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What’s a Hackathon?

A hackathon is an event where people from a range of backgrounds with a diverse set of ideas and skills come together in a supportive setting – either virtually or in person – to solve a problem or create a solution, usually involving technology!

  • Hackathons bring together people of all perspectives – in the case of healthcare hackathons, participants span every aspect of care, including doctors, nurses, pharmaceutical companies, engineers, technical experts and more.
  • The competitive environment keeps you focused and on task, but also promotes connectivity, helps you establish relationships, and may even help you build new skills.
  • A hackathon provides multiple opportunities to learn – trainings, mentors and peer-to-peer collaborations – which help increase a participant’s value and marketability in a world of ever-increasing technical complexity.


Minimum Viable Product (MVP):  An MVP is a version of the product with just enough features to satisfy the immediate target audience and capture the feedback that will further determine the next iteration or version of the product. Read more about MVP here.

An MVP isn’t limited to the first iteration of a product—it’s a development technique you should consider using for every release. An MVP should strive to include:

  • A workable solution. This is not slideware, but a usable product that provides some value to end users.
  • A presentable solution. To build awareness of capabilities, the solution must be demo-able and have any required documentation to set up and use the product.
  • An accessible solution. The solution must be available for use by the target segment. For our hackathon, this also includes access to the underlying source code.

Open Source: Open Source means no one legally owns or has intellectual property associated with the ideas. Using Open Source software means the software uses source code available for anyone to view and contribute to. We use the MIT License – which is one of the most open and popular. Read more about the MIT License here.

All ideas and artifacts (e.g., code, documentation, etc.) produced during this event must be publicly available on GitHub and open sourced under the MIT license.

And contrary to popular belief, open source doesn’t prevent someone from making money or building a business – and could even enhance the opportunity!