Hack-A-Wish Hackathon

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Dollar Shave Club

13335 Maxella Avenue

Marina del Rey, CA 90292

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All proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles


What is Hack-a-Wish?

A Social Impact Hackathon with the goal to grant more "wishes" to kids battling critical illness right here in LA. Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles is facing a number of challenges that make it difficult to serve the hundreds of wish kids who are waiting for a wish. By giving a child their wish, it gives them hope and for many kids, it can be a major turning point in their treatment. Our hope is that we will attract the most talented people in our community to help solve the challenges facing this very important organization.

Why a Hackathon? A Hackathon brings together teams to brainstorm and create real-time, relevant solutions. Our hope is that the Hack-A-Wish attracts techies, creatives, students, business leaders, community activists – really anyone who wants to make a difference in a child’s life by spending a weekend having fun, meeting new people, networking, and building creative solutions.

Make-a-Wish Challenges & Prizes

Hack-A-Wish will focus on three challenges facing Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles. Participants may choose to solve any one of these challenges.

#1: The DONORS Challenge: We need to solve for an urgent $5M funding gap while developing sustainable funding sources that will ensure that the organization is able to fund wishes in the future. We have over 500 children waiting for their life-changing wishes – and we need critical funds to reach them ASAP. We also want to increase wish donations of in-kind talent and services from our community.

#2: The VOLUNTEERS Challenge: We want to secure dedicated bilingual (Spanish-English) volunteers who will commit to granting 2 wishes per year. Over 60% of wish families are Spanish-speaking, and many parents need a wish volunteer who help them navigate the wish granting process.

#3: The CHAPTER OPS Challenge: We want to help small but mighty Make-A-Wish team to alleviate capacity concerns that create operational inefficiencies, making it difficult for the staff to focus on the kids they work tirelessly to support. We hope to build solutions that may be replicated for all MAW chapters nationally.

Team Prizes include:

  • Career Assessment and 1-hour coaching session with CareerRev

  • Underwear by MeUndies

  • One-year Subscription and Health Monitor by PK Coin

  • One year of razors from Dollar Shave Club

  • $1000 per person for the winning team

Raffle Prizes include:

  • Dodgers tickets

  • Executive Coaching Session with Megan Ragsdale (meganragsdale.com)

  • 1-hour Financial Portfolio Review & Advice, Guggenheim Partners

  • Family of Four Pass to SeaWorld during Seven Seas Food Festival (between March 9-April 28)

  • 2 roundtrip tickets on JetBlue

  • Perch Gift Basket (https://theperchco.com/))

  • Sama Sunglasses (value $400)

  • In n Out Gift Certificates

  • And much more...

All participants get raffle tickets as part of their ticket admission.

Who can Hack?

All ages, genders, and skill levels are welcome. Come solo or in a team of up to five, and spend the weekend learning new skills, meeting your local tech, creative and business community and sponsors, enjoying free food, and more. Developers, students, designers of all skill-sets, and serious entrepreneurs – everyone can add value to a team.

By joining Hack-A-Wish, you and your teams will experience many benefits including the:

  • Opportunity to network with other smart, talented people from like-minded organizations

  • A risk-free, casual environment to test new ideas, IP and innovations

  • Access to some of the hottest companies and leaders in LA

  • The opportunity to “give back”

  • Knowledge that you are bringing joy and hope to kids and families who are facing extremely difficult circumstances

Most importantly, this is a chance to improve your skills and expand your horizons. Bring your ideas and let’s go!

Want to get involved in another way? We’re always open to chat with potential sponsors, mentors, and judges! Just email hackawish@dollarshaveclub.com to get connected.


Hack-A-Wish KICK-OFF – Friday, January 25 at Dollar Shave Club, Inc. in Marina del Rey (6:30 pm - 9 pm)

DSC invites techies, creatives, students, community and business leaders across LA to kick off Hack-A-Wish LA. At the kick-off, participants will meet the Make-A-Wish team, hear more about the challenges we want to solve, and meet some of our wish kids and families who will share the impact that Make-A-Wish has had in their lives. By the end of the evening, participants will join a team based on the challenge they want to solve. You will also get some sweet SWAG and cool prizes.

Hack-A-Wish CHALLENGE DAY – Saturday, January 26 at General Assembly, Santa Monica (9 am - 4 pm)

Teams will have the workspace to network, brainstorm, and build their pitches and solutions. Challenge Day is a great opportunity to network with potential employers, partners, and just all around amazing people. We will have dynamic speakers like Ed Leonard, founder of PK Coin...a brand new fitness app that allows you to earn cash for your favorite cause.

Hack-A-Wish DEMO DAY – Sunday, January 27 at ScaleLA’s brand new office, West Los Angeles (1 pm - 4 pm)

This 3-hour Demo Day is the moment that each team will present their pitches and solutions to a distinguished panel of judges who will select the most innovative and implementation-ready solutions in each Challenge category. Solutions will be selected based on how much they will benefit Make-A-Wish and the kids they serve. By participating in Hack-A-Wish, teams will know they are making a difference in a child’s life. They will also make lots of new friends, and there will be prizes!

Judging Criteria

Impact: How many lives can this touch? Who is it impacting (wish kids, granters, staff, volunteers, etc)? What does this solution (hack) do in the grand scheme of things?

Execution: What did you build over the course of the weekend? How well did you communicate your solution to the judges?

Experience: Beyond design, was the end-to-end user experience for the solution considered? Easy to use?

Potential: Is the solution (hack) technically and feasibly possible? Can it scale with Make-A-Wish?

Hackathon Rules

Each team will need to demo a prototype or share a robust concept on Demo Day. Here are some rules to follow. We know some rules are meant to be broken, but you should probably (read: definitely) stick by these:

1. Fresh Code - We all start coding at the same time. It’s cool to work on designs beforehand, digital mockups, open source frameworks, and anything else available to everyone, but keep things within fair limits.

2. Code Review - Winning teams may be subject to a code-review at some point following the event or immediately before winning. This is to ensure that all code used is in fact fresh. For all of you non-techies, no worries. The techies on your teams will explain what this means.

3. Ownership and IP - You own your IP and whatever you create. Simple as that. You agree that Make-A-Wish may implement and scale your solution.

4. Team Size - No more than five people on a team. Don't have a team - no worries; we will help you find one.

5. Submissions - The most important. Check your email for the submission form. Projects need to be submitted by the designated time on Challenge Day. You’ll receive an email with instructions on how to do just that.

6. Demos - You’ll have 4 minutes to demo the functionality of your project and talk through your idea, and 2 minutes for Q&A from judges.

7. Be cool to your fellow hackers! Check out our Code of Conduct.


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Dollar Shave Club

13335 Maxella Avenue

Marina del Rey, CA 90292

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Refund Policy

No Refunds

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