It’s hard to believe GiveBackHack Columbus is a wrap! For those unfamiliar with the event, GiveBackHack is a weekend of social innovation that brings community members together to create and launch sustainable solutions for social impact. GiveBackHack connects the entrepreneurial, technology, and social impact communities to learn from one another. It blends startup concepts like rapid prototyping, iteration, and risk tolerance with domain expertise in the social impact space to create the building blocks for innovation.
Participants come to the weekend with a brand new or partially-vetted idea for a social enterprise and leave with the first stages of user-validated product, business, and social impact models. Teams form to build an MVP with the support of incredible mentors and then present their idea to a panel of judges. The winners are provided with resources to move forward and launch their ideas.
Known as a launch pad for social innovation, GiveBackHack Columbus was born right here in Columbus in 2015 and has spread to cities across the country, including Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia. But what happens after GiveBackHack — and where are last year’s winners now?
Enter DACA Time, a Columbus social enterprise offering a secure online platform to ease the DACA application process for Dreamers. Co-founders, Brook Kohn and Nathali Bertran brought their vision for DACA Time to GiveBackHack 2017 where they formed a team to transform their vision into reality. After three days of mentoring by top social entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and venture capitalists, DACA Time won crowd favorite and a prize package consisting of initial funding and in-kind services to continue to product validation.
With the product concept officially launched, DACA Time continued to make its way through Columbus’ social enterprise ecosystem. The team attended and presented at the Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit the following weekend, where they formed lasting connections with Columbus’ vibrant social enterprise community. The team was awarded a coveted spot within the 2017 SEA Change Ohio Columbus cohort and is in the process of completing the SEA Change social enterprise accelerator program which pairs business professionals with socially-minded startups and accelerates new organizations to move forward further and faster.
Today, DACA Time has partnered with AWH, a local digital product consulting, user experience, and software development firm, to extend and evolve the functionality of the current web application. This project includes building a new product component known as The Evidence Timeline, which will allow Dreamers to easily and securely upload documentation that proves they were in the United States during the timeframe required for DACA eligibility. With product expansion scheduled to complete in spring 2018, and a growing list of Dreamers anxious to purchase the product, DACA Time has come a long way since its humble beginnings at last year’s GiveBackHack Columbus — and they’re just getting started.
Caitlin Zucal is the Marketing Coordinator at AWH. A graduate of The Ohio State University, she received her degree in International Studies with a concentration in Public Relations and Business. Caitlin is a passionate storyteller and enjoys combining creativity and analytical skills for the enhancement of marketing and product development.