Arizona Opportunity Hack GitHub

Our third annual Opportunity Hack will open at 8:00 a.m. on October 10th.  At Opportunity Hack you can network, share ideas and build solutions that enable impact and social innovation! Come with an idea or join a team that will hack solutions for any of the problem statements listed by our partnering non-profits!

Check in will be from 8:00 until 9:00 and breakfast will be served.  At 9:00 we'll have our opening keynote speaker.  

Then the fun begins!  Our non-profits will all have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to all the participants.  We'll be moving this along quickly so that we can move into team building.  You can bring a whole team, but if you don't we're pretty good at facilitating team formation.  This is the part of the program that people tend to be the most nervous about, but it all works out.  We've done it successfully a bunch of times and we'll make sure you get hooked up.

Please note that the pitch session scheduled to take place at 9:30 am is for only non-profits pitching ideas.

11:00 a.m.  It's time to get your Hack On!  You have from now until 3:00 p.m. on Sunday!  We're providing meals and snacks and support around the clock.

3:00 p.m. on Sunday it's time to let the keyboard rest.  You'll want to have your prototype and presentation ready for a three minute presentation to the judges with some Q&A.  There will be a brief intermission for scoring and then the top teams will be chosen and accolades will flow!  This will mark the end of the event and the beginning of the celebration, where we will also provide appropriate supplies.

Detailed Agenda

Saturday (10/10)
  • 08:00AM: Doors open for check-in
  • 09:00AM: Opening ceremony
  • 09:30AM: Project pitches
  • 10:30AM: Team formation
  • 11:00AM: The Hackathon begins!
  • Noon: Lunch is served
  • 02:00PM: Subject Matter Experts available (4 hours)
  • 06:00PM: Dinner is served


Sunday (10/11)
  • Midnight: Pizza served
  • 08:00AM:Breakfast is served & Subject matter experts available (3 hours)
  • Noon: Lunch is served / I can’t think straight but this tastes awesome!
  • 02:00PM: Code checked into GitHub
  • 02:45PM: Presentations submitted on DevPost
  • 03:00PM: Hackathon ends
  • 03:15PM: Judging
  • 04:30PM: Closing Keynote
  • 05:00PM: Winners are announced / Prizathon!
  • 05:30PM: Drinkathon / You’ve survived… let’s celebrate!

Find out more about Opportunity Hack 2014 here and some of the success stories here    


We are proud to be partnered with American Express and SEED SPOT.



SEED SPOT Impact Award

Short-term solves are hardly solutions, they are band-aids that are unable to effectively drive change and positively impact our community. As a result Seed Spot facilitates solutions that attack the root cause of a problem, rather than just the visible symptoms. In order to have the maximum impact these solutions should encourage the community of organizations to work together collaboratively on problems that affect different facets of the same community issues. Finally, for a solution to be truly sustainable it needs to have a well defined revenue model that allows it to thrive in the open market.


Laurie Buczek - Head of Customer Engagement for Intel Corporation

Laurie manages the organization responsible for global B2B digital experiences, lead generation strategy & enablement, social sales and omni-channel personalization.  It is a multi-year journey of leading transformation in marketing, sales, digital, social media and customer centric engagement. Over the course of her Intel career, Laurie has managed digital, product & geography marketing strategies; led a major inaugural implementation of social media externally and internal social collaboration for employees; and worked on business client, wireless, communications and embedded technology.  Prior to Intel, Laurie worked for Forrester Research and Gateway, Inc.  She is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Currently, Laurie is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Experience Matters, focused on building capacity for non-profit organizations via connecting the skills and talents of experienced adults with the diverse needs of non-profits. Laurie is a past member of the Board of Directors for The Junior League of Boston and Phoenix and spent 16 years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A.)

Judge Biographies

CJ Cornell

CJ Cornell is a serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor, mentor, author, speaker and educator.

As an entrepreneur, CJ Cornell was a founder of more than a dozen successful startup ventures that collectively attracted over $250 million in private funding; created nearly a thousand new jobs; and launched dozens of innovative consumer, media and communications products that have exceeded $3 billion in revenues.

During his career, CJ Cornell has developed technologies and products, and new ventures in the mobile industry, consumer products, media and television, software, and in health care. In 2012, he founded Propel Arizona - a pioneering crowdfunding technology platform for entrepreneurs that quickly became the largest in the southwest US, before being acquired in 2014.

Recently he was Professor of Digital Media & Entrepreneurship at ASU and Co-Director at the school’s Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, as well as ASU’s first full-time Entrepreneur-in-Residence. In 2010, he was awarded the President's Award for Innovation.

CJ Cornell is currently General Partner at Propel Ventures - providing seed capital, product development resources and advisory support to entrepreneurs with promising ideas and breakthrough technologies. He holds undergraduate degrees in engineering, a master’s in management and a Ph.D. in marketing and strategy. CJ sits on the board of 5 high-tech companies, and many public entrepreneurship and economic development committees.

Fred von Graf

Fred von Graf has been very involved with entrepreneurship and Innovation initiatives, from starting his first venture a 14,  incorporating innovation and lean methodologies in his management roles in fortune 50 corporations to teaching Ideation, Agile and Lean to corporations and foundations.  Fred is the founder of W3M a growing  software development firm located in Tempe Arizona.  Most recently he founded and ran the ASU Startup Accelerator, managing mentor programs and growing the shared services programs designed to engage community partners such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, GoDaddy, SAP, DLA Piper and others.  Fred recently left his role as a Senior Venture Manager in the ASU Office of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, to focus on W3M (and other ventures) full time.  Fred is an active angel investor, serial entrepreneur and has a passion for collaborating, connecting and educating ventures.

You can follow / reach Fred at: LinkedIn Twitter | BLOG Google Profile | W3M Website

Katie Kahl

Katie Kahle is the Director of the Chandler CARE Center, a multi-service agency providing care to uninsured Chandler youth.  Chandler CARE Center provides comprehensive medical and dental services, access to food, parenting and school readiness programs via their First Things First program.  They also help their clients navigate other services including behavioral health and WIC. Katie graduated with a bachelor and masters in Social Work from ASU, with a minor in justice studies and emphasis on Planning, Administration, and Community Practice. Before coming to the CARE Center, she was the Program and Community Development Manager at the Arizona Community Action Association and also worked at the Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness. Katie is an Arizona native and lives in Chandler with her family and her rescue dog. 

Leah Sweet

Leah Sweet is the VP, Payments & Platform Planning & Operations Team.  Prior roles at PayPal included Sr. Director of CSPD Business Operations, leading the Global Credit Expansion Program and previously driving the Site Operations Business Operations, Strategy and Replatforming functions.  Leah joined PayPal from CA Technologies where she led the consulting practice for their top integration customers.  Prior to this Leah held the position of Deputy CIO for the State of Arizona and spent more than eleven years as a VP of Technologies for American Express in senior technology leadership roles.  Her responsibilities during that time involved leading technology for online financial processing, security, compliance and identity systems as well as driving infrastructure platform development.

Leah’s current focus at PayPal is to partner with Payments & Platform and other PayPal Business Units to drive enterprise roadmap planning, payments and platform delivery and achieving the global business and technology goals.

Rick L Reinig

Rick Reinig, has served in a variety of American Express IT and Business areas including Software and Systems Architecture, New Business Venture development, Software Development, IT Operations, and End User Computing products.  He currently is a Vice President developing solutions as part of the Cloud Platform Engineering organization focusing on Continuous Delivery tooling for customers creating Mobile, Mid-Range, and Mainframe applications.

Rick has over 25 years of Information Technology experience, has a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering from DeVry.   Prior to American Express, his past positions include VP engineering (Hardware/Software) of a Neurosurgical Medical Device startup company, and Test Technician working on Military Submarine communications hardware.

Rick is also involved in his community, is an active member of the Knights of Columbus, serving many different organizations and efforts throughout the year.

David Tompkins

David Tompkins is a performing arts executive with over 30 years of executive, operations, and production management experience in the areas of non-profit performing arts, movies, television, commercial trade show, and touring music industries. Throughout his career he has helped numerous non-profit arts companies, including Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Boston Ballet, and Orlando Ballet restructure their operations, retire debt, and create a sustainable business model. Dave has worked on numerous feature films, television shows, concerts, and industrial shows, and is currently the stage manager for the annual Sundance Film Festival Awards Ceremony.

Closing Keynote

Courtney Klein - Co-Founder & CEO of SEED SPOT

Courtney Klein is the Co-Founder and CEO of SEED SPOT. Courtney has received training from United Nations UPEACE Executive Education Program for Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation and holds an undergraduate and masters degree in nonprofit management from Arizona State University.

Previously, she served as the Co-Founder & CEO of New Global Citizens, a nonprofit that empowers young people to create social change. The organization now holds a $1 million endowment at the Arizona Community Foundation, has a presence in 18 states with partner projects in 27 countries, and has impacted over 45,000 young people. Additionally, she has served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Development for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and has been a consultant on social entrepreneurship strategy for Teach for America and Grand Canyon University.

In 2013, the Phoenix Business Journal named Klein as one of the “25 Most Dynamic Women in Business.” In 2011, Splashlife Magazine recognized Klein as one of the nation’s “Top 30 Civic Leaders Under the Age of 30.” She has also been named one of Arizona’s “35 Entrepreneurs Under 35,” one of “20 Women to Change Arizona by 2020,” and one of “Arizona's Most Intriguing Chief Executives.”


See official rules. 


  1. All members of team have registered on DevPost and are added to the project submission.
  2. Links to GitHub, and video or presentation must be included in project submission.
  3. At least two members of team will be present in person for demo to judges.

Hackathon Sponsors


$9,500 in prizes

1st Place

This is a hackthon funded by raising funds and to support our non profits. But we understand prizes are still exciting. The biggest win is really the impact you will have on making the world a better place. Students from winning team will also have a guaranteed internship interview.

2nd Place Team

Second place team gets $2000 as well as guaranteed internship interviews for any students!

SEED SPOT Impact Award

The winning team wins:
A $2500 credit towards SEED SPOT programs (excluding SEED SPOT's full-time program).
- Evening Program: 12 weeks, Mondays 5:30-7pm. Designed for launch stage.
- Boot Camps: 5 days, 30 hours. Designed for rapid learning.
- 2-Day Workshops: 2 days, 14 hours. Designed for intro/basics.

DEMO DAY tickets - 2 tickets to each member of the winning team on December 10th at 6pm at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix (10 maximum).

- Overview of SEED SPOT programs:
- 2015-2016 SEED SPOT program flier:

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

  1. Join the Opportunity Hack Arizona challenge on DevPost
  2. Come to the event with a team or we will help you build a team of like minded hackers. 


Fred von Graf

Fred von Graf
Sr. Venture Manager at ASU Venture Catalyst

CJ Cornell

CJ Cornell
Professor of Entrepreneurship, Managing Director - Propel Ventures

Katie Kahle

Katie Kahle
Director of Chandler CARE Center

Leah Sweet

Leah Sweet
Vice President of Payments & Platform Planning & Operations - PayPal

Rick L Reinig

Rick L Reinig
Vice President Cloud Platform Engineering - American Express Company

David Tompkins

David Tompkins
Executive Director of Ballet Arizona

Judging Criteria

  • Scope
    How big an impact will your solution have on the community? Key things that are important are * Scale of the problem being solved * Potential reach * Productivity gains - 10 points
  • Presentation/Demo
    In order to be successful you need to be able to demonstrate and market your solution so that it can succeed long term– 10 points
  • Innovation
    Displaying innovative solutions to the problems. Do you solve the problem in a novel way? Can you create a solution that is cohesive across different areas or technologies? - 10 points
  • Accessible by the Target User Base
    It’s crucial that the target user base actually has access to the technology in question. Can you articulate the capabilities and limitations of your userbase? Does your product fit within those capabilities or work around them? - 10 points
  • Implementable
    The projects need to be able to move from "proof-of-concept" to working project. Is your architecture and technology extendable by others? Can the project be tuned to meet different or changing needs?– 10 points
  • Open Source Software
    Open source solutions allow for a wider variety of contributors to be able to improve, extend and build upon. Does your project leverage open source software or libraries? Is your project in github? – 10 points
  • Cover all categories
    All teams must get atleast 1 point in all the above categories. Getting a 0 in any one category will mean they are not eligible to win
  • SEED SPOT Impact Award
    - Long term solution - Community Impacting - Attacks the root cause of a problem - Sustainable with defined revenue model that can be used in the open market

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