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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

GSA Hackathon 2019

A day focused on designing a better customer experience with and within government.

General Services Administration

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $20,000
Type of Challenge: Software and apps
Submission End: 06/19/2019 05:00 PM ET

Description

The General Services Administration (GSA) is holding a coast-to-coast hackathon on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, aimed at bettering the customer experience of products in government.

Throughout the federal government, as described in the President’s Management Agenda, improving customer experience is a top priority. Customer experience can refer to the external customers and internal customers. This hackathon, we will be focusing on both. The participants will be including the newly-released U.S. Web Design System 2.0 in their solutions.

Throughout this all-day hackathon, taking place simultaneously at eight GSA locations nationwide, participants will evaluate real-world products and iterate on ideas for making the customer experience better in GSA applications.

View a list of applications we will be hacking.

Participating Cities

  1. Boston, MA
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Ft Worth, TX
  4. Kansas City, MO
  5. New York City, NY
  6. Philadelphia, PA
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Washington, DC

What to Bring

  • A government-issued ID — you will need to go through security.
  • Your own laptop and power cord.
  • Headphones.
  • Personal water bottle, if desired.
  • Your own lunch, if desired - the hackathon schedule does not provide for a dedicated lunch break, so if you prefer to work through lunch time, please bring your own lunch. It will be time-consuming to go in and out of the government buildings.

Details by Location

The competition will start at 10:00 am, Eastern Time, simultaneously nationwide. All registered participants must arrive at their designated hackathon room location by 10:00 am, ET (or local equivalent) to be eligible to participate in the competition and win a prize. Location specific details are below. Participants should plan to arrive in a reasonable amount of time to go through all security protocol, gain entry into the building, and get settled for the day prior to the start of the hackathon at 10:00 am, ET.

All participants must register in advance and check in with Security and sign with the Protective Security Officer (PSO) upon arriving at the applicable GSA location. A U.S. government-issued ID, such as a valid driver's license or passport, is required to gain access into the building, and must be presented to the PSO upon arrival. The visitor(s) will be issued a one-day GSA Visitor Badge which must be returned when departing the building. All visitors must pass through the magnetometer, and their possessions may be x–rayed. A GSA employee must escort visitors through the hallways at all times.

For each GSA location, building entrance information and room numbers are provided below for registered participants’ convenience. Participants register for the hackathon and receive confirmation in order to access the appropriate building.

Boston, MA
Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Federal Building
10 Causeway St, Boston, MA 02222
Capacity: 60
Hackathon Run Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, Eastern Time (ET)
Participants should arrive no earlier than: 9:00 am. Public hours to the building are 7 am - 5 pm.
[Special instructions: Participant will follow all security procedures stated and be escorted by a hackathon representative to Conference Room B on the first floor.]

Chicago, IL
Ralph H. Metcalfe Federal Building
77 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604
Capacity: 27
Hackathon Run Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, Central Time (CT)
Participants should arrive no later than: 8:15 am.
[Special instructions: Participant will follow all security procedures stated and be escorted by a hackathon representative to Rooms 330 and 329.]

Ft. Worth, TX
Fritz G. Lanham Federal Building
819 Taylor Street, Fort Worth, TX 76102-6124
Capacity: 25
Hackathon Run Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, CT
Participants should arrive no earlier than: 8:00 am. Public hours to the building are 7 am - 5 pm.
[Special instructions: The building has two entrances. Participants can use either entrance and a hackathon representative will be stationed there to escort to the rooms, after the participant follows security protocol.]

Kansas City, MO
Two Pershing Square
2300 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64108-2416
Capacity: 136
Hackathon Run Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm, CT
Participants should arrive no later than: 8:15 am.
[Special instructions: The building is open to the public. A hackathon representative will escort participants to the meeting room.]

New York City, NY
One World Trade Center
New York, NY 10007
Capacity: 35
Hackathon Run Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, ET.
Participants arrive no earlier than: 9:00 am. Public hours to the building are 7 am - 5 pm.
[Special instructions: Participant will follow all security procedures stated and be escorted by a hackathon representative to Room 55S08.]

Philadelphia, PA
Dow Building
100 S Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA 19106-3400
Capacity: 15
Hackathon Run Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, ET
Participants arrive no later than: 9:00 am.
[Special instructions: The Dow Building is located on the corner of 6th and Market Streets. Participants can enter by using stairs on either Market Street side or 6th street side. Participants will come across Beer Garden to the Lobby entrance. Participants should check in at the security desk. A hackathon representative to escort them to the conference room.]

San Francisco, CA
50 United Nations Plaza Federal Office Building
50 United Nations Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94102
Capacity: 50
Hackathon Run Time: 7:00 am - 2:00 pm, Pacific Time (PT)
Participants arrive no earlier than: 6:30 am. Public hours to the building are 6:30 am - 5 pm.
[Special instructions: Please enter through the center doors facing Civic Center and UN Plaza. Participant will follow all security procedures stated and be escorted by a hackathon representative to the Oakland & San Francisco conference rooms.]

Washington, DC
U.S. General Services Administration Central Office
1800 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20405-0001
Capacity: 68
Hackathon Run Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, ET
Participants arrive no later than: 9:00 am. Public hours to the building are 7 am - 5 pm.
[Special instructions: Main entrance located on 18th & F Street NW. Participant will follow all security procedures stated and be escorted by a hackathon representative to the Conference Center Rooms 1459, 1460, and 1461.]

Questions?

Questions about the hackathon can be directed to gsacxhack2019@gsa.gov

Prizes

GSA anticipates awarding four cash prizes, for a $20,000 total prize purse: four application-specific teams will be selected in the first round of judging to be eligible for a cash prize of $2,500 and move onto Round 2 judging. Of those, one solution will then be selected in Round 2 judging, and a $10,000 grand prize will be awarded that team, for a total of $12,500. Team application projects will be evaluated in accordance with the judging criteria outlined below.  

Funding for this Hackathon will come from GSA.  Prizes will be distributed to the eligible winners via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), within 60 business days of the announcement of the winner(s). GSA will distribute the funds evenly to all team members listed in the original registrations who arrive at the Security Desk at their respective locations for the competition start time of 10:00am ET and stay for the full day (10:00a.m. - 4:00p.m. ET).

Rules

Eligibility to Participate and Win a Cash Prize

  • A participant must have registered to participate and complied with all of the requirements under 15 U.S.C. 3719 and the competition rules.
  • At the time of registration, the participant must be age 18 or older and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories.
  • Entrants in this competition agree, as a condition for receiving a cash prize, to complete and submit all requested winner verification and payment documents to GSA within three (3) business days of formal notification. Failure to return all required verification documents by the date specified in the notification may be a basis for disqualification of the winning entry.
  • Each Hackathon participant is required to register through https://digital.gov/event/2019/06/19/gsa-customer-experience-cx-hackathon/ as described in these competition rules.
  • Any violation of these rules will be grounds for disqualification from the Competition, in GSA’s sole discretion.
  • Participants will not be permitted to receive assistance, or “help,” from any entity outside of the registered participant list at the time of the event. Registered participants can help other registered participants through advice and collaboration; however, only the registered participants included in the Team will be eligible to win the prize associated with the solution.
  • All registered participants must arrive at the Security Desk of the official GSA locations listed in this document by 10:00a.m. and be present for the full day (10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. ET) in order to participate and win a cash prize.
  • Participation is subject to all U.S. Federal, state or local laws and regulations.
  • Participants must not be suspended, debarred, or otherwise excluded from doing business with the Federal Government. An individual or entity that is determined to be on the GSA Excluded Parties List on www.sam.gov, is ineligible to participate.
  • Individuals entering on behalf of or representing a company, institution or other legal entity are responsible for confirming that their entry does not violate any policies of that company, institution or legal entity.
  • As a condition of participation, all participants must agree to indemnify the Federal Government against third-party claims for damages arising from or related to competition activities. Participants are not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in the competition. By entering the contest, participants agree to hold GSA harmless from all legal and administrative claims to include associated expenses that may arise from any claims related to their entry or its use.
  • By participating in the Hackathon, each participant (individual or team member​) warrants that he or she is the sole author or owner of, or has the right to use, any copyrightable works that the solution comprises, that the works are wholly original with the participant (or is an improved version of an existing work that the participant has sufficient rights to use and improve), and that the solution does not infringe any copyright or any other rights of any third party of which participant is aware.
  • Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop competition solutions unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award.
  • Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop competition applications or to fund efforts in support of a competition entry.
  • Participants may not be a Federal entity or Federal employee.

Terms and Conditions

  • A competition solution constitutes an agreement to adhere to the competition rules and terms and conditions set forth by the contest sponsor, GSA.
  • Participants must meet the eligibility requirements described in the Eligibility section to participate and/or win a cash prize.
  • Each participant certifies, through entry to the contest, that the entry is his/her own original, creative work and does not violate or infringe upon the creative work of others, as protected under applicable intellectual property law.
  • GSA is under a strict duty not to give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.  As such, participants must agree to take diligent care to avoid the appearance of Government endorsement of competition participation and preparation of solutions. By participating in the Hackathon, Participants agree not to refer to GSA’s use of their solution in any commercial advertising or similar promotions in a manner that could imply that the GSA or the Federal Government endorses, prefers, sponsors, or has an affiliation with participant or participants’ products or services.  Participants agree that GSA’s trademarks, logos, service marks, trade names, or the fact that GSA awarded a prize to a participant, shall not be used by the participant to imply direct GSA endorsement of participant or participant’s submission. Both participants and GSA may list the other party’s name in a publicly available customer or other list so long as the name is not displayed in a more prominent fashion than any other third-party name.
  • All evaluation panel decisions are final and may not be appealed.
  • Winners are responsible for all taxes or other fees connected with the prize received.
  • GSA reserves the right for any reason, including but not limited to an insufficient number of qualified entries, to modify or cancel the competition at any time during the duration of the competition.
  • By participating in the competition, each participant agrees to comply with and abide by all Hackathon Challenge rules, terms, and conditions, and the decisions of GSA and/or the individual judges, which shall be final and binding in all respects.

Judging Criteria

10:00 am - 3:00 pm — Hacking
3:00 - 4:00 pm — Round 1 judging, winners announced
4:00 - 5:00 pm — Round 2 judging, winner announced

A full schedule for the day will be posted in the coming weeks.

Round 1

The hacking ends at 3:00 pm, ET. Each team will have an equitable amount of time to present their solutions to a judging panel of 3 to 4 federal employees and the other teams until all teams have presented. After Round 1 judging is complete and winners are announced, the winners of Round 1 will move on to Round 2 judging.

Round 2

During Round 2, one winner will be selected by a federal executive judging panel and announced at 5:00 pm, ET.

All presentations and judging will take place virtually through video conferencing software and equipment provided by GSA, and in-person at 1800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20405.

Registered participants at the eight GSA locations nationwide will be evaluated equitably and there will be no advantage given to participants who are in-person at 1800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20405 .

How presentations will work

Each team will present to a judging panel their solution for up to three minutes. In Round 1, each pool of competitors will only present and be judged against the same problem set. The judges will be evaluating each solution as if they are the application user. The round will be judged based on the following criteria with each judge independently scoring the solution on a scale of 1 to 5; for more information, please see the Round 1 Judging Form.

The judges’ scores will then be calculated into a weighted percentage as detailed below. The highest scoring solution in each problem set will be the winner.

Usability — 45 percent

All instructions and text are in plain language and written in terms that all customers can understand.

  • It’s clear to the customer where to go to accomplish the task.
  • It’s easy to find help when the customer needs it.
  • The customer can accomplish the task independently.
  • The customer can accomplish the task efficiently.
  • The customer isn’t distracted by the layout of the environment or application.
  • The new additions to the application follows the new U.S. Web Design System 2.0, to the extent feasible.

Emotional Response — 40 percent

  • The customer looks forward to completing a task in this environment or application.
  • The interaction makes the customer feel valued.
  • The customer feels supported when they need help.
  • The customer’s experience is seamless when moving between systems, people, and other touchpoints.

Two-Way Feedback — 15 percent

  • Customers know the status of their task.
  • Customers can give feedback on their experience.
  • Customers can see the impact of their feedback.
  • Customers are informed about what’s been done with their feedback.

The four application winners will then move onto Round 2 judging. Round 2 judging will consist of 3 federal employee judges and will be conducted virtually using GSA-provided videoconferencing software and in-person at 1800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20405. Registered participants at all eight GSA locations nationwide will be treated equitably and there will be no advantage given to participants who are in-person at 1800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20405. Each team will be presenting their solution to a judging panel for up to five minutes.

In Round 2 judging, the pool of competition will be the four application-specific winners from Round 1 judging. The judges will be evaluating each solution as if they are the application user. The round will be judged based on the following criteria with each judge independently scoring the solution on a scale of 1 to 5; for more information, please see the Round 2 Judging Form. These scores will then calculated into a weighted percentage as detailed below. The winner will be determined by averaging all federal employee judges scores and calculating the highest scoring solution:

Use of design best practices to improve usability and emotional response — weighted at 50 percent of overall score

  • The new additions to the application follows the new U.S. Web Design System 2.0, to the extent feasible.
  • All instructions and text are in plain language and written in terms that all customers can understand.
  • The customer’s experience is seamless when moving between systems, people, and other touchpoints.
  • The customer isn’t distracted by the layout of the environment or application.

Creativity and Innovation — weighted at 30 percent of overall score

  • The solution provides an innovative approach to solve the issues presented
  • The solution provides a new solution to the issues presented
  • The solution promotes a collaborative environment

Technical Capabilities — weighted at 20 percent of overall score

  • The solution is written in open-source software
  • The solution is feasible in the current environment
  • The solution adequately addresses the issues presented
  • The solution can be easily integrated with the application

How To Enter

Registration for this event will be accomplished online at https://digital.gov/event/2019/06/19/gsa-customer-experience-cx-hackathon/, and remain open until Friday, June 14, 2019, 12 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). The event space is limited in each location and only one registration is allowed per person. Participants will receive a confirmation email after completing the online registration. Once registration is full for a particular site, GSA will no longer accept registrants at that location and registration for that location will close. There will be no waitlist for this Hackathon. No on-site registration will be allowed.

All participants are required to check-in with Security upon arriving at the applicable GSA location.  A U.S. Government-issued ID, such as a valid driver’s license or passport, is required to gain access to GSA buildings.

As a condition of participation in the Hackathon, all participants must agree to a photo release and an agreement to perform gratuitous (unpaid) services and to waive compensation for these services through eSign provided by GSA. GSA will provide a link for participants to sign the applicable documents on June 13, 2019 at 3pm ET. If a participant is unable to sign the eSign version of the documents, upon arrival at the event registration desk, all participants will sign a paper copy of the Photo Release and Agreement To Perform Gratuitous Services and Waive Compensation.