led by entrepreneurs in residence.