FAQs

When / where is the event?

Jefferson Health Hack 2018

Friday, November 2 - Sunday November 4, 2018

Thomas Jefferson University - Dorrance H. Hamilton Building

1001 Locust Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

What is a healthcare hackathon?

A hackathon (or code-athon) is a super fun, fast paced way to solve problems in a collaborative way. The app GroupMe and the Facebook “like button” both started at hackathons! Jefferson Health Hack is Jefferson’s unique spin on the classic hackathon, focused on solving problems in healthcare. The best part is that no technical skills are required! Everyone is welcome.

A healthcare hackathon thrives on the collision of different worlds, experiences, and cultures. It brings together people from disparate disciplines who may not work together otherwise, to dream up scalable solutions for the most pressing issues in healthcare. These meetups can drive ideas and startups worth millions. They can also jump start significant improvements in our day to day practices.

What is most important is that you bring your experience, passion, and expertise to bear in your own distinctive way. This is a space where it is safe (and encouraged) to test ideas with creative abandon. Be open. Be inspired. Fail fast and pivot to something new.

Are you still wondering how this works exactly? Watch this video about healthcare hackathons from MIT Hacking Medicine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO-V9OdBIjE&feature=youtu.be

Who can participate?

You must be 18 years or older to officially participate in Jefferson Health Hack. Doctor or patient, engineer or enthusiast, coder or artist, everyone has a unique perspective and experience to bring to the table. You don’t need to be technical or proficient in any specific field. To “hack” simply means to problem solve. You do not have to be affiliated with Jefferson. This event is open to the public.

Are there prizes? What’s in it for me?

Yes, CASH prizes! Three winning teams will win $5,000 each! Keep in mind, Jefferson Health Hack also offers the opportunity for networking and idea generation. Some successful startups were born at a hackathon, even if they didn’t win.

Does it cost anything?

Nope. Attendance is free.

Will you feed me?

Yep! We will have food, beverages and plenty of coffee throughout the event!

Can I hack overnight?

The doors will close Friday night after the networking session. Once hacking officially begins on Saturday morning, the doors will remain open until the end of the awards ceremony on Sunday. We encourage all out of town hackers to reserve their own accommodations; we do not provide lodging, showers, or hotel discounts. Philadelphia provides a wealth of hospitality options while you’re in town!

Do I have to attend all 3 days?

You don’t have to but you’ll want to…TRUST US! Hackathons are all about solving challenges with a team and our Health Hack is a 3 day hackathon. Once you get going and find a problem that is meaningful to you, you’ll want to work on a really awesome solution with your team. We understand that you may have some reservations about the time commitment, so if you're on the fence, come check out the event on Friday and see if you want to be a part of all three exciting days. If you can’t make it on Friday, we’ll still welcome you on Saturday.

Team pitches occur at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. This will be your last chance to connect with a team, so make sure you arrive on time on Saturday morning! Final team registration occurs at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Can I switch tracks?

You sure can! You can switch up until you have to register your team on Saturday.

Am I going to be placed on a team or am I some version of a free agent?

A little bit of both. After hearing all of the pitches, teams will start to form organically based on people who want to work on the same idea that was pitched. You can join a team around someone else’s pitch or form a team around something you pitched.

Do I need to have a team organized beforehand?

Nope! We encourage you to form a new and organic team around a pitch at the event. If you do have a team you want to work with at the hackathon, we ask that you are open to allowing others to join your team during the event.

What if I already have a pre-formed team?

We encourage you to form a new and organic team around a problem that is pitched at the event. That puts everyone on an even playing field and allows for some awesome teams to come together! It’s okay if you pre-form a team, but we ask that you are open to allowing others to join your team during the event.

Let us know you are coming with a pre-formed team on the application. To keep with the open and collaborative spirit of the event, we will be advertising pre-formed teams on the website.

I already have a great healthcare solution! Can I bring my idea to the hack?

Remember, this isn’t a business plan competition. The Health Hack is focused around organic and spontaneous solutions that spawn from real problems. Bring your expertise and problem solving abilities, not your solution. You also don’t want to turn potential teammates away from your team by tunneling into a specific solution. You never know… a better solution may be just around the corner!

What’s all this about pitches?

Problem pitches will be 1 minute long on Friday night. Think about a frustration, challenge, or problem that you’ve experienced or witnessed in healthcare. THIS is your chance to get on stage and inspire others to solve it. You only get one pitch, so make it count!

You do not need to have a solution to your problem. In fact, we won’t allow you to talk about a solution during your initial pitch! One of the best keys to success to winning a hackathon is focusing most of your efforts on the problem. Don’t start with a solution in search of a problem.

After pitches on Friday you will have a networking opportunity to explore this new landscape of problems and form a team that will come up with a solution. Don’t worry, we will guide you along the way as you build your team.

Who can give a pitch?

Anyone! All of our participants are encouraged to give a problem pitch if they have something they would like to work on.

Do I have to give a pitch?

Nope. You can just listen and if someone pitches a problem that resonates with you, you can join their team

What if I don’t find a team on Friday?

Don’t worry! There will be another round of problem pitches on Saturday morning. You have a second chance to either pitch, join a team, or recruit even more people to your team. Teams are not official until the registration deadline Saturday at 3 p.m.

What if my team struggles with developing our idea?

That’s okay! We know that turning an idea into a solution can be difficult. This is why we have a great team of mentors on site to help you along the way. Our mentors have diverse backgrounds, just like the participants!

When do I decide which track I want to be in? How will I know which one I want to be a part of?

Teams will discuss which track they would like to be a part of on Saturday morning. When the team officially registers Saturday afternoon, they will commit to a track. If you’re not sure which track to choose, this is where clarification from mentors will help.

Do I have to make a prototype?

No, but we encourage you to get creative and come up with the best possible way of getting your idea across to our judges on Sunday.

What do I need to bring?

We recommend that you bring a laptop, your good ideas, your creativity, and maybe a sweater.

What resources/materials will be available for making physical prototypes?

We will have plenty of materials to build physical prototypes. but if there are tools/materials you would like to have with you please feel free to bring them if they are critical to your concept.

Participants will also have access to NextFab on Washington Avenue where you can make almost anything with their extensive suite of fabrication resources. If you would like to build a physical prototype during the hack, we encourage participant to go visit NextFab before the event!

How will I get to NextFab?

Uber! We will have an exclusive Uber promo code for the event that will allow you to take an Uber for free between Jefferson and NextFab.

What happens to my team and project after the event?

We hope that teams will continue their work after the event if they are passionate.