COVID-19 Virtual Hack-A-Thon

COVID-19 Virtual Hack-A-Thon

Saturday, September 19, 2020



COVID-19 has disrupted lives all over the world.  It is time for innovative solutions! The University of Kentucky’s Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship (VACE) and the Office of Global Health Initiatives will host an all-day COVID-19 Virtual Hack-A-Thon on Saturday, September 19th.  In this fast-paced event, teams of 2-4 people will propose solutions to various facets of this global health problem.  The Format: a one-day event with educational workshops to assist teams develop their ideas.  All participants must work in teams and cannot work as a single person. Teams will reach into all aspects of knowledge, design, development, and marketing to prepare a 5-minute video presentation via Zoom. This Virtual Hack-A-Thon is open to any individual located in the state of Kentucky. The top 3 teams will have the opportunity to win prize money, as well as enter the Spring 2021 VACE Entrepreneurs Bootcamp to assess their solution, create a business model, and work toward bringing their idea to market.

Key Deadlines

August 19 (Wed)  – Applications are Open

September 16 (Wed) – Applications close

September 19 (Sat) – COVID-19 Virtual Hack-A-Thon Event, 10am-5pm 

September 25 (Fri) – Winners Announced


HackaThon Details and Application

What is Hack-A-Thon?

A Hack-A-Thon is a building sprint where teams of students and community members build new products or hack at an existing problem. The event engages design, development, and marketing talent, and allows passionate participants to discover solutions that work. Participants will deliver a 5-minute pitch at the end of a specified period to a panel of university and community leaders in hopes of creating the winning solution to help beat a specific problem.

Who May Apply?

The Hack-A-Thon is open to all individuals in the state of Kentucky.  In order to compete, all participants must fill out the online application at This link  Participants will be notified of their team members on Saturday morning, September 19th.  The eams will work together on a solution to a challenge posed by COVID-19 and give a 5-minute pitch to a panel of judges with their proposed solution at 5:00 pm on September 19th.  The winners of the hackathon will be announced by close of business (5 pm EST), on Friday, September 25th. The awards are generously sponsored by the Office of Global Health Initiatives and the Insitute for the Study of Free Enterprise.  

1st Place - $1,000

2nd Place - $500

3rd Place - $250


Hack-A-Thon Tracks

Please click here for a description of each track for the COVID-19 virtual event. Each track also has a list of suggestions, but you are free to explore other ideas within each track. Please note, these examples may be updated so check back periodically.  These tracks include, but are not limited to:

- Transmission/Personal Protective Equipment

- Social Distancing

- Workplace Impact

- Supply Chain

- Healthcare Delivery

- Testing

- Contact Tracing

- Other


Eligibility & Team Scoring Criteria

Any Kentucky resident can apply.  All interested participants must fill out the application form.  All applicants will receive an email confirming receipt of their application.

Registration & Teams: Applicants will have the opportunity to list the team members they wish to work within the digital application. There will be opportunities to form teams before the competition. When teams are formed, those teams will need to fill out the Hack Team Form to let us know your team members and HackaThon Track you have selected. You may not work alone. Teams will be comprised of 2-4 team members.

Scoring/Judging Criteria (Likert Scale):
1 = Poor
2 = Marginal
3 = Acceptable
4 = Very Good
5 = Excellent

Scoring Metrics: 

1. Hook/Introduction - The problem, need, or opportunity is clearly explained, and the significance is evident. (Video/zoom - The speaker's names and faces are presented clearly).

2. Goals for a solution - A detailed explanation of the proposed solution and a convincing statement of how it provides value for the customer are given.

3. Target Audience - The intended audience is well defined/identified, and the market or user base is quantified.

4. Revenue Model - Explain costs/revenue streams

5. Competitive Advantage - Understanding of the competition and shortcomings are highlighted.

6. Past/Current/Future timelines are evident and clear.

7. Team - qualifications of the team indicate a strong potential for success

8. Impact - the presentation inspires and holds attention: the pitch is persuasive and informative.


Saturday, September 19th - Virtual Schedule Breakout (times may be subject to change)

10:00 AM

Welcome, Introductions, Team Formation, & Ideation

10:30 AM

Team Ideation

11:00 AM

Group Business Model Introduction – Value Proposition, Customers, Relationships & Channels & Work Time

12:00 PM

Back to Large group for 5 minutes

12:00 PM

Lunch Break

12:30 PM

Resources & Activities & Partners & Work Time

1:30 PM

Costs & Revenues & Work Time

2:30 PM

Pitch Deck & Work Time

4:00 PM

5-Minute Pitches begin by alphabetical order of Team Name

5:00 PM

Hack-A-Thon Adjourns - Winners will be announced on September 25th 

*A survey will be sent to all participants after the event ends.


Benefits of Applying
1. Prize money, social media shout-out, and resume builder
2. Eligibility for the Entrepreneurs Bootcamp 1.0 participation in Spring 2021 

Saturday, September 19, 2020