Hackathon 2016 – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Hackathon 2016

At the second annual Hackathon, teams of students, faculty and staff will have 24 hours to address one complex issue through social innovation, during an event co-sponsored by the Centennial Center for Leadership (CCL) and the Entrepreneurial Studies Program on Saturday, Oct. 22 and Sunday, Oct. 23.

Hackathons are happening across the country, and are known for being fast-paced environments for creative problem-solving. Associate Director of CCL Amy Forbes says the purpose of the social Hackathon at HWS is to give students a platform to practice entrepreneurial thinking for a common good, in a “space where groups can come together to collaborate, brainstorm and pitch ideas.”

Last year, 10 teams competed in the event centered on the topic of food scarcity. The responses ranged from proposed NGOs to smart-phone apps, solutions unique to the local Geneva area and HWS campus, and solutions that tackled the flaws in global food systems.

This year’s Hackathon topic was selected by CCL with input from members of the Geneva community and will be revealed on Saturday morning. Teams will have from 9 a.m. on Saturday to 9 a.m. on Sunday, and will then give a three-minute pitch presentation of their idea to a panel of judges. The first-place winner will receive $500 and one runner up will receive $200.

The weekend will include workshops and speakers as well as planning periods with the CCL staff to enhance the teams’ ideas and presentations. A keynote address will also be given on Saturday by Ithaca’s mayor and HWS Presidential Fellow Svante Myrick. Participants will have the opportunity to speak with roundtable experts about their diverse experience in a variety of fields.

Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend the Hackathon on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center, as each team pitches the panel of judges and a winner is selected.