MIT Grand Hack 2020 FAQs

 

What is a healthcare hackathon?
A Hackathon is an event in which people with different backgrounds and expertise form teams, collaborate within a limited time frame, and focus on a specific problem or idea in healthcare to come up with innovative, disruptive ideas and solutions. By bringing together diverse minds alike in their interest for solving healthcare’s biggest challenges, problems can be diagnosed from multiple different perspectives. Watch this video from the last year’s GrandHack to feel the passion of MIT Healthcare Grandhack here!

What is the Grand Hack?
MIT Hacking Medicine is ecstatic to bring THE health hackathon of all health hackathons to you, virtually! We’re hard at work to make this year’s #GrandHack a wonderful experience and to ensure everyone’s well-being and safety by hosting the event completely online. Interested in innovating for healthcare’s toughest pain points? This is the weekend to meet, ideate, and hack with hundreds of like-minded entrepreneurs, designers, engineers, and healthcare professionals. Come hack in this year’s 4 healthcare tracks with us!

How can I get involved?
The application for participating at the MIT Grand Hack is available here! Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Upon acceptance, we’ll route you to an eventbrite to RSVP and confirm your participation.

Where can I find a schedule of the event?
You can find the schedule on the main page of the event here if you scroll all the way down the page: grandhack.mit.edu/boston

Is the event free?
Yes! Participating in the Grand Hack is free but everyone is required to apply and be accepted due to a limited number of spots.

What are tracks and which should I participate in?
There are 4 tracks at the Grand Hack. Participants form teams with other people in their track and get judged by a panel of experts in that area of healthcare. Applicants get admitted into a track and even though your project may fit into more than one theme, you can only give a final presentation in one track. The 4 tracks are very diverse and there is something for everyone.

When will I hear about which track I am placed in?
We have received your track preferences and track assignments will be sent out on the week of the MIT Grand Hack. Participants will form teams with other people in their track and get judged by a panel of experts in that area of healthcare. Even though your project may fit into more than one theme, you can only give a final presentation in one track. The 4 tracks are very diverse and there is something for everyone in each track.

Am I allowed to switch tracks?
No, unfortunately we do not allow participants to switch tracks in order to maintain an even distribution of experts and participants across the event.

When is the application deadline?
The deadline for applications is Friday September 11, 2020 @11:59 am ET. However, admissions are sent out on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to get your application in as early as possible.

When will I hear back?
We review applications regularly as they come in. However, given the large volume of applications, it may take 2-3 weeks after your application submission for us to get back to you.

I have not received an email I think I should have received!
Please check your spam folder, and add these emails to your safe senders list: grandhack@mit.edu

What should I prepare for the hackathon? Will hacking resources be provided?
All participants will require an internet-connected device to be able to access the virtual hacking resources. We recommend using a laptop, but you could also bring a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. Typically hack participants have just used their own computers and tablet/smartphone devices to play with, but use whatever you think you will need! If you have resources at home (arduinos, circuit boards, other rapid prototyping materials) that you think will be useful for your project, you’re welcome to use them. There will be no prototyping materials sent directly to participants, but each team will be allotted a budget to be able to purchase the specific prototyping materials your team may need at stores near you.

What materials should I bring?
All participants will require an internet-connected device to be able to access the virtual hacking resources. We recommend using a laptop, but you could also bring a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. 

Am I going to be placed on a team or am I some version of a free agent?
A little bit of both. On Friday night, participants will have a chance to pitch problems. After hearing all of the pitches, you will have a chance to mingle, talk to people whose problems you found compelling (and/or talk to people who found your problem compelling) and form teams. You can join a team around someone else’s pitch or form a team around something you pitched.

What’s expected from participants in this event? I want to make sure I am well prepared as my idea is in actual “idea” stage.
Participants are expected to come ready to participate – you can either pitch a “pain point” for 60 seconds or join a team once teams begin forming. We ask that the pitches are kept to describing problems, not solutions.

What if I’m coming in with more than an idea?
In the spirit of the hackathon, we ask that participants come in with an open mind to meeting new people and listening to other people’s ideas. Out of fairness to all participants, we ask that projects worked on over the weekend have not been extensively worked on prior to the hackathon. Please do not come to recruit for your startup.

Where is the event located?
The event will be held virtually.

For any other questions about the application process, please email grandhack@mit.edu