Georgetown Entrepreneurship Hosts COVID-19 Design Challenge

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In an effort to provide this semester’s remote and on-campus students a sense of agency as they adjust to this new normal due to COVID-19, Georgetown Entrepreneurship has partnered with Foley and Lardner LLP to host the first-ever COVID-19 Design Challenge. The event is a one-day, virtual hackathon-style event centered around mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on work, learning, and communities.

The pandemic created problems many could not have predicted and this one-day virtual challenge allows students to innovate solutions to some of these problems created by the pandemic. 

Harper Reed, chief technology officer, former President Barack Obama

“COVID-19 has created a lot of uncertainty, but it has also spurred innovation and individuals are finding new ways to collaborate remotely, engage socially, and more safely interact in person,” said David Sanders, partner, Foley and Lardner LLP. “Today’s students are the most tech-savvy in our culture, and they are exploring how to improve life using technology.”

Students will be asked to submit problems for which they would like to solve in the following categories:

  • Vulnerable Communities
  • (Un)Employment
  • Education 

Students will then form teams to tackle these challenges and spend the day collaborating, researching problems, brainstorming solutions, and troubleshooting their concepts to prepare a pitch to present in the evening. 

Guest speakers include Harper Reed, chief technology officer of former President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, head epidemiologist of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. 

Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, head epidemiologist, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center

“We’re so excited to help return some sense of purpose to students who have had their lives and education turned upside down by the pandemic,” said David Lange, program manager, Georgetown Entrepreneurship. “If our students feel empowered to help create a better ‘new normal,’ then we have done our job.”

The event will take place on Saturday, September 26, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be facilitated by Victoria Della Torre (B’12), who has hosted multiple Google Startup Weekends on in the past.

Foley and Larder LLP has provided $5,000 in cash prizes and $10,000 to be awarded to teams by the panel of judges. To register for the event please visit https://eship.georgetown.edu/DesignChallenge/