Grand Hack 2019 FAQs

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: http://grandhack.mit.edu/dc

When does the event start?
Registration will be ongoing from 6-7pm, and kickoff will begin at 7pm.

Where is the event located?
The event will be held at the Samsung Solutions Center, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

How do I get there?
The Samsung Solutions Center is conveniently located next to the Eastern Market Metro Station, so you can access it via the Orange, Silver, or Blue lines. There is also street and garage parking for a small fee. Parking is limited, so we strongly encourage you to take public transportation.

Where can I find accommodations?
Unfortunately, we do not provide travel or sleeping accommodations for this event. We encourage you to arrange your accommodations early, since the summer is a popular time for traveling! Government employees may also receive a discount from select hotels.

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 morning of Friday, August 2nd and thereafter. 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 3 tracks are very diverse and there is something for everyone in each track.

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:
dcgrandhack@mit.edu

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.

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.

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.

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.

Am I allowed to switch tracks?
We generally do not allow participants to switch tracks in order to maintain an even distribution of experts and participants across the event. However, if you would like to switch tracks, please arrive early on Friday. If a spot opens up, we may allow a change in track assignments.