At Ycenter, we are focused on creating high impact Experiential learning programs that enable people solve global problems using their learning. Out of curiosity to constantly learn new things at Ycenter, our team asked - is there any way we can do this in 48 hours, over duration of a weekend?
We found an answer and inspiration in the form of an existing model - Hackathon.For those who do not know what this is, a hackathon is a code fest - an event that calls for action from programmers and coders to use current platforms, technologies, API to create a new application, app or a software. Some companies, such as Cognizant, Facebook and Google, hold internal hackathons to promote new product innovation by the engineering staff. For example, according to some sources, Facebook’s “Like” button was conceived as part of a hackathon.
Our first IMPACTATHON in numbers
8261 Miles between Philadelphia, USA and Mozambique, Africa. 45 days to organize the event, 20 meetings, 200 Tweets, 800 Website Unique Hits, 30 Student registrations, 3 Judges, 3 mentors, 140 Slices of Pizza, 50 bottles of energy drink, 48 hours’ brainstorming, 6 solutions, 2 winners, 1 impact.
Some of the top innovations created in Ycenter Impactathons include
- A non-smartphone USSD based calculators for farmers in Kenya to keep track of their expenses (Software)
- An agro-waste management system that helps increase income for tomato farmers in rural Kenyan counties. (Service based)
- A Cell phone charger that fits on a can of Coca-Cola (saves money for creating a casing for charging circuit) (Hardware)
- Ola Health (Software)
- An open source mapping application to help Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana and other African countries (Software)
- A mindfulness meditation program for out of school African-American youth in Philadelphia (Service based)
- A low bandwidth Wikipedia-like website to track donations of medical equipment in African hospitals and their functional status (Software)
- An efficient supply chain system to bring farmers closer to their consumer by cutting off middle men sales agents in Kenya (Service based)