1What Is Ministry of Data (MoD)?
The Ministry of Data (MoD) hosts hackathons to solve the most curious technological problems faced by Government agencies. Open to developers, start-ups, entrepreneurs, data aficionados, business analytics, and innovators for a better world, a MoD Hackathon is an opportunity to solve a real validated problem and deliver a product that has great market product fit.
2Why is it different from other hackathons?
MoD's hackathons are different from other open data government hackathons as we have a commercial focus and provide validated challenges from the agencies involved. These problems are not only challenges for West Australian Government agencies but also internationally and across other industries.
3What happens after the hackathon?
If you're not already a startup, following the event, the organisers can help foster connections with mentors, advisers, investors, potential customers and outline a pathway towards running a startup company. This year the MoD committee have started www.GovIP.com.au which aims to showcase a MoD alumni to Government Agencies and industry.
4What can I bring into the event?
You don’t have to bring all the things below however, the first four are essential. Your imagination, A friendly attitude, Team spirit, A laptop, Adapters and charging cables, Mouse & mouse pad, USB Thumb drives or external hard drives, Headphones, Phone & charger, Bluetooth adapter, USB hub, ID, A reusable water bottle, Warm & comfortable clothing (it sometimes gets a bit cold), Pens & paper (you might need this for brainstorming), Your favourite snacks (we will provide food throughout the event), Glasses (if you need them for looking at screens), and your imagination.
5What is it that you are looking for?
Ministry of Data was launched in 2017 to help diversify and grow the WA economy. We know there are superstar businesses here just waiting to be created, or existing superstar startups just waiting for that big break. We are looking anyone who just loves to solve great problems. You don't have to want to create a business from this opportunity but the pathway is there if you're interested in talking more about it.
6Can I be an observer?
Yes, however what would be better is if you could help out on the day. Get to know some people, and the MoD team. Just remember to be polite when talking to teams and try not to be too disruptive to them.
7Can the team members be remote?
Yes of course. However, we do need participants (or a representative) there part of each day to represent the team and help build that innovate energy. The hackathon itself is the opportunity for mentors to provide review, and additional insight into your solution giving you the chance to pivot or tune. We do need a minimum of half the team available in person for the Sunday pitching event.
8When will the datasets become available?
We will be releasing packages of data sets and supporting information regularly as it becomes available. All available data sets will be presented at the start of the event. The data sets will be available both online and on location. The hackathon itself is the opportunity for mentors to provide review, and additional insight into your solution giving you the chance to pivot or tune your ideas. We release our challenges early so that you have time to road test ideas, source data, and discover a unique way to approach these issues.
9How many problems can a person or team tackle?
You can tackle as many problems as you want. Some problems do complement themselves meaning you could develop a solution that fixes two problems. Remember the more you try to do that, the more you'll have to deliver.
10Can I use datasets outside of what is made available?
Yes, there is no limit on what datasets you can use. As long it's legal or you have obtained the dataset legally you are free to use whatever solves the problem. In some instances you may have to create your own unique dataset or prototype to demonstrate your solution. We release our challenges early so that you have time to road test ideas, source data, and discover a unique way to approach these issues.
11How many judges will there be on the night?
We will have a mix of 4-6 judges from industry, the innovator community and Government.
12Will experts that know the data be available?
Yes there will be mentors at the event that are subject matter experts in various fields - the hackathon is opportunity for our agency mentors to provide insight and help explain patterns or anomalies in your results. The MoD committee will tabulate questions and try act as a pathway to asking direct questions of our mentors. We do need to respect that event mentors, like many of us are also working on full time. During the event lead-up try forums and meetups that fit the challenge, use sites like quora .com to test ideas, or find government articles or papers online to understand the broader context.
13If I cannot make this one will there be another? When?
Yes. Ministry of Data will be at a minimum an annual event.
14What if I'm not in a team?
Many people attend hackathons that aren't already part of teams. At the start of the event we will hold a team building event to ensure everyone is part of a team. Get prepped and try understand a little about each of the challenges you'd like to work on.
15Who owns the IP created during the hackathon?
You do. Any solution or product you create at the event remains the property of the person or persons that built it.
16Will the agencies involved use the product I build?
Ideally... All the problems are current problems and need solutions. If you solution works, you work well as a team and the solution meets the agencies requirements then there is nothing stopping them from adopting your product. Though note, all Government agencies are different in their budgets, procurement processes, and in their ability to incubate teams. MoD is here to help you navigate this.
17If I am an observer and decide to participate can I?
Absolutely and is encouraged. If you chose to do so you will need to make your intentions known at the registration desk on the Friday Night