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Web3 Hackaton 2.0 to start Nov. 11 at Engine-4

The Puerto Rico Blockchain Trade Association (PRBTA), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) – Blockchain Initiative, Evolving Space, and the U.S. Census Bureau, are collaborating to host the Web3 Hackathon 2.0, a technical competition where participants will develop software solutions with blockchain integrations that support the infrastructure and quality of life in Puerto Rico. 

The Web3 Hackathon 2.0 will begin Nov. 11, 2022, at Engine-4 Coworking Space in Bayamón, and will run through Dec. 4, with at least three dates for onsite meetups for teams to consult with product advisors before the hackathon deadline.

Hackers will design and develop products or platforms with integrated blockchain functionality to address the most pressing challenges facing Puerto Rico.

The PRBTA, IEEE, and Evolving Space will partner with The Opportunity Project (TOP) from Census Open Innovation Labs in the US Census Bureau to leverage TOP Puerto Rico problem statements and federal data sets in this collaboration.

The Web3 hackathon will anchor in the following problem statements/challenges: Building Community and Individual Climate Resilience. (Federal Emergency Management Agency); Helping Communities Access Infrastructure Grant Funding. (White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and U.S. Department of Commerce); and Enhancing Children’s Resilience to Adversity in Puerto Rico. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Youth Development Institute).

The Opportunity Project (TOP)​ is an innovation program led by the U.S. Census Bureau, which ​brings together technologists, government, and communities to rapidly prototype digital products using federal open data.

“We’re excited to partner with the PRBTA, IEEE and Evolving Space for this hackathon,” said Haley Miller, deputy director of The Opportunity Project, “To date, more than 1,500 individuals, 35 federal agencies and hundreds of organizations have participated in TOP, leading to nearly 175 open data tools including apps, websites, mapping tools, data visualizations, games and more.”

Meanwhile, Lorena Molina-Irizarry, senior advisor for Puerto Rico at the Department of Commerce, said “this collaboration represents an opportunity to advance and scale innovative multi-sector efforts in co-creating solutions for Puerto Rico’s economic growth, access and opportunity through technology and data; as well as building capacity and growing the civic-tech ecosystem. Creating a data culture is critical for equitable long-term recovery and resiliency.”

After six years of successful sprints, the Census Bureau is now scaling this model to put federal agency and local government partners in the driver’s seat, enabling more sprint participants to develop data-driven technology and other products, and elevating community voices in response to some of our country’s most pressing challenges.

This year specifically, they have expanded its focus, with five out of nine total sprints in the summer and fall cycles of TOP 2022 focusing on challenges facing Puerto Rico.

Anyone interested in co-creating technological or other solutions using federal open data is invited to participate; contact the Census Open Innovation Labs to learn more, schedule a briefing, or express interest in participating.

TOP seeks collaborators and sprint participants for each of the problem statements:

Tech/Product Teams — Companies, universities, nonprofits, and students who build digital products throughout the sprints.

User Advocates — Community leaders, local or national advocates, and people with direct lived experience in the target challenge who guide tech teams in designing solutions.

Product Advisors — Product experts from outside of government who advise teams in developing products sustainable after the sprints.

Data Stewards — Experts on federal open datasets who advise teams on accessing and using data.

“Hackathons are for everyone,” said Shirley McPhaul, director of CryptoCurious, who is leading organizational efforts on behalf of the PRBTA, “we want everyone to feel welcomed; from developers to artists, designers and subject matter specialists, who can bring important insights to teams and improve the quality and viability of projects just by being part of the conversation.”

Participants will have the opportunity to advance Puerto Rico’s sustainability efforts by creating blockchain-based solutions using established protocols or creating their own. Teams will present their prototypes to industry experts and other stakeholders for cash prizes and the opportunity to demo their solution at PRBTA’s December conference “BUIDL Here.”

Finally, a job fair will be hosted during the event for the participants to network and identify career enhancing opportunities on the island, supporting the local economy. Leaders in the blockchain space will be attending the event, in representation of local crypto and blockchain companies.

“Universities in Puerto Rico produce more than 26,000 STEM graduates every year,” said Edgar Cruz, director of Evolving Space, “Through bootcamps and hackathons, we plan to educate and train these graduates free-of-cost on relevant software technologies.”

The event is a sequel to the Web3 Hackathon event that united the industry, professionals, and academics in Puerto Rico for a four-day event, held this year from Aug. 25-28 with both virtual and in-person activities to promote Web3 adoption.

“Our goal is to create the workforce needed to seize this Web3 business opportunity and help grow the island’s economy to a prosperous future,” said Ramesh Ramadoss, Co-Chair, IEEE Blockchain Initiative.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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