Hack the Change: Penn students to host 3-day international development hackathon at Venturef0rth - Technical.ly Philly

Mar. 13, 2012 9:00 am

Hack the Change: Penn students to host 3-day international development hackathon at Venturef0rth

What’s more gratifying than finding and fixing a tech problem? Finding and fixing a policy problem perhaps. That’s the goal of the upcoming Hack the Change hackathon organized by two members of the student-led Penn Society for International Development (PennSID), which wants to bring hackers and NGOs together on March 16-18 to come up with […]

What’s more gratifying than finding and fixing a tech problem? Finding and fixing a policy problem perhaps.

That’s the goal of the upcoming Hack the Change hackathon organized by two members of the student-led Penn Society for International Development (PennSID), which wants to bring hackers and NGOs together on March 16-18 to come up with tech solutions to social policy problems.

The three-day Ghandi-inspired hackathon is open to the public and is being held at Venturef0rth, the new coworking space in Callowhill. Participating nonprofits will suggest problem statements relevant to national or international issues such as international development, disaster management, mass atrocities prevention, humanitarian aid, community engagement and democracy enhancement, then work with the hackers to build an application that addresses the challenge according to a press release.

To register, click here.

In addition to a monetary prize, the winning hack will win a chance to showcase at May’s Random Hack of Kindness, the twice-annual hack fest last held in December.

Some of the nonprofits already committed to participating in the hackathon include, USAID, STAND, Amnesty International, IdInsight, Tchange, Wharton Social Impact, PoverUp, A spring of Hope, Pledgeforgood, SEPTA, Code for America, City of Philadelphia, SeedPhilly, Earth Institute, says organizer and Penn junior Pratham Mittal.

Mittal, 20,  and his counterpart, junior Casey Rosengren, also 20, are leading the event with the help of other students involved with PennSID, but the two are also hoping this hackathon helps to build relationships with the local Philly tech community. Mittal and Rosengren have different majors, but both are working on their own startups as members of the Wharton Venture Initiation Program.

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“Both of our startups were founded at Startup Weekends,” Mittal said, noting that Rosengren helped launch ChimpFlix at Delaware Startup Weekend and Mittal, was part of Newsance at Princeton Startup Weekend, both of which were winners at their respective events, he added. “So we understand the importance and power of hackathons. Since we are also very passionate about international development and social impact, we decided to use the leverage of hackathons to solving real world problems.”

To sign up for the Hack the Change hackathon at Venturef0rth this Friday, click here.

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