Frequently Asked Questions

Some tidbits you might want to know about HawkHacks Ideathon

About Ideathons in general…

What is an ideathon?

An ideathon is an idea-based hackathon, meaning that over the course of the day, each team creates and presents a tech-based solution that addresses a challenge. Within a few hours, it will take you through the process of generating, building out, and presenting an idea! The process will help you learn project management as well as analytical and presentational skills. Ideathons are all about human-centered design, meaning that your solution must be formed based on and changed in response to to feedback from real people who will potentially use it.

In general, solutions are mainly scored based on appropriateness, originality, technological sophistication and feasibility, potential social impact, and planned next steps.

Ideathons are designed for motivated teams looking to brainstorm ways we can use the technology available to us to address some of the most pressing challenges our world faces today. Coding experience and/or technological know-how is extremely helpful in order for your solution to be both technologically creative and feasible. Nevertheless, ideathons can be amazing experiences for everyone participating, regardless of your familiarity with the nuts and bolts of coding!

Date, Time, and Logistics…

When will the HawkHacks Ideathon be held?

The Ideathon will be held on May 1st, 2021, the first day of HawkHacks. It will be hosted over Zoom and last from 10am to 5pm, preceded and followed by opening and closing chats.

How can I contact the Ideathon organizers?

Email us! We can be reached at [email protected], and we can likely help if you have questions about anything mentioned here or elsewhere on the site. Closer to the start of the competition, we will provide additional means to get in touch with us.

What does the agenda look like?

The HawkHacks Ideathon will be hosted virtually over Zoom this year! The day is split into three parts: a keynote speech, workshops with professional guidance, and a working period for teams to develop their solutions with input from organizers and mentors.

This year at HawkHacks, we are lucky enough to have several amazing professionals working in tech, finance, and investing joining us to speak, lead workshops, and help teams with their specific solutions! Many of our organizers have also participated in idea-based hackathons in the past, so we are happy to offer our input as well!

Are there prizes?

Yes! Each member of the winning team will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a HawkHacks 2021 Champion’s Certificate!

About HawkHacks Ideathon…

What types of problems are we addressing?

Through HawkHacks, teams will build tech-based solutions addressing aspects of four complex issues that profoundly affect our global community, individual localities, and especially youth within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These are: climate change, mental health, civic and political engagement, and the continually increasing reliance on technology.

Your solution should have some aspect driving social impact, which would allow the general public to use your technology to contribute to addressing these issues.

As it is impossible to explore the many dimensions of each of these challenges in one day, HawkHacks has prepared fact sheets on each topic. The sheets include subtopics, possible applications of technology (as HawkHacks is organized by a data science club, we’ll also be adding in some datasets we think you could incorporate), and research sources to get teams started. One source will describe a possible competitor, or another solution currently working in your area of interest. Teams should take notice of aspects of existing solutions that would benefit from modifications to create a solution that can be differentiated from what already exists.

Fact sheets are currently being finalized and will be posted shortly.

How can I prepare for the Ideathon?

  1. Before the Ideathon, make sure you prepare: a system ready for you to work with your teammates on document writing (i.e. Google Docs), your chosen topic and subtopic from our prepared fact sheets that you’re interested in solving, and some quick background research on that topic (the sources we provide in each fact sheet are great places to start looking!).
  2. You should also ensure that your Zoom is updated to the latest version.

How do we create and present our solutions? What’s the process?

The quick rundown: your process will entail brainstorming, interviewing, researching, writing, and a 1-2 minute “elevator pitch” at the end. Don’t worry if it seems like a lot– we’ll have tips and workshops on how to navigate it on competition day!

Refer to this page on the ideathon process for more info.

What exactly will my team and I submit?

By the end of the day, you will submit:

  • Team Information: A form will be distributed on competition day. You’ll mark down some base information like your solution name, and briefly summarize each team member’s contributions.
  • Interview Materials: Who you interviewed, the questions you asked and the notes you took.
  • Pitch Video: recording of a 1-2 minute pitch.
  • Pitch Deck: A slide deck about your solution that you’ll use for your pitch. It can also include additional info you can’t fit in to your 1-2 minutes!

How are solutions being scored at HawkHacks?

Our judges will be scoring using a rubric considering the following criteria:

  • Solution: how it addresses the problem (appropriateness and originality)
  • Solution: how it incorporates varied perspectives and was created or changed in response to feedback (human-centered design)
  • Solution: potential social impact
  • Tech Stack: sophistication and feasibility
  • Business Plan: how your solution plans to expand, reach more people, and manage funds
  • Ethical Considerations: the ethics of your solution in the real world
  • Next Steps: immediate, concrete steps you and your team could take to make your vision a reality

More details on judging will be provided closer to the start of the competition.