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Elyria Hack-a-thon: Elyria Empowered Competition

Sep 23, 2021

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WHEN?
October 22-24
Virtual – hack from home

BUT FIRST, WHAT IS IT?
· A Hack-a-thon is a relatively new concept that has been done at LCCC twice with another planned for November, as well as at Kent State, U Texas, and of course, Case
· A Hack-a-thon is a crowd and talent-sourced “working conference” that breaks participants into teams to work intensively on developing a solution to a community-wide problem.
· In this case, participants work over the weekend to “hack” together a solution to community-wide issues in Elyria.
· The winning team will receive cash and prizes.

WHY?
· As a revitalization thought-leader, the City of Elyria is hosting the Hack-a-thon to empower its residents, business owners, and community leaders to design a more vibrant community.
· In addition to the prizes, the winning ideas and will be supported by xLab and incubated at the Veale Institute of Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University
· LCCC and NeoLaunchNet will also incubate an idea.
· Ideas will have the opportunity to be considered for potential funding under the American Rescue Plan dollars. The Hackathon will be looking for solutions for the following community issues:
· Community violence and crime prevention
· Social, emotional, and mental health services
· Parks and green space development
· Entrepreneurship and small business assistance
· Job Training
· Tourism, Travel, and Hospitality Redevelopment
· Childcare / Afterschool Programming / Early Learning
· All solutions submitted must use data to drive measurable improvements.

WHO?
· Everyone is encouraged to participate in the weekend-long virtual intensive event.
· Teams will problem-solve with the support of a mentor, a subject matter expert, and a design consultant.
· Participants do not have to be from Elyria.
· Partners include Case Western Reserve University, Dataswift, Kinetic by Windstream, Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County, and Lorain County Community College NeoLaunchNet.

HOW?
· Ideas can be submitted from now through October 15, 2021 on the hackfromhome.com/Elyria website.
· Mentors and participants use this to join as well
· Attend the virtual opening night on October 22
· Join a team and to “hack” an issue or form your own team
· Friday night – welcome, idea presentation by the committee, team selection, and orientation to idea development from Case Western Reserve University design specialists.
· Saturday morning/afternoon – morning team work, lunch break is a speech and interview with Tony Thomas, CEO of Windstream with Mayor Whitfield, followed by team time finalizing ideas.
· Sunday afternoon – Presentation of ideas and plans of action from the teams
· Winning teams will be announced by Monday November 1, 2021 and the prizes will be divided equally among the team members.

Mentors
Who is a Mentor?
· The mentor’s commitment is 3-4 hours advising these teams over Slack and Zoom during the weekend of the Hackathon. (Key staff may be needed longer to capture more in-depth concepts from the team conversations.)
· Mentors have knowledge about Elyria and are willing to share their knowledge with teams.
· Other mentors have subject matter expertise in their profession (marketing, finance, tech, human resources, etc.)
· Mentors will be assigned to teams by Dataswift, our backbone agency. Mentors may choose a project to work on or may be assigned as needed.
· Mentors add enormous value to the event, helping teams define problems and opportunities. The last event hosted by Datawift resulted in two commercial applications post-hackathon. Case uses the app developed in the Hackathon to monitor wellness in the pandemic, resulting in dramatically lower campus outbreaks of COVID-19 than other college campuses.

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