An “Under 30 Detroit Hackathon” is going virtual this year and taking on the coronavirus.
DETROIT, MI — Leaders in business, philanthropy, science and the arts from around the globe will collaborate with young leaders to develop creative solutions for issues in Detroit that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Tuesday.
Forbes and Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans said the “Under 30 Detroit Hackathon: Accelerating Change” will go virtual this year.
Forbes announced a three-year commitment last year to host its signature Under 30 Summit in Detroit. The event had been held over four days. This year’s version starts Friday and includes weekend sessions throughout June.
Detroit residents, organizations, community leaders, business leaders and others will identify each week’s challenge.
Future mobility, adapting to supply chain disruption, sustaining small businesses while emphasizing communities of color disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and looking at ways to make technology and the internet accessible to all city residents are some issues to be considered.
“Now is the time to regroup, reset and re-imagine a new path forward and ensure that Detroit remains the world’s innovation laboratory and a model for entrepreneurship,” said Randall Lane, Forbes chief content officer.
Detroit has had more than 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,300 deaths, according to the city’s health department. Unemployment in the state has surged during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order that closed most businesses in the state to slow infection rates and deaths.
Whitmer lifted that order Monday letting restaurants reopen to dine-in customers next week and immediately easing limits on outdoor gatherings while keeping social-distancing rules intact. Businesses where close contact is necessary, such as gyms, hair salons, theaters and amusement parks, remain closed.
“We are committed to employing every resource we have to enable Detroiters to solve the unique challenges they face due to the pandemic — whether they are recent hardships or systemic issues,” said Jay Farner, Rocket Mortgage chief executive.
The mortgage lender and the Rock Family of Companies already are working with Detroit’s public schools to help provide students and their families with access to the internet and technology after classrooms were shut down in March due to the pandemic.
The companies also are providing direct funding for small businesses in the city and supports the city’s effort to test residents and workers for the virus.