We're excited to announce that the BF RED Hackathon is back! Last year's hackathon saw us develop a videogame prototype, a data visualization and a digital ad campaign and we're excited to spend another day volunteering our time to solve other important non-profit challenges.
On February 23rd, our hackathon will start at 9 am and go for about 12 hours. During that period, a team of Beaconfire RED UX experts, digital marketers, designers and technical wizards will be stuffed in a room, creatively working at a solution to selected clients’ problems. Tell us about your digital challenges and we’ll put our best minds on it -- your organization could be one of those clients we work to help at our hackathon!
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is a creative exercise where a team takes a problem and tries to build out a creative prototype. This is a day-long process where the team work intensely, solely focused on getting the product done. Typically with a hackathon, the team is just composed of technical people. BF RED has pulled together techs but also our digital marketers, UX experts and designers into the mix to participate in this hackathon.
How do I submit an idea for the hackathon?
After you’ve identified a challenge you want us to help solve, just reach out to any of your contacts at BF RED. We don’t need a lot of information—you just need to share your challenge with the hackathon team by January 19th. If you have ideas for solutions, share them with us, but it’s not required to submit a project. Also, you’re not limited to one submission, so feel free to bring several challenges for us to consider.
What is a good idea to submit?
There isn’t a magical formula for a great hackathon project, but here are some ideas to get you rolling:
- Say you are a wildlife and/or animal-focused society that has a large collection of pictures that you would like to share with the web in a unique way. We could work on ideas to build out either funny captions (like a meme generator) into those pictures or do unique transformations/blends (like Snapchat) over those pictures.
- You rely heavily on a specific landing page to grow your e-mail list or drive donations, but have a feeling that conversions could be stronger. Allow our marketers, designers and techs to propose some solutions to increase conversions or traffic to that page.
- You have a great idea for a mobile app for your organization, but don’t have all the details flushed out or the budget to start the project. Allow our UX, design and development team to imagine the functionality, create initial comps and build an early prototype to help you pitch the idea to a potential funder.
- You’re a health organization and you have an API that exposes data your organization collects to the world. But say you don’t have many users that are using this fantastic data. One of the ways we could help would be to build a visualization of that health data.
- Say you run a large non-profit's web page with little social media presence and you would like to boost that. Say you have a problem attracting users to your Facebook page, Instagram account, etc. and you would like to up your impressions. A potential idea for this would be to create a Facebook app that gamifies your donation process so you could share it with Facebook friends.
But remember, we’re not looking for the perfect idea. We’re looking for your challenges that our team can help solve, so don’t be afraid to bring general ideas to us and we’ll flush out the details together.
How is the hackathon project selected?
We’ll evaluate the submissions to ensure they fit with the skills available, the day-long time frame, etc. If your submission makes the initial cut, a staff member at Beaconfire RED will work with you to get a deeper understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve. Your Beaconfire RED contact will then present your idea to the hackathon participants who choose the challenge(s) they want to tackle.
What if I’m picked?
A week before the hackathon, we’ll go through a brief discovery process with you to finalize any remaining details/business knowledge you would like to transfer. We may work with you to flesh out your problem so it’s viable for the hackathon. “Build me a rocket ship to take a cat to the moon” is probably not a viable hackathon idea but “help us caption our images that we have in a large image repository” on them is.
After that, you sit back and let our best and brightest spend a day working to solve your problem. The final emphasis is on attainability over deliverability, so the hackers get the final say in what technical approach would be used for the selected idea.
We’ll then follow-up with you to show you what ideas we proposed and how far we took them. Sometimes, a hackathon product might not be completely viable so it would be good to keep in mind that it is a creative exercise. But we did use last year’s hackathon product for one of our clients, so it’s a very real possibility! For your participation, you would get:
- A copy of any documentation or designs created during the hackathon.
- A copy of the code that you can use and extend, however BF RED retains ownership.
- Rights to use and extend the code. (BF RED would retain ownership of what is produced.)
Who do I talk to for more information?
You can contact Jared Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or your BF RED Executive Sponsor or account manager for more information.