Information for Participants

What is a hackathon?

A Hackathon is a collaborative event in which coders, design creatives, and health professionals collaborate, innovate, and rapidly prototype solutions to entrenched healthcare problems. By rapidly stress-testing ideas and building prototypes, we can identify those concepts which have the potential to practically respond to problems, and achieve scale.

 The Hackathon will begin with ‘project pitches’, in which teams make 4-minute ‘lightning’ presentations to describe the idea they aim to design and build. Based on these presentations, any unaffiliated attendees can choose to join a project which interests them. The teams will then spend up to six hours hacking, to build out their projects.  In the late afternoon, all teams regroup to demo what they’ve built, in front of a panel of judges.  Winning teams will receive a cash prize and / or incubation support and technical mentorship to help accelerate the winning teams’ efforts to build and launch fully-functional prototypes, as well as explore marketable opportunities for the best ideas.

How is the Health Hackathon different from a typical hackathon?

The Health Hackathon convenes technologists with healthcare officials to help identify real market gaps and practical needs for innovative solutions.  This multi-stakeholder approach can facilitate connections to target deployers of applications to be developed, as well as end-users.

Who can attend?

Skilled hackers, particularly those with a primary interest in health sector applications, are welcome.  Design creative and healthcare professionals are likewise encouraged to participate.  The goal is to cross-pollinate ideas, experiences, and recognition of real public needs, and to harness the skills and energy of participants to help move the best ideas forward.

How big will the teams be?

Teams can be as small as 2 people or as large as 10. From our experience however, teams consisting of 4-7 work best. Ensure that your team has a great mix of talents. Strive to have a healthcare expert on hand (or two), a developer (or two), a designer (or two), and a business expert or entrepreneur if possible.

I have a few friends and we want to work on project together. Is this possible?

Absolutely. If you have a pre-formed team, you will have the opportunity to participate with that team. But we recommend keeping your options open – you’ll never know what great talent and future friends you may find at the event. A hackathon is a great way to find new collaborators.

I have a project I’m working on now. May I continue this at the hackathon?

We ask that you only pitch new projects, which your team can continue to develop after the hackathon. The goal here is to support the formation of new interdisciplinary teams to overcome barriers to innovation in healthcare.

This is an ideal chance to go out on a limb and experiment with an idea that you’re not sure will work, or a project you wouldn’t normally have time for in your regular job or studies. When else will you get the chance to have doctors and health administrators give you direct feedback on your work?

What is the attire for the event?

 Feel free to come as you are. Who are we to judge?—we wear t-shirts and jeans to work!

Do I need a laptop for the event?

A laptop, tablet, and/or mobile phone is suggested for both days but not required.

Will lunch and refreshments be served?

Yes, food and beverage will be provided free of charge throughout the day.

What does success look like?

 The immediate goal is to encourage and enable coders to rapidly prototype practical solutions to health sector problems in Nigeria. While not every idea can be prototyped in one day, the aim is to move the best ideas into a space where they can be discussed and demoed, with opportunities for deeper support and acceleration.  The Health Hackathon aims to bring technical expertise closer to the health sector, to generate workable, scaleable solutions to front-line problems.

Who can submit a project?

Anyone who brings a healthcare-related idea will have the opportunity to pitch it to the group, though preference for participation will be given to fully formed teams.

Where can I find the data on which I can build my project?

All data will be made available at http://africaopendata.org/group/nigeria.

What are the Intellectual Property implications of this Health Hackathon?  Do I retain ownership of my idea?

None of the sponsors of the Health Hackathon makes any claims to intellectual property which emerges from the event. Issues of project ownership are left to each team.  Often, teams opt to share intellectual property ownership along the lines of individual contributions.  In any case, all project leads should establish intellectual property aspects to the projects with their teams in advance of the hackathon.  If you have questions or require advice about the intellectual property aspects of your project, we advise you to consult a lawyer.

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