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DEBUG DC: Growthathon for Immigration Reform


Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM (PDT)

DEBUG DC: Growthathon for Immigration Reform

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
Developers should: Be fluent in at least one high level programming language. Be well versed in building an app on top of APIs. Data mining/web scraping skills a big plus Be pissed off about immigration, and want to fix it.
Ended Free  
Growth Hackers should: Think creatively about potential voter acquisition channels. Be willing to call, email, do SEM, SMM, A/B test, etc. Be crafty and clever. Be pissed off about immigration, and want to fix it.
Ended Free  
Data Scientist
Data Scientists should: Be well versed in statistics and data analysis. Think creatively about potential additional voter data sources to mine. Think of ways to infer voter sentiment from sparse data. Be pissed off about immigration, and want to fix it.
Ended Free  
Designer (UI/UX)
UI/UX designers should: Have front end design experience. Be well versed in mobile and/or website design. Be pissed off about immigration and want to fix it.
Ended Free  
Other Ended Free  

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Event Details

FWD.us and Hackers/Founders are combining forces to help the tech community mobilize a grassroots effort to bring about a change to our nation’s broken and outdated immigration system, which stifles innovation, weakens our economy, and hurts millions of American families.  

Come to the DEBUG DC growthathon and use your skills to hack immigration reform and encourage Congress to take action.


What’s a growthathon?
It’s like a hackathon, but for growth.

We’ll use data and tech to motivate constituents in key districts to contact their representatives and amplify the call for immigration reform this year.

On June 21-22, we'll code, data mine and growth hack. Judges will not be present at this event; it’s strictly for hackers and mentors! Teams will have access to a variety of tools, including voter registration files from targeted districts, publicly available APIs and data sets, ad credits, and FWD advocacy APIs.

FWD advocacy APIs:

Push4Reform (app.fwd.us/legislators)

#BuiltByImmigrants (app.fwd.us/stories)

Selfies4Reform (app.fwd.us/selfies)


Then, during the week of June 23 - Thursday, June 26 @ 5pm PST, teams will continue to A/B test and iterate on their projects as they drive constituents to contact their Congressional Representative in the target districts, generating as many calls, letters, and selfie post cards as possible.

Wrap Party

All teams will be invited to attend a wrap party on June 27 at 7pm PST where we’ll review results, get feedback from our judges, and award prizes.

The real prize will be making a difference on immigration reform. But to keep things interesting, we’ve lined up a few really cool prizes.


One Hour Meeting with Vinod Khosla

One team will be invited to meet with Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, creator of Java, and world-class philanthropist.

Vinod Khosla Image

Vinod Khosla is an entrepreneur, investor, and technology fan. He is the founder of Khosla Ventures, focused on impactful clean technology and information technology investments.

Khosla was a co-founder of Daisy systems and founding CEO of Sun Microsystems where he pioneered open systems and commercial RISC processors. One of Mr. Khosla’s greatest passions is being a mentor to entrepreneurs, assisting entrepreneurs and helping them build technology based businesses. Mr. Khosla is driven by the desire to make positive impact through scaling alternative energy, achieving petroleum independence, and promoting a pragmatic approach to the environment. He is also passionate about Social Entrepreneurship. Vinod holds a Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering from IIT, New Delhi, a Master's in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


One Hour Meeting with Craig Newmark
One team will be invited to meet Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and craigconnects

Craig Newmark Craig Newmark is a self-described nerd, Web pioneer, speaker, philanthropist, and advocate of the use of technology for the public good through his craigconnects initiative. In 2013 he was named “Nerd-in-Residence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Innovation in recognition of his volunteer work with the department to enhance services to veterans.

Craig launched craigconnects in March 2011 with the mission to promote and enhance the use of technology and social media to benefit philanthropy and public service. He uses the craigconnects platform to support effective organizations working for veterans and military families; open government; public diplomacy; journalistic ethics, accountability, and fact-checking; consumer protection; election protection and voter registration.


One Hour Meeting with Dan'l Lewin
One team will be invited to meet Dan'l Lewin, Corporate VP, Technology and Civic Engagement, Microsoft and founder of NeXT Computer with Steve Jobs


Dan'l Lewin Dan'l Lewin leads Microsoft’s work to help civic leaders and communities harness new technologies to enhance public discussion and policy development.  As part of this work he also leads the company’s Academic Outreach program, which promotes the work of scholars leading the dialogue on technology policy issues. Additionally, Lewin is one of the company’s ambassadors and spokespeople for Microsoft YouthSpark – the company’s global initiative to empower youth through education, employment and entrepreneurship. Lewin has executive and site responsibility for the company's operations in Mountain View, California, which currently employ more than 2,500 people.

Lewin has spent more than 30 years as a Silicon Valley-based executive, leading sales and marketing divisions for companies including Apple Computer Inc., NeXT Inc. and GO Corp. Before joining Microsoft, he was CEO of Aurigin Systems Inc., a startup that pioneered intellectual property asset management. He has also consulted for emerging companies, venture capital firms and corporate joint ventures.

One Hour Meeting with Padmasree Warrior

One team will be invited to meet Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Cisco

Padmasree Warrior Padmasree Warrior is charged with aligning technology development and corporate strategy to enable Cisco to anticipate, shape, and lead major market transitions. She helps direct technology and operational innovation across the company and oversees strategic partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, the integration of new business models, the incubation of new technologies, and the cultivation of world-class technical talent.

In her previous role, Warrior served as CTO and also co-led Cisco’s worldwide engineering organization. As Senior Vice President, Engineering, she was responsible for core switching, collaboration, cloud computing and data center/virtualization, security, and architectures for business transformation.


Rick Marini
Rick Marini
Founder & CEO - BranchOut

Brian Rouch
Brian Rouch
Executive Director -
Hacker Dojo
Aaron Ginn
Aaron Ginn
Growth Hacker - StumbleUpon
Mitt Romney 2012
John Stockdale
John Stockdale
ex-Facebook, Founder & Investor
 Angela Trans Kingyens
Angela Tran Kingyens
Associate, Version One Ventures



Jay Zalowitz | Technical Co-Founder at Generator Lab
Tina Lee | Founder & CEO, MotherCoders
Ken Zi Wang | Founder & CEO, Buzzstarter
Alex Gold | Founder, Buzzstarter
Will Bunker | Founder, Match.com
Alex Torrenegra | Founder & CEO, Bunny Inc. (VoiceBunny, Voice123, BunnyCast)

Darius Contractor | CTO, FWD.us
Dylan Hafertepen | Creative Director, FWD.us
David Yoon | VP of Engineering, FWD.us
Will Leiter | Marketing Director, Refresh,Inc.
Emily Lam | VP, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Jeremie Vella | Digital Organizer, Lyft
Lisa Conn | National Organizing Director, FWD.us
Richard Ling | General Partner, Rembrandt Venture Partners
Michael Brodsky | Organizer, FWD.us
Rob Avruch | Regional Organizer, FWD.us
Bill Hing | Immigration Professor, USF
Michael Ellison | EIR & Product Manager, Riviera Partners
Joe Mellin | Product & Growth Thinker
Emerson Malca | Founder & CEO, Studyroom

General Partner at Rembrandt Venture Partners

About FWD.us
FWD.us is an advocacy organization created to help organize the broader tech community to promote a bipartisan policy agenda – including comprehensive immigration reform, education reform, and support for scientific research – that will boost the knowledge economy to ensure more jobs, innovation and investment, now and in the future. You can learn more at www.FWD.us.

About Hackers/Founders
Hackers  / Founders is the largest community of tech founders in Silicon Valley with 12,000 members. They have 57 chapters globally with 100,000 members in 26 countries. Their mission is to make life suck 34% less for tech founders in Silicon Valley and around the world. You can learn more at www.hackersfounders.com.

 FWD.us  Hackers and Founders


Rackspace  Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Microsoft Ventures


 Causes  Gordon Biersch


Community Partners

 reddit Stack Overflow   
Latino Startup Alliance Women 2.0  
Black Founders sfciti 
 Hackbright Academy  Women Who Code
 Designers + Geeks  MotherCoders  
 Lesbians Who Tech  

 Drinking is allowed for those 21 and over.

Have questions about DEBUG DC: Growthathon for Immigration Reform? Contact DebugDC
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When & Where

620 Folsom St #100
San Francisco, CA 94107

Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM - Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM (PDT)

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DEBUG DC: Growthathon for Immigration Reform
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