Blue Clarity | ExpeditionHacks | ExpeditionHacks Small Business Recovery
As a follow up to its 2020 Impact Challenge business case competition, Ascend Leadership invites technologists near and far (US and International) to hack together a technical solution to revive small businesses and help them recover from economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
ExpeditionHacks, developers, entrepreneurs, Business, Small Business, COVID-19
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Impact Challenge 2021: Resilience in Action

August 20-27, 2021

Registration is CLOSED

THE CHALLENGE

As we look ahead to post-COVID recovery, we cannot lose sight of the impact the last 15 months have had on small businesses. The abrupt pivot in early 2020 to an almost exclusively digital economy exposed crucial vulnerabilities for many small businesses. Small scale restaurants, salons, gift shops — retailers of every type– had to reinvent themselves again and again. As a result, small businesses of every variety have adopted new business models, platforms, products and services.

Ascend invites innovative, socially conscious students and professionals from any school or industry to compete in this year’s Impact Challenge. Help us put resilience into concrete action by formulating a solution to the following challenge:

Learning from the pandemic, how can small businesses increase their resilience to withstand, adapt, and thrive in the face of future shocks?

Questions to consider might include:

  • Moving beyond curbside pickup and online orders, what aspects of doing business during the pandemic should a small business retain post-pandemic?
  • How can small businesses leverage aspects of the pandemic economy to turn this disruption into opportunity?
  • What efforts could large companies undertake to help small businesses become more resilient?
  • Develop an idea to create/improve support networks for small business owners.
  • How might a business that failed during the pandemic re-start or re-make itself post pandemic?
  • How can we alter the in-person experience to promote consumerism at small businesses?
  • How can a small business effectively combine both in-person and digital experiences that can withstand future disruptions?
Hope King_cropped

Event Emcee (August 27)

 

HOPE KING
Business Reporter, Axios

Kristie Bradford_cropped

Event Keynote (August 20)

 

KRISTIE CURAMENG BRADFORD
Director, Intellectual Property, IBM

BrianPang_EA

Guest Speaker (August 27)

 

BRIAN PANG
Development Director, EA Sports

CLM Headshot (2021)

Guest Speaker (August 27)

 

CAROL LEE MITCHELL
Head of Small Business Strategy, Bank of America

*** Graph shows closures since Mar 1, 2020 ***

TEAMS

  • Teams can consist of up to five members. Each team member must register for the event.
  • All ages are welcome, including students and working professionals. Participants under the age of 18 will be required to complete a permission form.
  • Teams can be based anywhere in the world, however, please note the scheduled live event times below which are all in U.S. Eastern Time (GMT-04:00)
  • Entries submitted by employees of sponsoring companies or organizations will not be judged by a judge from the same company or organization.

MENTORS

  • Teams will be assigned a mentor from the Ascend network or a sponsoring company
  • The mentor’s role is to offer feedback and advice; mentors are not project leads. Team submissions should be driven by the team members from conception to completion.

SCHEDULE

(subject to change)

This virtual challenge will take place online.

Friday, August 20, 2021

1-3 pm EST

Virtual Event Kick Off. Link will be provided.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

5 pm EST

Projects submission deadline. Projects should be submitted via DevPost.

Friday, August 27, 2021

2-4 pm EST

Team Presentations, Judging, Winners Announced

SUBMISSIONS

Submissions must reflect the original work of the project team alone. Submissions must consist of the following components:

  • Written application via DevPost
  • Video pitch (No more than 60 seconds)
  • Prototype (optional)

Please adhere to the deadline for submissions above. This deadline is to give the judges time to review submissions before the competition. Submissions should be submitted via DevPost

 

The top 10 teams will present their submission on August 27 for the judging panel.

 

A video presentation is acceptable, however, at least one team member must attend the live virtual event to be available to answer questions. Teams will have a total of 5 minutes to present their idea to the judges and 2 minutes for Q&A. Your team’s 60 second video pitch may be included as part of your presentation but is not required.

JUDGING CRITERIA

Projects will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Impact: How impactful could this solution be?
  • Scalability: What is the potential for scalability? How costly would this solution be to bring to scale?
  • Creativity: How original is this solution? Does it set itself apart from existing solutions? Does it demonstrate outside-the-box thinking?
  • Design: Is this solution thoughtful and complete? Is the strategy appropriate?

JUDGES

Kristie Bradford_cropped

KRISTIE CURAMENG BRADFORD
Director, Intellectual Property
IBM

JenniferJao

JENNIFER JAO
IT Executive | IT Experiences
Toyota

BrianPang_EA

BRIAN PANG
Development Director
EA Sports

Roger Park

ROGER PARK
Americas Innovation Officer
EY

Kajal Gupta_cropped

KAJAL GUPTA
Senior Vice President, Small Business Segmentation & Strategy
Bank of America

Sandra Black

SANDRA BLACK
Vice President, Solution Engineering
Salesforce

SPONSORS

WINNERS

Winners were selected on August 27, 2021 by a panel of judges. Projects were evaluated based on the judging criteria.

Grand Prize Winner - Gigz

Grand Prize WINNER!

Gigz
$5,000
Plus an EA Game for Each Member

Second Prize Winner - HyperLoyal

Second Place WINNER:

 

HyperLoyal

 

Apple Watches for each team member


Plus an EA Game for Each Member

Third Prize Winner - PaID

Third Place WINNER:

 

PaID

 

$200 Amazon Gift Cards for each team member

Crowdsource Prize Winner - WindowShop

Crowdsource Prize WINNER:

 

WindowShop

 

$100 GrubHub Gift Cards for each team member

REGISTRATION

This virtual challenge will take place from August 20-27, 2021. 

Tickets to participate in this event are FREE. Registration will close on August 20, 2021 at 12:00 am EST.

Check back often for updates! Registering now [eventbrite link] will ensure you will receive any important updates directly to your inbox!

Registration is CLOSED

This virtual challenge will take place from August 20-27, 2021. 

Tickets to participate in this event are FREE. Registration will close on August 20, 2021 at 12:00 am EST

PRIZES

Winners will be selected on August 27, 2021 by a panel of judges. Projects will be evaluated based on the criteria outlined above. Winning teams must designate one team member who is able to receive the prize(s) on behalf of the team.

Winners will be selected on August 27, 2021 by a panel of judges. Projects will be evaluated based on the criteria outlined above. Winning teams must designate one team member who is able to receive the prize(s) on behalf of the team. This team member must be able to complete a IRS Form W-9 in order to receive a cash prize on behalf of the team. If a team member is a minor, a parent may complete the form on behalf of the team member.

No International Payments.

Grand Prize:

$5,000

Plus an EA Game for Each Member

Grand Prize:

$5,000

Plus an EA Game for Each Member

Second Place:

Apple Watches for each team member


Plus an EA Game for Each Member

Third Place:

$200 Amazon Gift Cards for each team member

Crowdsource Prize:

$100 GrubHub Gift Cards for each team member

TOOLS, DATA, and IP RIGHTS

Participants are permitted to use any commercially known open source tools. Participants are also encouraged to use their own proprietary solutions to develop creative and efficient products. If you are representing a company, your company’s proprietary software assets are also allowed to be used with the appropriate permission from your organization. Please reference the Terms and Conditions to confirm that all IP rights remain with the participant and/or the organization they are representing.

All participants must agree to the Terms and Conditions listed.