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, right here in Boston/Cambridge. Last year 400+ innovators gathered in the MIT Media Lab to create disruptive solutions to healthcare. We’re hard at work to make this year’s #GrandHack even better. 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 Sunday, April 8, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
What should I bring to the hackathon? Will hacking resources be provided?
Bring whatever you think will be useful, whether that’s a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, hardware tools, etc. Typically hack participants have just brought their own computers and tablet/smartphone devices to play with, but bring 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 bring them. There will be no prototyping materials directly at the hackathon, but each team will be allotted a budget to be able to purchase the specific prototyping materials your team may need at nearby stores (e.g. Blick in Central Square, or the Micro Center on Memorial Drive).
What materials should I bring?
Bring whatever you think will be useful, whether that’s a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, hardware tools, etc. Typically hack participants have brought their own computers and tablet/smartphone devices to play with, but bring whatever you think you will need!
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 at the MIT Media Lab, 75 Amherst St, Cambridge, MA, 02139.
Where is Media Lab located?
Media Lab is located at the corner of Amherst St and Ames St. Please be advised there are two Media Lab buildings, which are connected together. Please come to the new Media Lab building, also known as E14 building. Please see the google map http://bit.ly/MITMedicalParking
How do I get there? Where can I park?
We strongly encourage those coming from within the Boston area to use public transportation, as MIT is conveniently located on both local bus lines and the Red Line (stop: Kendall/MIT). Please check out MBTA online planning tool http://www.mbta.com/rider_tools/ to plan your trip.
If you do intend to drive, there are a limited number of spots available at 21 Amherst Street, which is a short walk away from the Media Lab. Please use MIT campus map (https://whereis.mit.edu/) to locate Media Lab and other buildings at MIT.
How do I connect to a wireless network during the hackathon?
MIT provides a network service to campus guests. Please select MIT GUEST at wireless option, which does not require any registration. For any further question on connecting to MIT network, please visit our Information Systems and Technology page: https://ist.mit.edu/network/netguests
Will food be provided?
On Friday evening, there will be snacks and refreshments. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided for Saturday. Breakfast and lunch will be provided on Sunday. We encourage you to bring snacks if you have special dietary restrictions as we will have limited options. There are many surrounding food places in Kendall and Central Square (Cambridge). Here are some options on Campus and nearby Cambridge. http://web.mit.edu/institute-events/visitor/eat.html
Will accommodation/transportation be arranged for us?
For those in need of a US visa, we can help with writing a visa letter. However, unless otherwise noted, you are responsible for your own lodging and transportation to and from MIT. Unfortunately, we do not offer travel reimbursements for the Grand Hack. We accept a large number of participants from around the world each year and we cannot offer reimbursements for everyone. Transportation within Boston is very reasonable with subways, buses, and Uber. MBTA trip planning tool : http://www.mbta.com/rider_tools/(MIT stop: Kendall/MIT)
Are there reimbursements for travel and housing?
Unfortunately, we do not provide funds for travel. However, it could be possible to coordinate with other participants to figure out housing and transportation.
Can you recommend any lodging near MIT?
Grand Hack 2020 falls on the same weekend as the Boston Marathon, so we encourage non-local participants to book their hotel rooms early. MIT has a compiled list of accommodations in the area. http://web.mit.edu/institute-events/visitor/stay.html You can also try using Pineapple Pair, Airbnb, Priceline, or other travel-related websites. We’ve also set up this Facebook group for anyone interested in coordinating traveling and lodging with other Grand Hack participants. Feel free to add yourself!
Does MIT have a campus tour?
Regularly scheduled tours are conducted twice daily M-F 11am and 3pm. Although there is no scheduled tour on the weekends, you can download MIT Mobile app for a self-guided tour. For more information, http://web.mit.edu/institute-events/events/tour.html
Useful Links to first time visitors to MIT
Driving directions to MIT: http://whereis.mit.edu/directions.html
MIT Campus Map: https://whereis.mit.edu/
MIT Public parking Info: http://web.mit.edu/facilities/transportation/parking/visitors/public_parking.html
MIT Medical center parking (Free after 5:30pm – 7:30am, and on the weekends): http://bit.ly/MITMedicalParking
MIT Facts: http://web.mit.edu/facts/
MIT Campus Tour Guide: http://web.mit.edu/institute-events/events/tour.html
Where to eat at MIT: http://web.mit.edu/institute-events/visitor/eat.html
MIT guest wireless: https://ist.mit.edu/network/netguests
Useful Websites for first time visitors to Boston
MBTA planning tool: http://www.mbta.com/rider_tools/
Boston Weather: http://bit.ly/BOSWeather
Accommodations near Cambridge: http://web.mit.edu/institute-events/visitor/stay.html
Where to avoid: http://spotcrime.com/ma/boston
Boston Event Calendar: http://www.thebostoncalendar.com/
Where to Eat at Boston: http://www.thrillist.com/boston
For any other questions about the application process, please email email@example.com