George Hacks One Year Anniversary
Today, March 25th, marks one year since George Hacks’ inaugural medical solutions hackathon at the George Washington University.
Reflecting on the previous year, I am extremely proud of our accomplishments. I remember jumping on a fundraising call and being told that we do not have enough time to organize a quality event and therefore no monetary support would be given. Two months later, we had an incredible inaugural event that set the tone for the continued growth and success of our organization.Konstantin Mitic, BME B.S. ‘18, M.S. ‘20
Co-Founder, George Hacks
George Hacks is a student-led organization that provides students a platform for problem-based, interdisciplinary healthcare innovation for social impact. We focus on the intersection between the medical field and entrepreneurship.
Our ‘hackathons’ are innovation competitions that facilitate early applications of classroom knowledge to real-world issues, develop teamwork skills, and improve communication of ideas across disciplines.
We present innovation challenges sourced directly from the needs of healthcare organization partners to give students the opportunity to address existing problems in healthcare. To facilitate students’ success, we provide a multitude of resources including workshops for technical and soft skills, mentorship from industry professionals, and the opportunity to continue developing your idea after our hackathon.
From our past two hackathons, we have accumulated more than 160 hackers, 41 teams, 110 mentors & judges, and 28 collaborators. Problem statements and solutions from our events have since been granted pro bono patents, won prizes at business and entrepreneurial competitions, and have been entered into departmental senior design programs.
We aim to keep expanding the organization to more universities in the DMV ecosystem. Our main focus at each university is the annual medical hackathon. However, we support our students before and after our hackathons so that they can make, create, and innovate on their own. George Hacks is more than just an event.
I first got involved when I attended VCU’s medical hackathon last November as a part of the George Hacks’ Innovators in Action program, where my team developed a medical assistive device for those who struggle managing large numbers of medications. Since VCU, George Hacks continues to support my team and provide us with the unique opportunity to be mentored by industry professionals as we work to bring our device to market.
Now, as the director of George Hacks, I have the opportunity to promote the entrepreneurial spirit by exposing students to what it takes to create a feasible, marketable solution, and provide students with resources to move forward in the innovation pipeline. My experiences from George Hacks, both as a hacker and an organizer, have shaped my growth and passions thus far as a young, female biomedical engineering student. I am incredibly grateful for the team members, healthcare professionals, and faculty mentors I’ve worked with through this process.Caitlyn Pratt, BME B.S. ‘21
Director, George Hacks
Thank you to everyone who made this journey possible.