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!

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 graphic Hackathon ‘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.

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


Commercial printing

How to reinvent the commercial print segment?


How to create new added value for brand owners?


How to create new added value for brand owners?

Print in Marketing

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

Industrial printing

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


How to create hybrid added value for publishing?


Want to connect with the other participants and teams? Looking for a specific talent to enlarge your team? Do you want to offer your talents? Click on the button below to have a look at all the profiles and get in touch with each other!

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. 

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.

Jan De Clippeleer – EY Executive Director and Innovation Enabler.

Strategy and Business Model Innovation

Johnny Waterschoot – EY Senior Manager and Innovation Enabler.

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

Carl Van Rooy, Senior Innovation Consultant – VIGC

Areas of expertise for which Carl can be addressed: workflow automation, operational matters concerning digital and conventional printing techniques and labels & packaging.

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.

Fons Put, Senior Innovation Consultant – VIGC

Areas of expertise for which Fons can be addressed: color, functional printing, lab, standardization, color measurements, …

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

Jacques Michiels – CEO Inkish Benelux

Entrepreneur, Consultant, international graphic arts networker and partner INKISH. Skilled in Strategy & Business Development, Print Industry 4.0, Sounding board for print media companies. Jacques has been involved in the industry for over 25 years and has a strong interest in applied advanced technologies, sales and marketing, he is a former owner of a fully integrated sheet-fed book production facility.

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.

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.

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.

Thomas Søby, Director and partner – Buchs


Kurt De Cat, editor-in-chief Grafisch Nieuws and M&C Magazine – Roularta.

Kurt has over twenty years of experience in trade journalism. He wrote for specialized magazines, newsletters and websites like Technisch Management, Industrie Magazine and Trends Magazine. He covered topics about manufacturing, logistics, economics and management. Now he is responsible for Grafisch Nieuws and M&C Magazine, the most important sector journals for the graphics industry in Belgium and Luxembourg.

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.

Morten B. Reitoft – Editor in Chief at Inkish TV

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

Philippe Voet, President – Finat

Philippe developed in several management and leadership roles, gaining knowledge of technical, project, production, supply chain and operational excellence management. The label market is where he got the chance to bring together his gained knowledge with creativity, innovation and influence on sustainability.

Klavs Holm – Managing director at Medit Consult

Klavs has a long time experience within development within the graphic sector and working on strategic and technical level in graphic companies.


Global overview dates

Pre-event participants 1: 21 September ’21 – 9h – 10h (click to join the meeting)
Pre-event participants 2: 6 October ’21 – 13h – 14h (click to join the meeting)
Hackathon day 1: 25 October ’21 – 9h – 24h
Hackathon day 2: 26 October ’21 – 8h – 16h
Hackathon award ceremony: 29 October ’21 – 15h – 16h
Congress: 9 November ’21 – 14h – 23h

Monday 25/10/21

Start of the virtual hackathon (9h00)  

Plenary opening video conference

Teams start working on project


Continuous coaching and support by mentor via chat platform

Workshops on Business Modelling & Pitching during the day

Plenary intermediary evening touchpoint

End first day of hacking (00h00)  

Teams are allowed to continue working on their projects

Tuesday 26/10/21

Kick-off day two (8h00)  

Plenary opening video conference

End of the hackathon 

Teams submit their solutions

Friday 29/10/21

Winning teams are presented 

Plenary video call with all participants

Award ceremony



Hackathon format explained:

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.

What happens with my IP (Intellectual Property) at the hackathon?

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. 

What about your pitch?

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.

When do I start working on the project?

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​

What’s expected of me?

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

Who can attend?

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.

Do I need to have a specific idea?

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.

Do I need to be a developer or programmer to participate?

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

What size can a team be?

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.


25 & 26/10/2021


VIGC vzw
Collegestraat 11 bus 3
2300 Turnhout – Belgium



#EUgraphicArtsHackathon21 #innovationInPrint

Organizing partners

Co hosting Partners

VIGC Strategic Partners

#industriepartnerschap #sterkondernemen 

17 Flemish innovation partners, including VIGC,join forces, led by  Agoria  and  Sirris. With the support of  Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen  they offer an integrated service to stimulate growth and innovation in flemish industry.  

Thanks to the individual and collective services of the industry partnership, as a Flemish company you can count on a wealth of expertise and years of experience to boost your technological innovation in the 3 following themes: Digitization, Sustainability & Industry 4.0.