GiveBackHack is gearing up for a weekend of social innovation, hosting its annual event Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29 at CCAD.
It’s the fourth year for a growing program that brings entrepreneurs to business leaders together for a weekend of creating solutions for some of the biggest challenges facing communities.
The business-building kicks off Friday evening when community members pitch their ideas to solve pressing social issues in Columbus. Attendees will spend the rest of the weekend developing the crowd-favorite pitches with the help of of team members and social enterprise, community and business leaders. Sunday night the teams will pitch to a panel of judges, looking to secure mentorship, resources, and up to $20,000 in funding to continue to build their social enterprise.
Since the first GiveBackHack in 2015, the event has continued to garner support in the Columbus community. Organizer Derek DeHart says to see the funding for the weekend grow from $10,000, to $15,000, and now $20,000 in 2018, has been incredible.
For the second year in a row, both IGS Energy are the United Way of Central Ohio are supporting innovators with $10,000 and $5,000 in funding respectively. This year the Columbus Foundation is providing an additional grant of $5,000. GiveBackHack is also pulling in some new sponsors for 2018, including CD102.5 which will showcase one of the teams with an on air-interview during the morning show.
This year’s panel of judges includes Jen Bowden, director of community investment at IGS, VentureOhio CEO Falon Donohue, United Way of Central Ohio President & CEO Lisa Courtice and Emily Savors, director of grants management at The Columbus Foundation.
DeHart says anyone and everyone with an interest in social enterprise should attend whether they have an idea or not. GiveBackHack works because attendees with varying skills and experience are willing to attach themselves to a problem and try to solve it.
GiveBackHack has launched social enterprises like competitive crowdfunding platform Billion, food truck Abe’s Kitchen and software startup DACA Time among others. While some have come and gone as is the nature of startups, GiveBackHack is continuing to look at ways to support teams coming out of the event.
“GiveBackHack’s mission is really to foster social innovation and not just to network with people who are like minded; not just spend a weekend potentially hacking away at a problem, but hopefully forming lasting relationships and lasting organizations that persist and solve these problems,” DeHart says.
GiveBackHack has expanded to bring social innovation to cities outside of Columbus, hosting events in Cleveland, Baltimore and Philadelphia in 2018. Tickets for GiveBackHack Columbus are $60, including meals and a t-shirt, and can be purchased here. The public is invited to attend the pitch event for free on Sunday evening starting at 5 p.m.
For more information, visit givebackhack.com.