University of Miami to Host Impact Obesity “Hackathon”
Lift1428, a Miami-based innovation, design, and strategy firm devoted to the healthcare industry, is joining the University of Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to stage a unique hackathon in South Florida aimed at tackling obesity.
Hackathons typically bring together computer programmers and others involved in software development to collaborate intensely on a given software project, but on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24, entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to join UM students and faculty and healthcare professionals to focus on a community crisis: the obesity epidemic in our diverse community. The event will be hosted by Right Space Innovation at UM’s Life Science & Technology Park, starting at 8 a.m.
Event coordinator Norma Kenyon, Ph.D., Director of the Wallace H. Coulter Center for Translational Research, Chief Innovation Officer at the Miller School, Director of the Novel Clinical and Translational Methods component of the Miami CTSI and Vice Provost for Innovation at the University of Miami, says the hackathon is designed to bring together teams that have innovative business ideas related to managing and reducing obesity.
“We want to inspire new ideas about how we can facilitate better health behavior and reduce the obesity problem facing Miami — especially in the unique cultural pockets that make up our great community,” said Kenyon, the Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Microbiology and Immunology, and Biomedical Engineering.
To help participants understand the challenges of fighting obesity, UM researchers, healthcare specialists and other experts will provide an overview of obesity in Miami’s minority populations during the first few hours of the event, and work with the teams to conceive creative solutions for managing and reducing obesity in distinct cultural settings.
Local teams who are interested in creating effective solutions and translating them into a business are encouraged to attend. Ideally, each team will arrive with a visionary or creative element, a solid development component, and a business concept.
At the conclusion of the event, the teams will present their ideas to a panel of judges who will review and rate each concept. Winning teams will receive infrastructure support, clinical and scientific mentoring, and possibly seed funding to turn their innovative idea into a business.