(Photo via Flickr user Andrew Mager, used under a Creative Commons license)
The PennApps hackathon, one of the world’s largest college hackathons organized by University of Pennsylvania students twice a year, has become known for creating fun and often wacky creations.
But with the sheer scale of the hackathon, there’s been a lot of potential for hacks that address some real-world problems. At last year’s winter edition of the hackathon, a team of freshmen created a food donation app called Foodship and won PennApps’ Social Impact/Civic Hacking prize.
Then there’s Keriton, a breast milk management startup that recently repped Philly by winning the top prize at South by Southwest’s Impact Pediatric Health Pitch Competition this past March.
The idea and original prototype for Keriton, which won second place at last year’s PennApps, was created by Vidur Bhatnagar, a Penn graduate student who was inspired partly by his sister but also by a team of nurses from Penn Medicine’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who spoke at the hackathon on the difficulties of managing and tracking breast milk for premature babies.
The nurses’ input to the hackathon came from a sponsored health care track from the Penn Center for Innovation. This year, in addition to that health care track, PennApps will host a social impact track, thanks to additional partnerships with Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship and the School of Nursing.
The event is set for Sept. 8 to 10.
— Penn Innovation (@PennPCI) August 3, 2017
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The social impact track will continue the focus on addressing real-world challenges but also be about thinking up of “opportunities to create ‘smart cities’ – think access to healthy food, parent engagement to support student achievement, infrastructure etc.,” according to the website.
And both tracks are accepting submissions for challenges you want students to tackle, but act fast because the deadline for submissions is today.