George Hacks featured in “The New GW Innovation+Entrepreneurship Lab Opens”

George Hacks’ new headquarters in the GW Innovation+Entrepreneurship (GW I+E) Lab at MakeOffices was highlighted in GW Today, the university’s official online news source.

“Without a dedicated office space, the leaders of the interdisciplinary student organization George Hacks have met and organized the group’s annual medical hackathons wherever they could since its inception nearly two years ago. But recently the group has found a home on the seventh floor of the Shops at 2000 Penn building in the George Washington University Innovation+Entrepreneurship (I+E) Lab, a new on-campus student co-working space.”

“The New GW Innovation+Entrepreneurship Lab Opens,” GW Today

George Hacks is one of the first student groups to participate in OIE’s Innovator Access Program, which gives vetted students and student groups free dedicated desks and 24/7 access to the I+E Lab.

The article, which focuses on the beginnings of the new student co-working space, features our director, Caitlyn Pratt, who explained how the George Hacks team utilizes the office.

“This space helped remove a lot of obstacles that were potentially inhibiting our growth and provides a platform for our continued growth and success,” Caitlyn commented regarding the advantages the new location has contributed our rapidly-growing organization.

“The New GW Innovation+Entrepreneurship Lab Opens,” GW Today

Read more about our space at MakeOffices in 2000 Penn as well as opportunities with the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship here.

George Hacks Receives New Office Space at MakeOffices

Last night, George Hacks team members attended the GW Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (I+E Lab) Partnership Kickoff and Open House at MakeOffices at their new location in the 2000 Pennsylvania Avenue Building.

The kickoff launched the GW IE Lab partnership with Makeoffices that will serve as an on-campus resource to GW students and faculty. The event was a chance to showcase the new space and to allow students, faculty and other attendees to network over some light refreshments.

The coworking space is open to students and staff to come with their ideas and have access to one-to-one advising, office hours with industry experts, workshops, and events. Additionally, the MakeOffices location is equipped with a full kitchen, various working spaces, a full kitchen and even free coffee!

The GW IE Lab also has office co-working spaces that are open to student organizations who can work on their ideas and projects. George Hacks has been provided with two desks in the office where we work to plan our events and interact with team members. We also hold our weekly e-board meetings in the MakeOffices conference rooms. 

We are thankful to the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the opportunity to have space in the office and look forward to collaborating and innovating with other students, faculty and organizations on campus through the coworking space.

George Hacks Officially Acquired Non-Profit Status!

Before George Hacks was established at the GW campus in 2018, George Washington University lacked a space for students of all disciplines to come together for a greater purpose: healthcare innovation. In response to this demand, we envisioned George Hacks as a one-time medical hackathon. Our first event generated overwhelmingly positive energy surrounding our generation’s effort and capability in addressing pressing healthcare issues. We had given students a hands-on opportunity to envision their future role in the betterment of social health, and in some cases, turn their ideas into a new venture. 

From there, we couldn’t help but think bigger. So, in order to create a sustainable platform for social impact innovation in D.C. and in surrounding areas, George Hacks has acquired non-profit status. Please read below about the four George Hacks Incorporators. The support and enthusiasm of our diverse community of faculty, staff, industry professionals, mentors, and students have been the driving force behind our growth. With each step we take to broaden our impact, we strive to better serve the George Hacks community and those outside of it whose lives can be changed through students’ problem-solving, teamwork, and forward-thinking mindset. 

George Hacks has transformed from an event into a community, changing education through innovation. Despite our non-profit status, much else will remain unchanged at the student level. We will still be hosting our Annual Medical Solutions Hackathon on January 25th-26th of 2020, in addition to a few other exciting events this year. Please stay tuned on our website and social media for more updates!

Caitlyn Pratt (SEAS ‘21) has been the face of George Hacks’ growth since she joined the team in 2018 as a sophomore. She will continue in her role as Director and will oversee the coordination of events and engage our growing network. 
Brianna Cathey (SEAS ‘19) served as Technical Director of George Hacks beginning with the inaugural hackathon. She has curated the innovation challenges presented to students and provided participants with prototyping resources and assistance.
Konstantin Mitic (SEAS ‘18) first planted the George Hacks seed after he left his first hackathon wanting to create a network for students to continue with the innovative process even after a hackathon ended. He is everywhere all at once with his undying enthusiasm and positive engagement with the George Hacks community.
Michael Ready (CCAS ‘19), our resident non-engineer, is the brains behind the initial development of a hackathon with social impact. His strategy in putting together our first event has allowed us to leverage George Hacks into a sustainable community around social innovation.

2019 MIT DC Grand Hack Recap

Three George Hacks team members participated in the MIT Hacking Medicine Grand Hack DC at the Samsung Solutions Center two weekends ago.

Caitlyn Pratt, Jinbi Tian and Freddie Li took part in the three-day hackathon that partnered with the Veteran’s Health Administration and focused on solutions to help improve care for veteran’s across the country. George Hacks also saw participation in the event from four hackathon veterans, Shubham Gupta, Bianca Karpinecz, Liz Fischer and Emily Cheung.

The event, sponsored by Samsung, took place during the first weekend of August. On Friday, the first day of the event, participants attended an event kickoff, broke out into pitching sessions and formed teams. Teams created their ideas and practiced their pitches on Saturday and final presentations and awards wrapped up the competition on Sunday.

The hackathon consisted of three tracks for participants: access to healthcare, mental health and professional burnout, and rare and orphan diseases. The three George Hacks team members competed in the mental health track, which focused on the areas surrounding mental health diagnoses, prevention and care.

Along with brainstorming and building innovative solutions to various veteran’s health issues, participants of the hackathon heard from four keynote speakers throughout the weekend. Dr. Carolyn Clancy, VHA Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks, John Godfrey, Senior Vice President of Public Policy for Samsung Electronics America, Dr. Jon Bloom, a board-certified physician and entrepreneur, and Dr. Sharad Verma, Director of Research and Development for the Neurofibromatosis TherapyAcceleration Program addressed participants, discussing various topics surrounding veteran’s health and innovation.

Former George Hacks Participants Take Innovation to the 2019 BMES Coulter College

Last weekend, our Social Media Chair, Christianne Chua, and her three teammates represented GW Biomedical Engineering at the 2019 BMES Coulter College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. A distinguished program focused on educating students in the “translation of biomedical innovations,” Coulter College recruits “mentors in key problem areas [the 2019 cycle featured structural heart, chronic hypertension, or type 2 diabetes disease management] to guide student teams through a highly dynamic process designed to help them better understand how innovations can meet clinical needs, while providing tools and approaches used to develop novel solutions for identified clinical problems” (read more about BMES Coulter College here). The conference convened at Medtronic facilities and was further supported by the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Biomedical Engineering Society.

Invitation to the program is highly competitive as only 12 teams comprising 4 students and a single senior design faculty mentor are selected nationwide. Anastasia Carr, Christianne Chua (our Social Media Chair and 2019 Medical Solutions Participant), Camille Daszynski (2019 Medical Solutions Participant), and Mercedes Suazo (2018 Medical Solutions Participant) as well as capstone faculty mentor Dr. David Lee were notified in May of their acceptance into Coulter College and assigned type 2 diabetes disease management.

From there, an intensive period of preparation began for the team. After compiling a lengthy pre-assignment researching their assigned disease, conducting clinician interviews, and attending multiple BMES-hosted webinars, the GW quartet whittled down their 20-page deliverable into several need statements required by program coordinators upon arrival to Minneapolis.

From Thursday afternoon through Sunday morning, the team experienced a completely immersive agenda of lectures, facility tours, and professional meetings with a diverse panel of clinicians, industry leaders, business mentors, designers, and venture capitalists. This intensive series of scheduled activities allowed the GW team to tailor its final design towards the guiding goals of promoting greater affordability, personalization, and actionability within the type 2 diabetes community. In a collaborative effort, they worked day and night to conceptualize a solution that best fit around the need for patients to remain motivated in chronic management of lifestyle. Each day, the team was expected to present additional components of device design, intellectual property, regulatory landscape, and business model to a cohort of judges.

Congratulations to the team for their strong performance throughout the program! We wish you the best start to your senior year and cannot wait to see where this experience takes you!

2019 GW Summer Start-up Accelerator Program Recap

Three George Hacks affiliated teams pitched their ventures in the Showcase and Demo Day on July 18 as they wrapped up their summer program with the GW Summer Startup Accelerator (SSA), a program run by the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The George Hacks affiliated participants included, our co-founder and former director, Michael Ready, our web developer, Sam Bunger and two former George Hacks participants, Jagan Doodala and Christian Trummer. Their ventures include Vaulted Vinyl, Voxion and WATTerWagon, respectively.

At the Showcase and Demo day, all participants in the SSA were given a chance to pitch ideas to a group of over 20 angel investors and venture capitalists. The 2019 GW Summer Startup Accelerator Investors included Amanda Antico, Founder and CEO at EvolvED, John Burke, Founder at True Ventures, Wayne Chen, Edge Tech – Ventures Director at Booz Allen Hamilton, and many more. The complete list of investors can be found here.

Congratulations to all of the teams for a successful finish to the program and we wish them luck as they proceed with the rest of their future ventures.

Meet the 2019-2020 Team!

Our team is growing! Our new George Hacks 2019-2020 team has been working hard this summer, and we can’t wait to get this fall semester started! We’ve got some exciting events coming up this semester, and, of course, stay tuned for more info about our 3rd Annual Medical Solutions Hackathon on January 25th-26th! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on the latest George Hacks upcoming news.

Alright then! Let’s meet some of the faces behind our operations!

George Hacks Faculty Advisor, Dr. Jason Zara, awarded $25,000 grant from the KEEN Foundation

Our faculty advisor, Jason Zara, was awarded a $25,000 grant from the KEEN Foundation for a project titled “Engineering for the Public Good.” Dr. Zara  will work with Annamaria Konya Tannon (GW Innovation Center) and GW Engineering to develop community engagement projects that focus on the development of an entrepreneurial engineering mindset.

KEEN consists of a network of universities that focus on developing an entrepreneurial mindset in engineering undergraduates. KEEN strives to help students learn how to be curious about the problems surrounding them, make connections between multiple areas of information, and create value for the world by developing engineering solutions to important problems. GW joined KEEN in the fall of 2018.

We are very proud of Professor Zara’s work to improve our undergraduate students education!

Dr. Jason Zara (BME) and Dr. Vesna Zderic (BME) attended the KEEN National Conference, held January 3-5 in Dallas, TX.

Congrats to the George Hacks affiliated teams accepted into the 2019 GW Summer Start-up Accelerator Cohort!

The GW Summer Start-up Accelerator (GWSSA), run by the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is the accelerator for top student startups at the George Washington University. This 9-week summer program engages student entrepreneurs who want to develop a startup venture. The program provides the students with funding, mentorship, and resources.

Three George Hacks affiliated teams were accepted into this intensive program. We are so proud of all their hard work and with them the best of luck this summer!

Our co-founder and former director, Michael Ready, is a member of Vaulted Vinyl, the Premium POP! Vinyl Protection Company, which offers top-tier protection for Funko Pops all over the world.

Sam Bunger, our web developer, is one of the engineers behind Voxion, a user-friendly and cost-effective solution for consumer-facing businesses to build custom voice applications.

Two former George Hacks participants, Jagan Doodala and Christian Trummer, are the founders of WATTerWagon, which increases water carrying capacity and eliminates strenuous labor for hundreds of millions living in rural water-scarce regions.

The GW Summer Startup Accelerator (SSA) will hold its Showcase and Demo Day on July 18, 2019 in Duques Hall on the Foggy Bottom campus of the George Washington University. We’re excited to see how they all progress!

Recap | George Hacks Year in Review Social

As the Spring semester came to a close, we enjoyed bringing the George Hacks community back together once more to share this year’s progress, talk about our future plans, and express our gratitude for people’s contribution to George Hacks.

The George Hacks Year in Review Social was held on Thursday, May 2nd in B1 of the GW Science and Engineering Hall.

The team enjoyed indulging in some hors d’oeuvres and desserts while mingling with participants, GW faculty, mentors, and sponsors.

Thank you to everyone who attended and for making this year such a huge success!