2018 Website Challenge
True North HackFest, in its 2nd year, will be hosting a Website Challenge this Spring on March 23rd & 24th.
This year we are seeking teams of 2-6 individuals interested in displaying their talents and creativity in a competition to create websites for Bemidji area non-profits – pro bono!
True North Hackfest is a collaboration of local partners led by Greater Bemidji’s LaunchPad with a mission to attract, retain, empower, and showcase technology-minded individuals in the Bemidji region.
This year’s event will showcase the web development and design talents of a variety of teams, while benefiting select area non-profits by creating useful and well-designed websites to reach their specific client base. Non-profits will have the opportunity through the application process to articulate how a new website will help their organization further their mission through use of interactive technology.
The event begins Friday, March 23 at 4:00 pm. Each design team will be paired with a non-profit through a random drawing. They will have Friday evening to work with their non-profit representatives and will continue working on the websites (with guidance as needed from the non-profit reps) through to Saturday at 4:00 pm when the judging commences. A judging panel will award cash prizes totaling $500 to the winning teams!
Deadline for the team registration is March 14th, 2018. Early bird registration through March 1st.
Non-profits interested in participating in the Website Challenge should apply no later than February 23, 2018. Notification of selection to the Challenge will be around March 5th. Applications may be found on this website. For paper applications, you may go to the Northwest Minnesota Foundation or LaunchPad.
Most Beneficial – greatest value to its non-profit $150 cash
Most Functional – best features and usability $150 cash
Best in Show – overall most impressive design $200 cash
4:00-5:00: Registration of teams, choose & setup worksite, announce challenge details, rules, schedule, etc.
5:00- 5:30: Announcement of team/non-profit assignments/meet each other.
6:00-10:00: Non-profits work with teams
10:00-?: Teams choose to work onsite or off, must be back at LaunchPad 8 am Saturday
8:00 AM: Breakfast
8:30-3:30: Continue working on website (lunch on own)
3:30-4:00: Prep for presentation to Judges – tech checks
4:00-6:00: Teams present their work to the Judges
6:00-6:30: Awards announced
Who can participate?
We welcome anyone interested in web design or its elements to participate. Youth are encouraged to join a team, with the only rule being a team must consist of a majority of adults (18 and over). This Challenge is open to amateurs and professionals. See the list of skill sets that make strong web development teams. First time participating in a Hackfest? No problem, we want you!
What if I’m new to HackFests?
True North HackFest has great opportunities for people that are new to programming. In fact, we encourage new programmers to come because hackfests provide an opportunity to gain experience. As a new programmer at True North HackFest, you will learn a lot in a short amount of time, be challenged, and build something awesome.
What if I’m not a web developer?
Programming not your thing? That’s fine! We encourage graphic designers, marketers, project managers, creative thinkers and problem solvers to participate in True North HackFest Website Challenge. The best teams have members with a variety of skill sets. Don’t want to be a participant? You can help by sponsoring the event. You can also spread the word about this event to students, friends, and media.
What web platforms can I use to build the site?
You can use any platform you want, but it needs to be uploaded or accessible via the internet prior to judging.
What are the expectations for final product?
Website teams will be charged with creating a new website, not altering or updating an existing website. Content/photos from an existing site may be copied to the new site. The client will guarantee all text, images and other artwork provided are either owned by the client or has permission to use. Teams may choose whatever platform they wish to use. At the end of the competition there is no guarantee the website will be completed and fully functional. Upon site completion, copyright for the collective work created will be assigned to the client, with the developer(s) retaining the right to display and link to the project.
Is there a place to sleep?
Go to the Visit Bemidji website for hotel listings: Visit Bemidji Website
What should I bring?
Laptop, cell phone, business cards, and maybe an extension cord.
Must we work on-site the whole time?
We ask that all participants work on their projects at LaunchPad Friday evening until 10:00, or until the non-profit reps depart, whichever comes first. Overnight, teams may choose to work where they choose, whether that is at LaunchPad, their hotel room, place of business, or elsewhere. All teams should return to LaunchPad Saturday morning by 8:00 am and work from LaunchPad for the reminder of the competition. If photos or contents is needed to be gathered off-site, this is certainly permissible.
How many people can be on a team?
We recommend working in teams of 2-6 people.
Do I need a team to sign up?
No, we will take individual registrations and form teams from the single registrants. We want teams of at least two or more, to give each non-profit a strong design team. Any individuals interested in being added to a team should contact Tiffany Fettig at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will there be food?
Yes, we want you to worry only about the challenge at hand. Friday evening a pizza dinner will be served. Saturday, juice and rolls will be available for breakfast, with light snacks throughout the day. Feel free to bring your own munchies, if you wish. We encourage you to grab lunch from one of our downtown eateries on Saturday, if you so choose. Take out/delivery menus will be made available. Beverages, pop and water, will be available throughout the competition.
Can I start working before the True North Website Challenge starts?
No, you will not know the non-profit you are paired with until Friday evening. If you want to prepare for the challenge, focus on gaining experience with and knowledge of the tools you hope to use to build your site.
How does judging work?
Teams will demo their solution to a panel of judges, who will deliberate on their favorite submissions to choose the winners. Judging will be based on criteria of creativity, usefulness, technical difficulty, and form.
Is there a registration deadline?
Deadline for the team registration is March 14, 2018. Due to the need to match teams with non-profits, we will not be able to accept late registrations. If the deadline date gets extended, we will post that on our Facebook page and this website.
Questions? Contact Tiffany Fettig
Phone (218) 444-5758