DO IT YOUR WAY! pick a challenge. build a team. start a business. make an impact.

LARGEST HACKATHON IN WEST AFRICA!!!

We are looking for those who want to make the difference creating a real positive impact. We believe this is deeply necessary because Africa’s population will grow more rapidly, further constraining efforts to address poverty, create jobs, and protect the environment. We envision a landscape where African citizens source and adopt the best technologies to address local needs, become emerging entrepreneurs and create impactful innovation.

The hackathon will be only the gran finale of a 7 week long program at Hub Accra, in Ghana, to provide the opportunity for the next generation of leaders to come together, hope, and execute positive impacts for their cities and their countries. Transformation is an incremental process, so we encourage the participation of every individual, at every skill level, to push the world in the right direction. The sum of such parts will always lead to a greater whole. 

The program will guide entrepreneurs to develop business that aren’t only for subsistence living but are also innovative. It will last from late January through February 2015 and will include a series of initiatives that will culminate in the largest hackathon ever in West Africa! 

Initiatives are designed to provide a methodology, knowledge and inspiration that leverage local entrepreneurial talent to address specific local needs related to focus areas we have identified in design & technology, healthcare and education fields.

 

WHO WE ARE!

Hack for Big Choices is a global movement with the mission to empower talented people to solve local problems by developing innovative products and businesses.

We work with local communities in more than 15 cities across 5 continents to bridge the growing global innovation divide. We are working to optimize entrepreneurial intentions in order to create sustainable, needed innovations to help local economies grow and prosper.

Our flagship hackathons are focused on specific challenges related to Design & Technology, Education, and Healthcare. We help launch innovative companies and prepare them to attract investment due to their sustainable approach and potential to solve keys issues. We envision an open landscape where citizens utilize a bottom-up approach to source and adopt the best technologies to address local needs, become emerging entrepreneurs and create impactful innovation. By doing so, we help create access to a better life and help local economies become sustainable while relying on bottom-up citizen engagement. This is how we aim to effect global change.

 

AFRICA!

Among the many challenges faced by Sub-Saharan Africa, sanitation, prenatal complication, and sexual transmitted diseases cannot be tackled by local government and the private sector alone. Infrastructure challenges related to transportation and energy also seriously inhibit the further development of interior West Africa, and become additional barriers to combating regional crises.

To this end, Hack for Big Choices is teaming up with Hub Accra to roll out a program in Ghana to provide an opportunity for the next generation of leaders to come together to hope and execute positive impacts for their cities and their countries. Transformation is an incremental process, so we encourage the participation of every individual, at every skill level, to push the world in the right direction. The sum of such efforts will always lead to a greater whole. 

 

THE PROBLEM

The latest reports by the General Entrepreneurs Monitor demonstrate that entrepreneurs in emerging economies are the most motivated to start new businesses and see more opportunities than those in developed countries. In sharp contrast, the innovation level in emerging economies is the lowest, while developed economies create high frequency innovation despite fewer entrepreneurs.

The differences between entrepreneurs in countries with higher versus lower GDP are determined by their needs and intentions. We have less innovation when entrepreneurs are mainly driven by necessity and start businesses because they need a source of income. 

 

THE SOLUTION

We identify world-changing problems such as: food safety, education in remote areas, the simulation of crisis management activities, car driving safety, automatic people counting, metabolism syndrome, and sexually transmitted infections. 

These problems have been selected as key issues that require immediate solutions in order to improve millions of people’s lives and have long-term social and financial positive impact. In fact, most of the problems we are tackling are also part of the United Nation’s agenda to eradicate poverty by 2030. We are aligned with this mission and, along with other international organizations, committed to meeting the UN's eight millenium goals. 

The participants of our program will focus on finding solutions that can be executed locally and continue to be developed after the hackathon. Each key issue manifests itself differently in each region so we match up entrepreneurs in each region with their needed resources (mentors, coaches, training, education) - building a local infrastructure that can support innovation and entrepreneurial activities. This way we help people match their entrepreneurial intentions with opportunities in order to optimize their human potential to create needed innovation and improve their economy. 

“It’s not the supply of entrepreneurs that constitute the key bottleneck to economic dynamism, but rather the activities toward which entrepreneurial individuals channel their efforts” Levie and Autio (2011).”

One successful means of leveraging global collective thinking is to inspire our audience to push the boundaries to creating innovative solutions. We have built a global network that connects people from the world’s top universities (Stanford, Singularity Universities, and University of South California), international institutions (World Economic Forum) as well as governmental organizations (Singapore’s Ministry of Education, Mexico and Columbia’s Ministries of Innovation) with the local communities that are facing unresolved development issues.

 

OUR PRINCIPLES!

EVERYONE IS WELCOME: Participants, also called Hackers, aren’t just programmers or engineers. They are designers, marketers, teachers, professors, doctors, lawyers and can come from all other fields of study. They hail from all professions and experiences. 

Hacking is a state of mind that requires the belief in the power of change. Our hackathon is open to everyone. The only requirement we have is the desire to affect change in the world. 

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES: We believe that in order to affect meaningful, sustainable change, the solutions must be systemic. We do this by bridging the gap between the problems faced by regional economies and the ever-growing pool of talent and resources available. 

We help identify problems that most help local ecosystems and can be sustained by the ecosystem. We also subscribe to the adage of teaching a man to fish, and assist in the growth and empowerment of the talent pool. 

We support self-improvement and personal growth by creating opportunities to work in teams to use creativity and critical thinking to solve problems. Communities won’t only be able to attract more capital and find innovative solutions, their economies will experience the long-term benefits of having a population that’s not afraid to fail, willing to take risks, and able to see and take action on opportunities.

LOCAL & GLOBAL: Locals have a deep understanding of their communities’ problems and the great potential to solve them - but many don’t feel they can make a difference. We believe global transformation begins when each of us feel the power to improve our lives starting to use our unique talents, passion and experiences to solve real-world problems. 

For this reason we are focused on global challenges such as food safety and HIV prevention, which are universal but manifest differently in each community.

MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH: While most Hackathons cater to tech professionals, we believe a multidisciplinary approach is needed to truly inspire and sustain change. We want the teams to have distinct perspectives and concepts for each discipline that can be used to tackle the challenges in order to reach solutions based on a new understanding of complex situations.

Each participant will understand the multi-faceted nature of the problems and contribute with others to produce a collaborative solution through a common perspective.

REAL PROBLEMS: We identify world-changing problems such as: bridging the gap between research and markets, the simulation of crisis management activities, car driving safety, food safety, automatic people counting, education in remote areas, medical data for better outcomes, and sexually transmitted infections. 

Participants will be able to focus on finding solutions that can be executed locally and continue to be developed after the hackathon. You can find the entire list here.

FREE KNOWLEDGE: We use conferences, Google Hangouts, and interviews to help drive our vision from a conversation to an actionable plan. These conversations involve local leaders, participants, mentors, and thought-leaders from a respected array of organizations including Stanford University, TED, Singularity University, and the World Economic Forum. 

We believe that knowledge is a resource meant to be shared amongst all people of the world - without any discrimination. Our events therefore encourage the participation of anyone willing to engage in constructive dialogue, and are recorded for any and all interested to proffer from.

RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS: Hack for Big Choices is designed to help citizens take greater responsibility - inviting them to be more proactive using their skills, experiences, and talents to solve those issues that affect their community and country. We want to maximize the potential of every single citizen because we believe that locals have a deep understanding of their communities’ problems and the great potential to solve them - unfortunately still many don’t feel they can make a difference.

View full rules

Eligibility

Anyone with an open mind who is willing to harness their unique experiences and talents to solve some of the world's biggest challenges! Join us as an individual or with a small team! Please register to be a part of this event. 

Requirements

Create a business model, a project idea, a mobile app, a phsycial product - SHOW US WHAT YOU GOT AND THINK BIG!

How to enter

Make a powerpoint presentation, a video, take photos of your physical product etc.  

Judges

No avatar 100

Will be Announced

Martin

Martin

Henrik

Henrik

Ruka Sanusi

Ruka Sanusi

Papa

Papa

Ben Jones

Ben Jones
Technology Fellow, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology

Jeanne

Jeanne

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation
    How innovative, new, or creative is the Application, Website or Service? Is it better than other solutions?
  • Impact
    Will the Application, Website or Service meaningfully impact the lives of many people within the Target Population?
  • Scalability
    How scalable is the Application, Website or Service? What percentage of the Target Population can the Application, Website or Service be made to reach? Localized or local content, and multilingual support are key sub-criteria.
  • Launch Readiness
    If it is not already, how soon can the Application, Website or Service be made available publicly (beyond limited trials and prototypes)? If the Application, Website, or Service is already publicly available, how stable and consistent is its performance?
  • Strategy -
    Do you think they have a clear view of what’s going to happen next?
  • Sustainability-
    How the project can be sustained? Is the business model based on third parties?
  • Team composition
    Multidisciplinary factor is key. Is the team well organized with diversified and defined roles?