VIGC Hackathon

Reinvent The Graphic Arts Industry


Oct 12 – 13, 2020
International Virtual Hackathon



The graphics sector is at a crossroad to give its future a new twist. Both internal and external challenges play an important role in this. Innovation and digitization are hereby linked to new products, services and business operations.

Together with EY and the entire graphics industry, VIGC is joining forces to help shape the future of the graphics sector with highly targeted and innovative solutions. Future-proof graphic innovations regarding internal organization, new services or products and business models will form the basis of this first graphic Hackaton Graphic communication enterprise of the future. How to future proof our industry?

During 24 hours teams of startups, scale-ups, corporates and students will have the opportunity to collaborate and create digital and innovative solutions relevant for the Graphic Arts Industry. A diverse and dedicated team of experts and coaches will assist you during the process. After the hacking, you will have to present your suggestion to a mixed jury of experts.


A hackathon is a method of creative problem solving designed to boost disruptive innovation. This format is usually limited in time (24h-48h). The participating teams work on predetermined challenges towards new concepts, business models, processes and go as far as possible to deliver tangible results. At the end of the hackathon these team results are usually presented to a jury which subsequently highlights the most promising projects. The aim of this hackathon is to future-proof the graphic arts sector. All sector stakeholders are invited to contribute to the sector’s most pressing challenges you will find below!

Ready to contribute? Register now and get exposure among various stakeholders in the graphic industry. Together we will shape the future!


Hackathon Prize sponsored by Sappi for the winning team!

The first prize consists of €3.000 and 3 months of mentorship by the Sappi team.



Commercial printing

How to reinvent the commercial print segment?

Packaging & Labels

How to create new added value for brand owners?


How to create hybrid (digital & physical) added value for future publishing?

Industrial printing

How can leaving the beaten track create added value for the graphic arts industry?

Print in Marketing

How could we use digital and/or measurable marketing to create value for the Graphic Arts Industry?

How can you contribute? Register now!



Monday 12/10/20

Start of the virtual hackathon (9h00)  

  • Plenary opening video conference (9h-9h30)
  • Teams start working on project

Hacking (9h00-00h00)  

  • Continuous coaching and support by mentor via chat platform
  • Workshops on Business Modelling & Pitching during the day

End first day of hacking (00h00)  

  • Plenary intermediary evening touchpoint (18h-19h)
  • Teams are allowed to continue working on their projects
Tuesday 13/10/20

Kick-off day two (8h00)  

  • Plenary opening video conference (8h-8h30)

End of the hackathon (15h00)  

  • Teams submit their solutions

Judging & finalist selection (15h30-18h00)  

  • Jury (sector experts & business leaders) review the results

Winning teams are presented (18h30-19h30)  

  • Plenary video call with all participants
  • Award ceremony


Organizing partners

VIGC: VIGC (Vlaams Innovatiecentrum voor Grafische Communicatie) is the independent knowledge center for graphic communication in the Benelux. The VIGC is at the service of the printing industry, its customers and its suppliers. We are a multidisciplinary team of seasoned domain experts and project leaders with extensive practical experience in graphic communication.

Het Congres: The Congress is the annual event for graphic professionals in Belgium and the Netherlands. It is a networking event organized each year around a different theme. This year’s theme is ‘The communications company of the future’ and we will zoom in on topics such as Industry 4.0, digital transformation and smart automation. In addition to bringing high quality content, the aim is to meet people and inspire them or have them inspire each other.”

EY: At EY, we are committed to building a better working world — with increased trust and confidence in business, sustainable growth, development of talent in all its forms, and greater collaboration. We want to build a better working world through our own actions and by engaging with like-minded organizations and individuals. This is our purpose — and why we exist as an organization.




Mentors & Experts

A dedicated team of coaches and industry experts will be assigned to you to support you during the process and ensure a good problem-solution fit. 

Jan De Roeck – Marketing & Solutions Management Director – Esko

Jan leads and coordinates the segment marketing activities for the Esko Solutions comprising of software, hardware and services for the packaging, labels, signage and display industries. Specialties: Marketing Software products in a B2B context.

Guy Lauwers – CEO – Dioss Group.

Guy has a great expertise in the graphic industry and is above all a true entrepreneur and networker, which means that he is also active in a lot of federations and network organisations. In january 2020 he also accepted the role of Chairman at VIGC.

Jos Steutelings – Managing Director – VIGC

Jos is an experienced Senior Advisor in the printing industry, skilled in Business Process Management, People Management, Project Management and Business Development with a strong interest in Sales and Marketing.

Sander Jansen – Partner – Change Ventures

Teacher High University for applied studies, Utrecht (Business-IT Alignment). Author of The Building Blocks of the Innovation Framework. Developed the Book-on-Demand concept as manager at Scanlaser (Zaandam, NL).

Joyce Beumer – Marketing Director, Head of Group Marketing – Papyrus.

Expertise: Customer behavior, Marketing Management, strategic Marketing, concept Marketing, digitization, optimizing of marketing processes, innovation, e-commerce and social media.

Bram Verniest – COO & co-founder – CHILI publish

This serial entrepreneur turned a passion for deep tech software into a full-fledged operational scale-up. Delivering a graphics creation solution that is used by numerous brands worldwide in different markets broadened his vision as a developer, and heightened his managerial skills. Whether it is in code or life, Bram is considered the go-to hacking reference and calm voice of reason anytime.

Anna Oñate CEO & Co-founder of OctoBoost, Intrapreneur at Sappi Europe

Anna leads Sappi´s internal startup, which develops technology to optimize & digitize print processes while ensuring print´s sustainability. Expertise: Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Hackathons, Pitching), Business Development, Print Media Value Chain, AI, E-Commerce, Marketing.

Pat McGrew – Managing Director of McGrewGroup

Pat McGrew helps companies perform better in the print hardware, software and printing services industries. She leverages years of working experience to enable business growth. From owning a software company to serving the market, her experience spans all customer communication channels (CCM, ECM, ECP, EMM) and segments: transaction, data-driven and static marketing, packaging and label print, textiles, and production commercial print using offset, inkjet, and toner.

Alex Joos – Chairman and CEO Group Joos

Alex became head of the commercial department of Group Joos in 1993. In 1995 Group Joos took over the competitor Multirota. Alex was general manager of Multirota for two years to integrate the company in the group. He then returned to take over the general management of the Group Joos. In 2007 Group Joos took over the printcenter of Ardatis (now Cegeka) which made Joos-Comsmail the number 1 postal independent print service center in Belgium. Today, Alex has the ambition to refocus on security printing, direct mail and print on demand solutions. Group Joos invests heavily in digital print technology and e-commerce portals to integrate and facilitate the customers.

Kouris Kalligas Head of Digital Transformation at Sappi Europe

Kouris is an entrepreneur at heart, has extensive experience running a startup, and he has successfully managed software products from creation to launch to getting traction. He has expertise in product management, product marketing, and breaking down big ideas to the smallest possible version.

Erik De Vos – Marketing Manager Benelux at Antalis

The leader in B2B distribution of Papers and industrial Packaging, and number two in the distribution of Visual Communication media in Europe.

Peter Luit – Publisher Printmedianieuws

Peter Luit has been active for many years as a cross-media consultant, moderator, freelance journalist, researcher and trainer in the media chain. He also develops and builds targeted web and mobile solutions. Within Printmedianieuws he’s responsible for webmanagement/design/ technology, newsletter, administration, image editing, events and social media.

Bruno Wattenbergh – Chairman of EY Innovation Board

Strategy & Entrepreneurship, business model innovation, pitching

Johnny Waterschoot – EY Senior Manager and Innovation Enabler.

Focus on high tech, VC and startup markets, in marketing, projects management and innovation.

Jan De Clippeleer – EY Executive Director and Innovation Enabler.

Strategy and Business Model Innovation

People: Jury

Alain Vermeire – Editor-in-chief at Roularta Media Group

A Belgian multimedia group, market leader in magazines, local media in Flanders and business television.

Magnus Thorkildsen – Partner at Grafkom

A Nordic network for everyone interested in the future possibilities with graphic communication in an ever expanding digital world.

Morten B. Reitoft – Editor in Chief at Inkish TV

An online TV-channel for and about the print industry.

Robbert Delfos – Editor in Chief at ManagementMedia

A dynamic B-to-B publisher of trade journals, websites and organizer of various events in the packaging industry, graphic industry and the hospitality industry.

Sabine Geldermann – Director Drupa & Global Head PrintTechnologies

In her earlier career Sabine has been a member of division management at the most important German Engineering Federation (VDI e.V.), which has almost 150,000 members. She was responsible for distribution, marketing and recruitment of strategic partners. Since 2013, Sabine is Director at Drupa and Head of Print Technologies Messe. Drupa is the world’s leading trade show for print and cross-media application





A hackathon is a method of creative problem solving. It is a time-boxed activity – limited to 24 hours in this case, where a number of specific challenges can be addressed by the participating teams. The idea is to create usable software or hardware with the goal of demonstrating a functioning tangible prototype or product and a related business model by the end of the event. At the end of the hackathon, teams present their results to a panel of judges.

All participants have or may have pre-existing Intellectual Property Rights. This can be ideas, know-how, trade secrets, copyright in code, sometimes even a patent or an application, and brands, logos and similar stuff. This is called “Pre-Existing IP”.

All Pre-Existing IP remains owned by its owner, in addition, the fact of showing something that is covered by an IP right (say, showing some code that is covered by your software copyright) does not imply that anyone can copy that or use it freely without your approval – you retain your Pre-Existing IP on that.

Participants own the rights to their projects they create at the Hackathon. 

On the second day, you will have to present what you’ve built to a mixed jury of experts. You will have a couple of minutes to present your business plan, and demo your product/service/idea.

Before the hackathon event, we’ll have a pre-briefing where we’ll discuss challenges, in collaboration with the organizing partners. We ask participants however, not to work on the actual project before the take-off on the 12th of October. However, it is advised to familiarize yourself and ask ample questions before the event to guarantee a smooth start.

Teams and challenges​

Sign up through the Eventbrite, assemble your team and sign up for a specific challenge that you and your team will address.

Startups, scale-ups, researchers, students, sector enthousiasts… all are welcome to attend. We are looking for multi-functional teams that will be able to create a tangible product or prototype by the end of the hackathon.

  • Subscribe individually: Students and Professionals
  • Subscribe as a group: Start-ups, scaleups and corporates

The more to the point, the better. You and your team will have 24 hours to come up with a solution to one of the challenges posed by the graphic industry.

Not necessarily, the challenges are to find innovative solutions for the graphic arts industry of the future. Not necessarily through coding only.

Teams can be up to 5 people. If you want to hack alone, that’s totally fine. If you are still looking for a team, don’t worry, we will also help with matchmaking.



What's in it for you?

First Prize

  • €3.000 and 3 months of mentorship by Sappi
  • Interview by distributed across Europe
  • Live interview by host Francesca Vanthielen at VIGC ‘Het Congres’ on Thursday October 15th

Second and Third Prize

  • 2 months of mentorship by VIGC
  • Interview by spread across Europe
  • Live interview by host Francesca Vanthielen at VIGC ‘Het Congres’ on Thursday October 15th

Present your MVP* at the VIGC Congress

Winners of the challenges present their MVP (Minimum Viable Product) at the VIGC Congress in front of experts and industry decision-makers..

MVP* : A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to add value for early connecting customers, as a starting point to get feedback for further product development.

Connect with experts in the field

During the hackathon, you have access to a dedicated diverse team of coaches with different expertise (field experience, business expertise, technical skills, etc.).


After the hackathon, the winning projects will get support to further realize their MVPs and ideas.