Hackathon for Social Good — Ability & Mobility

Saturday, June 3 at 9 am to Sunday, June 4 at 5 pm

The 2017 Tech Valley Center of Gravity Hackathon for Social Good will focus on Ability & Mobility. Participants will collaborate to dream up, design and build creative solutions to challenges faced by differently abled individuals and caregivers, and issues that limit mobility for us all – from lack of availability to barriers to access. Solutions may come in the form of research, app or software development, IoT, and more. Imagine, create and refine technology solutions that break down barriers to economic self-reliance, independence and self-expression.

Areas to which you might apply your creativity and skills include, but are not limited to:

Fun and Games
Identifying and Locating Services
Big Data Overview

Over the course of this 32 hours, you’ll design, plan, construct and produce your solution to the best of your ability as time allows. Then you’ll share it with others, including our illustrious judges, for the opportunity to gain fame and fabulous prizes (remembering that those are relative terms).

Why a hackathon?

While “hacking” has some negative connotation in the media, in the tech crowd, it simply means finding a creative solution to a problem. Hackathons are marathon group events where teams of people form to create new things and solve problems together for fun and prizes. They are opportunities to meet new people, build new things and push the limits on known technology. To feed all that creative energy, hackathons also involve an uninterrupted supply of food, caffeine, learning opportunities and access to tools and technology.

Who is eligible to participate?

The TVCOG Hackathon for Social Good is open to all creative minds. We welcome individuals and teams of all ages and abilities, although teams with members under 18 years of age must be accompanied by one responsible adult for every four minors and a parent or guardian must sign a release/permission for each minor participating. Hackers might be any of the following or more!

High School or College Students | Makers and Tinkerers | Engineers | Architects | Builders | Urban Planners | Real Estate Developers | Facility Managers | Building Contractors | Software Developers | Hardware Imagineers | App Makers | UI and UE Designers | Caregivers and Family Members | Anyone with a Creative Mind and Sense of Purpose and/or Play

You don’t need any past hackathon experience or special skills to participate, and you don’t need to be a member of a team before you arrive. Hackers are friendly people and there are plenty of people around to help you merge into an existing team or find other solo registrants with whom you can form a new team.

What will I need to bring and what’s available?

For the first time, our Hackathon for Social Good will be staffed by Tech Valley Center of Gravity maker members who will be available in our work zones (fiber arts/woodshop/3D printing/laser cutting/metal shop/welding/electronics) to assist you with simple fabrication tasks if needed.

If you have the seed of an idea that you know will require particular materials for fabrication, go ahead and bring those. You may use only outside resources that are freely licensed and accessible to all participants equally.

If you have your own laptop or tablet, bring it! For those who are not personally equipped, there are several computers available at the TVCOG and plenty of wireless and wired internet access.

Since you’re going to be here for 32 hours, you might want to bring your toothbrush and plan on getting a bit grungy, along with everyone else. The Tech Valley Center of Gravity is not equipped with locker or shower facilities.

Why Sponsor the TVCOG Hackathon for Social Good?

Serving as a Hackathon for Social Good sponsor will:

~ provide you with great exposure both before and after the event.
~ position you as an organization that cares about the issues we’re working to address
~demonstrate your support for the development and developers of innovative and creative solutions.
~give you the opportunity to demonstrate your own products and ideas to an engaged and interested audience.
~help you build relationships with a broad array of professionals.

In addition to those benefits, sponsorship have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of both our participants and those whose live might be touched by the resulting developments. Sponsors can also serve as mentors and guides to our hackers, having an additional impact the solutions developed.

Other Ways to Support the Hackathon

Sponsor or provide a meal, snacks or beverages for our hackers.
Send mentors or tech evangelists to assist partipants in their projects and provide perspective.
Provide software or hardware.
Provide judges.
Provide swag for our hackers – each participant will receive a bag full of donated give-aways. What have you got with your logo on it that you’d like to get in the hands of our hackers?
Bring a team and participate!

Contact Holly Cargill-Cramer at 518-244-3544 or holly@tvcog.net to discuss these and other ways you can support our hackathon.

Hackathon registration will open April 24!