2021 Global Virtual Fall Hackathon

📅October 18th to 25th 2021

Welcome to 2021 Opportunity Hack with this year's theme of "Economic Empowerment for All".

We define Economic Empowerment as: having the agency, skills, resources, and opportunities needed to compete equitably in markets, and achieve long-term economic security.

Our sponsor, PayPal, has recently announced their commitment of $100 Million to advance financial inclusion and economic empowerment of women and girls, which adds to its $530 Million to support Black businesses, strengthen minority communities and fight economic inequality.

This year, we want to focus on problems from non-profits that focus specifically on economic empowerment of underrepresented groups.

We want to continue holding an online and global hackathon while we continue to emerge from the pandemic. Last year, all winning teams were distributed over the globe and allowed everyone to work together across geographies to solve problems for non-profits.

We plan to hold this over an entire week with Monday (October 18th) as a kickoff, and the following Monday for the close of the hackathon and both judging and winner announcements to follow.

You can review all hackathon submissions over on DevPost here.

Schedule of Events

See below for our complete schedule - we'll be posting this in Slack as well

Quick links

We've collected all links that anyone may need below

👆 Everything we do this year will take place on Slack! Click the button above to join! 👆

See below for more details on hackers, mentors, nonprofits, and judges


You'll be creating something that benefits non-profits.

Most of what you do will take place on:

  • Slack - communication with your team, non-profits, mentors

  • DevPost - your project's documentation

  • GitHub - your code must be publically available

  • Heroku - when you productionalize your code, use Heroku as one of the easiest ways to make it available to the masses

Here's how your hackathon week looks:

  1. Day 0: Join our Slack community

  2. Day 1 (Monday): Find a team and declare a nonprofit problem you're working on. Figure out when everyone can meet to chat about how you plan to solve the problem. Determine schedules - you don't need to dedicate every hour of the week to hacking, we know you have jobs, schoolwork, and a life to live!

  3. Day 2 (Tuesday): Have a design, some wireframe mocks (Use: UXPin, Figma, Miro). Start your DevPost submission for our DevPost Hackathon

  4. Day 3 (Wednesday): Start slinging code with your team, determine who is working on what, how frequently you'll meet, and make sure you all are aligned on what you are building and what success looks like.

  5. Day 4 (Thursday): Take a good look at your DevPost submission and update it with the problem your team is solving, and how you are solving it. Start recording your 4 minute demo video using tools like Loom or Quicktime.

  6. Days 5,6,7 (Friday to Sunday): With the week mostly over, no classes, you're done with work: this is where the bulk of your work will likely happen.

  7. Day 6 (Saturday): Make sure you are thinking about how you will present your work, how you align to judging criteria, and make sure your DevPost Submission (1st place from 2020), GitHub README (example from 2020) and demo videos (example from 2020) are looking good!

  8. Each day: We'll trigger a Slack-based standup for you and your team. A Slackbot will ask you (1) what you've worked on, (2) what you plan to work on, (3) what is blocking you. This will be shared back with your team to get everyone on the same page (especially if you are across multiple timezones). We've found this to be invaluable both in our software engineering careers and at Opportunity Hack.

  9. Any day: Ask a mentor for help, review, advice, a high five 👋


You'll be assisting hackers with their project.

Most of what you do will take place on:

  • Slack - checking in on teams and jumping into a screenshare here and there

Your goals are:

  1. Make sure the team knows the problem they are solving

  2. ...are solving that problem 👆

  3. Are using libraries and are not trying to reinvent the wheel

  4. Are looking at the judging criteria (on DevPost)

  5. Have a demo video that is 4 minutes that describes the problem and solution using tools like Loom or Quicktime.


You'll be helping hackers build something that you need.

Here are some example nonprofits focusing on Economic Empowerment:

  1. https://www.ywca.org/

  2. https://www.azecon.org/

  3. http://www.cplc.org/

  4. http://economicintegrity.org/

  5. https://www.onecommunityfoundation.org/

  6. http://www.positivepathsaz.org/

  7. https://www.aaed.com/

  8. https://www.jobpath.net/

  9. https://sarsef.org/

  10. https://phoenix.dressforsuccess.org/

  11. https://gangplankhq.com/

  12. https://www.herowomenrising.org/

  13. https://econa-az.com/

Before the hackathon, we will want to spend about 2 hours total with you to refine your problem statement so that hackers have a good idea of the problem you have. Our volunteers use Google Meet to chat with you virtually.

Most of what nonprofits are involved with will take place on:

  • Slack - communication with teams who are working on your problem. Help them better understand your needs, your customers, data, process, anything and everything.

  • Phone calls/SMS - your team will want to chat with you over the phone or through text messages.

Interested in being a judge?

This year we’re opening up judging applications for anyone who is interested! Please check out this form if you can help out.

We have to phases of judging: asynchronous video review of 4 minute submission videos using DevPost and live judging of the top teams with Q&A.

Looking for previous hacks?

Check out our history page