Each submission requires:

  • Code submission to GitHub (not required but encouraged)
  • Project submission in DevPost
  • Project demo for judges 


Projects will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Impact: How impactful will this solution be to your partner?
  • Scalability: What is the potential for scalability? How costly would this solution be to bring to scale?
  • Creativity: How original is this solution? Does it set itself apart from other solutions through innovative or non-traditional methods? Does it demonstrate outside-the-box thinking?
  • Design: How well designed is this solution, from a UI/UX (Usability) perspective?
  • Execution: How well designed and executed is the solution from a technical perspective?


With quarantining and social distancing measures in place for over almost a year now, communities everywhere have seen small businesses shutter their doors for good. Despite temporary financial support from public and private sources, the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many small businesses simply cannot survive without creating new revenue streams. Small businesses that lack technical savvy are particularly disadvantaged. Ascend challenges you to use your tech skills and business savvy to help small businesses survive, recover, and thrive again!

During this event, your team will engage intensively with your selected partner business or NGO. Your partner will present a specific problem or challenge it is currently facing and your team will have one week to create a functioning technology solution to their problem. The goal of this hackathon is for your partner to walk away with an innovative, actionable, potentially scalable technology solution in hand. While the solution may require refinement after the competition, it should be something that is relatively close to implementation.