The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and CARAT+ today announced the inaugural edition of Hack4Diamonds, the first ever ‘hackathon’ in the diamond industry, taking place from May 4 to May 6 in collaboration with Junction and with the support of CARAT+ (see press release in annex). The aim of this innovation-oriented hackathon event is to address contemporary challenges facing the diamond industry by bringing together young innovators, students and start-ups with expertise in computer science, marketing, business management expertise, blockchain, artificial intelligence and more. Together they will ‘hack’ certain pre-defined issues and seek to find solutions during an immersive three-day incubator at Antwerp Expo – the home of CARAT+ 2018 (May 6 - 8), which commences on the final day of Hack4Diamonds, making for a seamless transition.
The AWDC’s mission is to ensure Antwerp remains at the forefront of the global diamond industry, to foster awareness of Antwerp’s unparalleled contributions to local and international trade and to inspire current and future generations. “In order to stay ahead of global competition, it is also important that we engage with external businesses and professionals, and listen to their insights and particular expertise”, says Ari Epstein, CEO of AWDC. “This culture of co-creation, led by the inaugural Hack4Diamonds event in Antwerp, is what will truly spur innovation across our industry.”
To this end, Hack4Diamonds will address the following issues: How to turn the challenge of laboratory-made diamonds into an opportunity, to respond their threat and, in this respect, learn from other industries? What would be the implications and applications of a blockchain system that can trace the provenance of a stone as well diamond transactions, once it has achieved critical mass? And, concerning the future dynamics of engaging with customers in a B2B as well as B2C context, where traditional processes are eroding and innovation, customer engagement and experience are taking over, what new ways of interacting and collaborating can be discovered for startups, scale-ups as well as established companies?
News of the Hack4Diamonds event follows the announcement that AWDC will be the Main Partner for the 2018 edition of CARAT+, the World’s Premier Diamond Event. Concerning this collaboration, Epstein comments: “AWDC is proud to be the newest and Main Partner of CARAT+. After bursting onto the diamond scene last year with a successful maiden edition, we knew CARAT+ represented the future of diamond trade shows in Antwerp, and also knew we wanted to be part of it. We expect the second edition of CARAT+ to be another giant step forward in their objective to become the world’s premier diamond event.”
CARAT+ founder and event director, Filip Van Laere, says concerning the collaboration, “I am very happy to welcome AWDC as a Main Partner to CARAT+ 2018. I strongly believe that the combination of an entrepreneurial initiative like CARAT+ and one of the most respected organizations in the international diamond community is a tremendous feat. Together, we will help to ensure Antwerp remains a hub of diamond excellence and that CARAT+ develops into an annual destination for diamond networking and sales.”