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Q: What is a Hackathon?

A: An event where people from a range of backgrounds with a diverse set of ideas and skills come together in a supportive setting to solve a problem or create a solution involving technology!

Q: Why use open-source initiative governing intellectual property (IP)?

A: Open source means no one legally owns or has intellectual property associated with the ideas. Using open-source software means the software uses source code available for anyone to view and contribute to. We will use the MIT license – which is one of the most open and popular. All ideas and artifacts (eg, code, documentation, etc) produced during this event will be publicly available on GitHub and open sourced under the MIT license.

  • Greater good: By making the solution available in public open source, solution teams lower the barrier for adoption of their solution by individuals and organizations across the entire world.
  • Eliminate initial intellectual property tension: The individual contributions of hackers on solution teams are not protected by traditional legal means such as NDAs, ownership, LLCs, etc. Similarly, solutions are provided as is so there is no culpability on contributors by any user.
  • Transformation: Healthcare has been slow to adopt open source, and we believe building this muscle within healthcare will help them better catch up and keep up with the rapid pace of innovation.
Q: Is my data secure?

A: Given that your contributions will be available to others on an open-source basis under the MIT license, you will need to ensure that your contributions do not reveal any content or data that are confidential or proprietary.

Q: Who should participate?

A: Healthcare is complicated and always takes teamwork. We encourage software developers and mentors to join our faculty, guest pharma marketing directors, patient advocates, and entrepreneurial health care mentors to help solve some of today’s most immediate healthcare challenges. We are looking for all of the unsung heroes and budding entrepreneurs! If you believe your knowledge or experience can contribute to these challenges, please register!

Q: What is expected of attendees?

A: You will be part of a team working to build a solution for one of our medical expert’s focus areas. Attendees are expected to actively participate in all 3 days of this virtual hackathon, bring their ideas and passion to the table, maintain a collaborative approach to problem solving, and be prepared to help improve healthcare access and delivery.

The team is going to be counting on you to be engaged and available so that everyone can be productive. Especially at this time, we understand that real-life circumstances may come up, but we hope that you will communicate with your team and do your best to contribute to the overall effort.

Q: Is there any cost to participating in the virtual hackathon?

A: No. The Whyse, in partnership with Microsoft, has donated both resources and labor to make this event possible. Hackers, coaches, and panelists are likewise contributing their time, knowledge, and skills to build solutions that will help improve patient care outcomes and care delivery.

Q: How do I participate?

A: Complete the registration, download Microsoft Teams and join the activities on Friday, June 11 at 6:30 PM EDT via the link in your registration confirmation email.

Q: Do I need an idea to participate in the hackathon?

A: You only need to come with your experience and knowledge around the topic or technology. The teams will work together to ideate creative solutions!

Q: I’ve registered. What should I do next?

A: We encourage you to get started familiarizing yourself with Microsoft Teams now. Upon registration, you will be added to 2 teams within Microsoft Teams: a Community team with full access, and the Event Space team which will have limited access until June 10. We will provide periodic updates and resources in the team’s General Channel in the weeks leading up to the hackathon. You can also join us at one of our upcoming Info Sessions to learn more about participating in or our Workshops to help power-up your innovation skills.

Q: Will there be any training?

A: Yes, in the days leading up to the event, we will be hosting several Workshops to help power-up your innovation skills: Exploring Design Thinking, Mastering Microsoft Teams, and Understanding a Minimally Viable Product (MVP). These sessions will also be recorded and made available later along with live Q&A sessions for any Hackers unable to tune in live.

Coaches are available to assist teams with problem identification and breakdown, idea development, and developing your pitch throughout the weekend.

Q: How are teams assembled?

A: The Whyse staff will assemble teams in advance of the event, based upon the topic selection at registration. The teams will work together using Microsoft Teams and have their own channels to work in. Teams will include the following:

(1) Medical Expert
(1) Pharmaceutical marketing professional
(1) Patient
(2-3) Developers
(2-3) Floating Microsoft mentors and healthcare entrepreneurs
(1) Whyse staff

Q: Do I have to stay at the hackathon the entire weekend/until it officially ends?

A: Of course, we would like you to participate in the hackathon the entire time, but we understand that circumstances may require you to only participate at certain points throughout the weekend. That is ok. Just make sure your team is aware of your schedule because they are depending on you! Your team will likely struggle if you are not clear on your availability and commitment.

Q: Can I sign up to be a virtual mentor?

A: We are providing a set of Coaches that will be available to all teams. If you have any number of skills, please join a solution team and contribute!

Q: What are the prizes?

A: There is no evaluation or judging of solutions since every solution may have the potential to improve healthcare access and delivery. By the end of the hackathon, each team will ideally walk away from the event having created a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) – a working solution that can be fast-tracked for further development and testing in a healthcare setting to help improve access to care.

Q: Why would someone participate in a hackathon if there are no prizes and hackers don’t own the IP?

A: Individuals should participate because the solutions generated during the event have significant support afterwards from the healthcare community. Regarding intellectual property rights, though the hackathon is being run under an open-source license, all development following the initial weekend can still be claimed and patented by individual teams and be the basis of successful ventures/startups. Solution teams will be able to continue to work in the initial repositories or fork the repository and continue building elsewhere under any license they want!

Q: The goal of the hackathon is to develop an MVP. What makes a good MVP?

A: A good MVP is a version of a product with just enough features to satisfy the immediate target audience and capture the feedback that will further determine the next iteration or version of the product. The MVP should: provide a clear positive impact on improving healthcare access and delivery, be able to demonstrate its initial feature(s), provide a list of known issues and likely next features, and be stored in GitHub to maximize accessibility to healthcare organizations anywhere in the world.

Q: Is it possible that the hackathon outcomes could lead to angel funding or a job?

A: The intent of this event isn’t to identify angel funding or provide job leads, but you are collaborating with others so the new relationships you form could help you in many ways. You will undoubtedly learn new, marketable skills by being an active participant. You could absolutely present your solutions to venture capital firms and the like as desired!

Q: Do I need to use Microsoft technologies and tools to solve these challenges?

A: We are utilizing Microsoft Teams to host the event kickoff and as a collaboration tool so you can participate in checkpoints, stay aware of announcements, and stay in touch with mentors. Microsoft is also providing limited use of various Azure and Power Platform tools for free during the weekend event. Having said that, if you are comfortable with other technologies to create your MVP, then you are free to pursue those. One other note: the technical mentors for this event have a wide array of skills, but because of their employment, they are most comfortable with Microsoft technologies.

Q: How do I download Microsoft Teams?

A: You can download Microsoft Teams from here: It is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Q: What if I have technical issues downloading Microsoft Teams?

A: Please reference

Q: What if I still have more questions?

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