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GlobalHack wants to help solve civic problems, not just spawn the next tech industry giant. From Oct. 21 to Oct. 23, GlobalHack VI will herald that shift in a big way as the largest civic-focused hackathon in the world. With 2,500 participants attempting to solve a critical civic technology problem while competing for a prize pool of $1 million, the organization hopes to inspire a world-changing product and shine a spotlight on St. Louis as a major player in the tech landscape.

Matt Menietti (right) has served as executive director of GlobalHack since 2015. Michael Palmer (left) joined the team in 2016 as director of youth programs. Photo by Wesley Law
Matt Menietti (right) has served as executive director of GlobalHack since 2015. Michael Palmer (left) joined the team in 2016 as director of youth programs. Photo by Wesley Law

GlobalHack VI is just one of three hackathons ever organized with a $1 million prize pool. Several civic organizations have stepped up to back the hackathon with Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business signed on as the title sponsor. The massive awards, along with ongoing mentor and training programs, is GlobalHack’s way of saying this event isn’t only a threeday commitment.

Similar to past events, GlobalHack’s team will focus on providing an intense and memorable experience for its participants, many of whom will be coming from out of town. Their hope is that the energy from GlobalHack VI continues well beyond the closing ceremony.

“We want to ensure whatever is built at GlobalHackVI doesn’t just sit on a shelf,” says executive director Matt Menietti. “We can have a lasting impact by allocating the resources necessary to implement the best solutions generated at the hackathon—and that starts with providing real incentives for individuals and teams to work with us on the implementation piece.”

Head to GlobalHack.org to for more information about the event and to register to participate—and don’t miss our feature about the program.

This story original appeared in EQ’s Summer 2016 issue.