Youth Hackathon 2020

OpenHub is proud to announce HVTechFest 2020 Hackathon

Our virtual Hackathon is October 23-24th, 2020

Sign Up for the Hackathon!


Guests / Curious observers / Donors Sign up: - if you want to support or contribute to HVTechFestHackathon

Who Can Join?

Anyone can sign up for the Hackathon. We welcome all ages and all levels of expertise. We will be creating teams consisting of a diverse range of talents and skills.

We are looking forward to see professional developers, high school and college students. Non-developers are welcomed too.

We'll encourage you to form mixed teams of professionals and non-professionals, high-tech and low-tech functions and roles. 

You can join as a team, form professional teams or pair with the youth to help them building their next big thing! 


Pitching at the Hudson Valley Tech Fest HackathonRecruiting at the HVTechFest HackathonHackathon at the Hudson Valley Technology Festival - Pitching


THEME: Social Distancing and Digital Divide

The umbrella theme for the HVTechFest 2020 will be “Social Distancing and Digital Divide.”

The Social Distancing’ that occurred in response to the pandemic as the "new normal" became a huge challenge in many aspects: We miss our friends, we can't freely travel, we got distracted with our remote learning and working. 

  • Small businesses are losing clients, many brick and mortar businesses closed their doors. 
  • Social distancing at school is hard for many kids having troubles with focus, sensory issues, social isolation.
  • Ability to work and learn remote are limited by the dramatical Digital Divide revealed 
  • The lack of digital citizenship skills causes a lot of fraud and missed opportunities
  • The unemployment rate has tripled since the shutdown. Skiils in demand shifter to digital efficiency and technology advanced. 
  • The levelt of anxiety and depreccion in society is casuing emotional and mental health issues
  • There is an urgent need for rapid tech development for local businesses and individuals.

It is time to transform fears of uncertainty into an exploration of opportunity and new ideas.

The digital divide is defined as the gap between those who have access to broadband, devices, and digital skills training — and those who do not. How can we improve remote learning and remote working in this “new normal” of social distancing? How can we help those who are not privileged enough to have the same opportunities due to the digital divide that COVID-19 has made ever more obvious?

Black teens and those from low-income households are also more likely to be affected by the “digital homework gap.” Since the shutdown of schools in March, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed how many families lack at-home internet access. National statistics show us:

  • Around 12 million children and 18 million households do not have broadband internet access. Surprisingly, the situation is worse in urban areas than in rural areas.
  • 46 percent of households lack a computer.
  • 24 percent of households have only one internet-capable device.
  • 50 percent of students are unable to do homework because they lack home broadband or a computer.

Jobs and Workforce Development

The unemployment rate has tripled since the shutdown.

In areas where workforce development centers and libraries are closed, disadvantaged people don't have access to computers and broadband. This means many are unable to find new jobs. To make matters worse, they may not even have a digital resume.

Digital literacy skills are essential for access to jobs and economic wellbeing. For instance, jobseekers need to be able to demonstrate the digital skills for 90 percent of all jobs today. However, 67 percent of English language learners (ELLs) report no or limited basic digital skills. Due to COVID-19, existing supports (which were already insufficient) are completely blocked.

These skills are critical to economic, educational, and personal resilience. There is a need to address the digital divide now.  We need to act.


Hackathon funFacts of Poverty and Technology



Friday, October 23

Introductions and Kickoff - 2:00 - 2:30 PM
Design Thinking warm up - 2:30 - 3:15 PM
Idea Pitching, Teams forming - 3:30 - 4:30 PM
Talk Time for Sponsors - 4:30 - 5:00 PM
Begin Hacking - 5:00 PM

Saturday, October 24

Cease Hacking, Submit Projects - 1:45 PM
Intro and Welcome Judges - 2:00 - 2:15 PM
Demos and Presentations - 2:15 - 4:30 PM
Judge Deliberation - 4:30 - 5:00 PM
Award Ceremony - 5:00 PM

Participant InformationMentor InformationJudges Information


Hackathon - Technology Dojo - PitchingHVTechFest Hackathon - PitchingTechnology Festival - Hackathon - Pitching


Do You Have an Idea?

To enhance HVTechFest 2021 Hackathon, we want to hear your thoughts and proposals. What challenge triggers YOU?

We’re looking for ideas for collaborative team challenges that will inspire our community to use technology, data, and design for the public good. Submit Your Idea, Find Your Team

Educators, students, designers, developers, social workers, business specialists, and anyone else interested in developing a solution is encouraged to co-create this fantastic event!


Hudson Valley Tech Fest - Hackathon - Design ThinkingDesign Thinking - Hudson Valley Technology Festival and HackathonTech Fest Hackathon- Pollution and Contamination Team

Communication platform

We will be using Zoom for the main stage and Discord voice communication and screen sharing for breakout rooms:

  • Hacker rooms
  • Sponsor rooms
  • Mentor rooms
  • Help desk

Join us at Discord, find your team!


Still have questions? Check FAQ here


About the HVTechFest-2019 Hackathon

The HVTechFest 2019 was a seven-hour brainstorming and idea-development competition to solve critical regional issues such as:

  • Education
  • Employability
  • Environment
  • Transportation

The Hackathon revealed how the youth are driven to solve Hudson Valley employability and professional sustainability challenges. We were excited to see that we are all aligned in our dream of making the Hudson Valley a better place to live and work, and leveraging technology as a practical tool for this rising tide! We applied the following approach:

  • Integrated hi-tech and low-tech functions to solve public problems.
  • Successfully teamed professionals together with youth to deliver digital solutions.
  • Created an entrepreneurial spirit through a high-energy vibe.
  • Gave young people the chance to experience a collaborative way of problem solving.

The HVTechFest 2020 Hackathon will continue to build upon this momentum!

Sign Up for the Hackathon!