The University of Missouri – St Louis (UMSL) hosts an annual Women’s Hackathon. The event was founded by Professors Brian Lawton, Dinesh Mirchandani, and Vicki Sauter to ensure that women students of the Information Systems and Technology Department have their own space to develop technical and leadership skills. Since 2014, the event has been open to all students in the College of Business and UMSL pursuing different majors who have little or no technical experience to come, learn, and make lasting friendships. A video of the first Women's Hackathon can be viewed on YouTube. Or by clicking on the YouTube icon on the left.
In one day, more like in seven hours, students and professionals gather to compete against each other. The focus is to build a game, web app, mobile app, or desktop app for a specific theme whether it is working or non-working to present at the end of the day. Each person on the top three winning teams gets a prize at the end of the day that represented the best ideas. For an event like this, we need a strong team on the backend.
The Women’s Hackathon is solely organized and run by students with the assistance of faculty advisors. In order for the event to be successful, we need UMSL officials, participants, teams, judges, mentors/volunteers, and a planning committee. Many phases are considered when gathering wants and needs that are necessary for the Women’s Hackathon.
Certificates are provided to all participants and mentors. The top three teams are awarded as well as the mentors. Each mentor not on a winning team is provided an award for their time. Outstanding mentors are provided a special announcement.
We are open to all educational levels. Backgrounds can range from studying accounting to information systems and other subjects. No experience in a hackathon is necessary for you to join.
Every year we provide a topic/theme for the event. The teams then collaborate and create a new idea focused around the them. These creative ideas can help you place into 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place. All teams in the past have expressed creative ideas altogether.
Enjoyed the opportunity to network with my mentors and collaborate with my teammates. It made an impact on me as a whole because the experience was wonderful and beyond words. Enjoyed sharing my creative mindset with others. - Nicole Gaehle, Leader/Past Participant
It really pushed my skills to learn more about goal management and obtaining the goal. My skills grew each year as I went from prototyping in excel to accomplish having a working application. Teamwork is what helped me out. - Rebecca Craine, Past Participant