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  • A hackathon to fight global poverty.

    For the second year in a row the Posner Center for International Development is bringing together Posner organizations, the Colorado international development community, entrepreneurs, makers, product designers, other shared spaces, members of the tech community, and academia, to create collaborative, innovative solutions to international development challenges faced by Posner Center Tenants. Join us from July 10-12, 2016.

What's a hackathon?

A hackathon (“hack” + “marathon”) brings together a large group of people that break into teams, who then typically use technology to create a new product or service for use, such as a mobile app, website, or new product (hence the term “hack”). And, they usually last between 1-3 days (hence the word “marathon”). Recently, cities, universities, and nonprofits have used the format to bring large groups of people from various fields of expertise together to solve tangible social issues, tackle environmental concerns, or create positive behavior or systemic change.

Judging and Prizes

Either before or during the event, ideas or challenges to solve are pitched. During the event, attendees split up into teams and work on creating solutions to the challenges. At the end of the hackathon, each team presents their proposed solutions to be judged and voted on. And, at the conclusion of judging, there are usually prizes given out for the winning team(s). In our case, the winning idea receives funding to implement their idea, so the “Well what next?” results in a tangible step toward resolving an international development problem.

Poverty Hack Online

Want to stay up-to-date on everything Poverty Hack? Check out all posts by Posner and search or use #povertyhack on Twitter. And, follow Posner on Facebook for any additional updates. Be sure to tag @PosnerCenter online when mentioning the Poverty Hack. You can also sign up for Posner’s newsletter to get monthly updates leading up to the hackathon, as well as any relevant follow-up information.


Africa Agenda

Africa Agenda works to foster understanding and engagement with Africa and African society in a fair and unbiased way. Their challenge is to envision and create a new digital strategy and news service for Africa Agenda as a vehicle for changing the way people understand, talk about, and interact with Africa. This system would engage various African communities and the public with African news and information. A successful interface would support the inclusion of diverse voices and build collaboration among organizations and individuals working in, or passionate about, Africa.


Starfish unlocks and maximizes the potential of young women in Guatemala to lead transformational change via a holistic educational and empowerment program. Their challenge is to create a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation platform that addresses several of the shortcomings of existing systems. This platform would enable Starfish to monitor the long-term outcomes of program graduates, provide participants with access to their own data, create a social community for resource-sharing, and provide a venue to continue to provide information and resources to participants and graduates. A successful solution would enable users to input data via SMS, address the financial barriers to submitting data, and would provide meaningful information to improve program development and design.

Women's Bakery

The Women’s Bakery (TWB) is a social enterprise that provides a bakery business model, on-going training, and long-term development opportunities for women in East Africa. TWB’s challenge is to develop a mobile application for supporting bread sales in the community. The mobile app would support sales in the market as well as access to nutritious bread in the community, enhance safety for sellers, and increase the accountability and professionalism of the business. A successful solution would address user and technical needs, and would incorporate a strong training component for successful adoption. Ultimately, this application would also be connected to mobile banking for seamless accounting.


Want to participate in the full Posner Poverty Hack? Interested in joining for just the Closing Night Happy Hour?



July 10-12 (Specifics will change; check back soon!)


July 10

2:00 – Arrival / Registration
3:00 – Team Building
5:00 – Happy Hour
6:00 – Dinner
7:30 – Close and Go Home


July 11

8:00 am – Hacking Challenges!
Check back for updates as we work out details of the activity schedule.
8:00 pm – Close and Go Home


July 12

8:00 – Work on Solutions
12:00 – Working Lunch
1:00 – Initial Pitches
2:00 – Finalists prepare presentations
3:00 – Final Pitches and Presentation
4:00 – Winners Announced and Prizes
5:00 – Happy Hour!
7:00 – Event Close







Quick Left

Quick Left

Coyote Gold

Coyote Gold

African Community Center

African Community Center



Hope Foods

Hope Foods

Noosa Yoghurt

Noosa Yoghurt





Gateaux Bakery

Gateaux Bakery


Frequently Asked Questions

A: We have open registration, but if you are not a Tenant or Member of Posner, it would be best to register if: you are a product designer or engineer, preferably with experience in human-centered design or something similar; you are an application or web developer/coder; you are a representative of Colorado state or Denver city government; you come from academia (student or staff/faculty); or, you have some experience related to one of the challenges we’ll be working on.

A: Posner Center for International Development, 1031 33rd St., Denver, CO 80205, located in the historic "Horse Barn."

A: The hackathon will start the afternoon of Sunday, July 10, 2016 and will run through the evening of Tuesday, July 12, 2016, with various breaks for lunch and dinner, and attendees returning home each night. See the agenda above for a more detailed schedule of each day.

A: We expect ~75-105 attendees (that’s 5-7 people on each of the anticipated 15 teams) for the actual hackathon, and up to 300 people for the closing night networking happy hour, plus volunteers. We anticipate attendees will include Posner Tenants and Members, the Colorado international development community, makers, product designers, representatives of other shared spaces, members of the tech community, academia, local government, and press.

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