We hosted our very first Creative Hack this April. The event included over thirty kids from around the Atlanta area and took place over two days at the Atlanta Tech Village. Kids from Fredrick Douglas, Mount Vernon, and North Atlanta High School joined together to "hack" community issues.
The teens were split up into five groups and given a topic: digital literacy access, food access, sex trafficking, lack of career paths in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) career fields, and ways to inspire healthy lifestyles. For their topic, they were encouraged to create a product, business, or service to help solve that problem.
They had two short days to come up with their solutions. After the two days, they presented to a panel of judges who worked in related fields in the Atlanta area. We had judges from StartUp Atlanta, Twitter, Digital Good Times, Invest Atlanta, and Ideas United.
The final ideas that were pitched included:
- App that allows you to access police reports and crime data so you can pick safer streets for your run.
- App that uses a point system and game that rewards the user whenever they make a healthy eating choice
- Website that matches the user's strengths and interests to a potential STEM career field
- A wearable, waterproof device that calls the police whenever you are in danger by simply pushing a button.
The group that ended up winning the Creative Hack was the sex trafficking group. Their group came up with the design for the wearable device idea. What really helped influence the panelists decision was their marketing strategy. They wanted the device to primarily be for children and teens who walk home from school. During their presentation the group shared personal anecdotes about times they felt unsafe walking home from school.
Lastly, we would like to thank our incredible sponsors of the event- Atlanta Tech Village, Chipolte, and Octane Coffee.