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Expanded GDI Hacks Powered by AT&T to Benefit Local Women & Minority Owned Businesses & Nonprofits | Business

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Expanded GDI Hacks Powered by AT&T to Benefit Local Women & Minority Owned Businesses & Nonprofits
Expanded GDI Hacks Powered by AT&T to Benefit Local Women & Minority Owned Businesses & Nonprofits

The Buffalo Chapter of Girl Develop It (GDI Buffalo) will once again host the region’s only all-women hackathon, GDI Hacks powered by AT&T, and has expanded it based on the popularity of last year’s event. The event, which will take place on Saturday, November 12th, 2016 from 8 am - 9 pm at the DIG Innovation Center, will be the second all-women hackathon in the region’s history and will expand the number of participants to 70 and double the number of businesses and nonprofits that can take part to 10. During the hackathon, teams of web developers, innovators, technologists, designers and marketing experts will be challenged to provide several area women and minority owned businesses or nonprofits with new or updated websites that they otherwise could not afford or have the expertise to do on their own. Last year local companies participated in the inaugural GDI Hacks and received a new or enhanced website and all have credited the event and the women participants for improving business.

The day-long hackathon is a collaborative programming competition in which developers will be split into teams that will face off to deliver the best website in a 12 hour period.  Each team will work on one of the local women and minority owned business' websites to improve their online presence. Teams will meet with the business or nonprofit assigned that they are assigned to and learn about their digital needs, their business, and overall identity before innovating away to produce professional designed websites. Participants will then present their ideas to a panel of judges and prizes will be awarded for the most innovative and useful websites.

“At Girl Develop It we know that an outstanding web presence can have a great impact to a business. It is important to us that our Hackathon not only help our members hone their skills, but also help local non-profits or small businesses succeed. It’s a win-win,” said Lena Levine, Founder of Girl Develop It Buffalo. 

The all women Hackathon will be run as a partnership with the Innovation Center. “As the largest business incubator in Buffalo, the Innovation Center focuses on bringing together entrepreneurs and service providers for idea sharing and collaboration that leads to new business creation and growth”, said Vic Nole, Director of Business Development at Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc.  “Hosting Girl Develop It’s All-Women Hackathon is a natural fit for us.  We are proud to support the development of local small and non-profit businesses.”

All-women hackathons have become popular in recent years, mainly because they provide something very few tech companies and innovation challenges can: a place where women can hone their coding, innovation, and design skills with other women. They also offer an environment more inviting to women as co-ed hackathons are still male dominated and can discourage women from participating. All-women hackathons are important to women tech professionals, especially in the app and web development field, because it provides women an opportunity that is still too rare – to join a peer group and share their interest in technology and innovation, while networking and sharing common challenges as an underrepresented group in the tech sector.

GDI Hacks is powered by AT&T and supported by Interview Cake, Doolli, Liazon, ValueCentric, and Stark & Wayne.

“AT&T is committed to bridging the significant gender gap in the technology sector and collaborating with organizations that provide women with opportunities, skills and confidence necessary to become future technology leaders,” said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State president, AT&T. “That’s why we are so proud to again support Girl Develop It, Buffalo’s all-woman hackathon, which provides Western New York’s female population with a unique opportunity to showcase their innovation and technology skills and help women and minority owned businesses enhance their digital identity.”

AT&T’s ongoing support for Girl Develop It and its All-Women Hackathon grows out of the company’s commitment to foster local innovation by providing opportunities for entrepreneurs, technologists, makers and developers to create new technologies, despite gender, and act on ideas that could positively impact their communities and strengthen the Western New York innovation economy.  AT&T has adopted a progressive approach to innovation – one that embraces openness and encourages collaboration between entrepreneurs and professionals of all genders and backgrounds. AT&T believes women have provided a critical spark to the tech industry and, with additional opportunities, the next generation of women professionals can be the catalyst needed to accelerate innovation and economic growth.

GDI Hacks is open to women developers of all skills and levels of expertise to promote peer supported growth. GDI Buffalo is still looking for businesses to take part.  To sign up for the hackathon or for more information, visit www.gdihacks.com.



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