Earlier this year, we announced the RHoK Sustainability Project--a plan to work with Sustainability Partners who will select promising projects coming out of RHoK hackathons and support them with 6 months of incubation and mentorship, accelerating those projects on their path to deployment and real-world impact. RHoK Sustainability Partner Geeks Without Bounds has just selected the first round of projects for their accelerator! We are excited to see how these diverse projects develop and make a difference!
Cross-posted from gwob.org.
A reminder of what we’re about:
Technical people want to contribute to humanitarian response, too. Right now it’s incredibly difficult to figure out how to engage, though. We’ve had hackathons, and they’ve been great – but the projects coming out of them don’t often see full development. We think that’s a disservice to all parties involved. So we’re creating the structure on which developers and hackers can get involved – responsibly. The last thing first responders need is a tool full of promise that crashes when you need it most.
How this works:
Teams receive 6 months of mentorship in things like field relevance and pitch development. Read more here. They learn to support themselves even as they learn to contribute to humanitarian response.
How people got involved:
Teams were invited to apply at the June RHoK all over the world. We received 11 applications from 5 countries, each with a rough business plan and video submission. Our advisory boardreviewed the teams and ranked them based on ability to execute, a plan to become sustainable for the team as well as the customer base, and awareness of context.
Enough talking. Who won?
The Desk is a one-stop teacher resource center. Our Goal is to create a searchable database of Texas teaching standards (called The Key); a lesson plan bank that allows teachers to upload or search for lesson plans (called The Cabinet); and a profile-based social network that allows teachers to search for and communicate with other teachers (called The Lounge). The goal of The Desk is to help novice teachers get support and lessons to help make them better teachers and stay in the classroom, while experienced teachers get to track changing national and state standards by uploading their time-tested lessons.
BioMedLink aims to bridge the gap between device innovators, end users, and those who fund, manufacture, and distribute biomedical devices in the developing world. Despite a recent surge of innovation in biomedical devices for this audience, the existing supply chain is both highly fragmented and heavily dependent on established manufacturers and distribution networks. Improving health in the developing world requires access to affordable equipment for translational research, diagnosis, and treatment. Currently, serendipity and charisma play an outsize role in equipping users with devices. A functional supply chain that can quickly link all web-connected users with a wide range of innovative, reasonably-priced devices well-suited to their needs means better health outcomes in low-resource settings.
The aim of WaterMe is to develop a global and free to access drought monitoring and information service using NDWI data (measuring the amount of water stored in vegetation) extracted from freely available MODIS data supplied by NASA, the aim being to store the previous 10 years data and provide timely updates through a web interface using an open mapping solution, an API allowing further processing by interested parties, and an SMS gateway for use by end users using basic mobile telephony.
We’ll be reporting on the progress of the teams and also the mentoring they receive – we want many groups to benefit from this process, even if it is not specifically tailored to them. Watch this space for updates, live casts, challenges, and triumphs.
I hope it works.