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Elyria Hack-a-thon: Elyria Empowered Competition

Sep 30, 2021

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CONTACT: Jen Kennedy

(440) 503-1690

Building a More Vibrant Elyria, Together!

(Elyria, OH)- The City of Elyria is proud to collaborate with Case Western Reserve University, Dataswift, Kinetic by Windstream, and Lorain County Community College on Elyria’s first “Hack-a-thon.” The Hack-a-Thon will be held the weekend of October 22-24, virtually.

A Hack-a-thon is a relatively new concept and is NOT strictly defined by computer hacking and coding. 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 prize money.

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 prize, the winning ideas will have the opportunity to be considered for potential funding under the American Rescue Plan dollars and will be supported by xLab and incubated at the Veale Institute of Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University. 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.

“We have an opportunity to reimagine what the future of Elyria looks like. With this once in a lifetime investment opportunity, with the American Rescue Plan coupled with the resources we already have in our community, we have an opportunity for transformation. To do this, the city needs to do this together between the citizens, government, business and community leaders, and our education and cultural institutions. The Hack-a-thon is one tool that we are utilizing in engaging and mobilizing our citizens. We plan to use American Rescue Plan funding to further develop and implement the winning solutions.” explains Mayor Frank Whitfield.

The Hackathon will be looking for solutions for the following community issues:

  • Community violence and crime;
  • Social, emotional, and mental wellness;
  • Improvements or expansions of local parks;
  • Small business ideas or business support;
  • Out-of-school Youth Development;
  • Unemployment and Underemployment; and
  • Revitalizing the local travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

All solutions submitted must use data to drive measurable improvements.


There are many ways to get involved in the 2021 Hack-a-thon. First, start by telling friends and family about the Hack-a-thon. Those interested in participating in the Hack-a-thon can begin thinking of a solution to a societal issue that Elyria residents are facing. Ideas can be submitted from October 1 through October 15, 2021 on the website. Next, plan to register and attend the Virtual opening night on October 22 and join a team and to “hack” an issue.

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 prize money will be divided among the team members.

Please visit for more information.

Download PDF Hack-a-thon Press Release

POSTED IN: Press Releases





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