Equalities Minister lauds Europe’s first 24-hour LGBT hackathon to help create new tools for community

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Helen Grant, the Minister for Equalities has welcomed the first LGBT hackathon to be held in Europe. The event, organised by the tech industry’s LGBT forum, InterTech, is hosted at the London headquarters of Facebook.

The 24 hour long event from InterTech, the group backed by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Dell Nokia and a variety of startups, will bring together 50 developers from across the UK who will work together non-stop until Sunday night. Hammocks are provided in case the excitement of the coding gets too much. They are hoping that projects will include apps to simplify hate crime reporting, coming out support guides, LGBT events trackers and a web tool for the use of LGBT students.

Welcoming the event, Helen Grant, the Minister for Equalities said: “The Internet has revolutionised the way that people get information and connect with others. I congratulate InterTech and Facebook on organising this event. It is fantastic to see large companies are coming together to design devices and services that that could enhance the lives of LGBT people across the world.”

InterTech was launched just a few months ago and was named Business Network of the Year by the judges of the PinkNews Awards and received the prize from Mrs Grant. Its chair, Asher Ismail said: “It is widely acknowledged that the internet has been a driving force in the growing acceptance of LGBT people within Western societies. It has broken down barriers and services such as Facebook have enabled people to see that same-sex relationships are nothing other than ordinary. It is for these reasons that we are so pleased to be hosting our first practical event, a hackathon at Facebook’s London headquarters.”

He added: “We hope that the products our competing teams of developers will work on could really change the lives of LGBT people across the world.”

The event will be led by Facebook engineer Jackson Gabbard, Facebook who added: “One of Facebook’s company goals is to make the world more open and connected. I’m really excited to facilitate and participate in an event where we can focus on trying to solve problems that prevent people from being who they are. InterTech has done an amazing job of pulling together a group of talented people under the banner of improving the world for LGBT people. Facebook has always been a strong supporter of LGBT causes and it makes me really proud we are continuing this in from our London office.”