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Introducing: The 2015 #GiveFirst HackFest

Joining Top Tier Tech with Nonprofits

This Thanksgiving, the Colorado tech community is giving first and thanking second.

We would like to introduce to you, the 2015 GiveFirst HackFest. With the help of event coordinators QuickLeft and Techstars, the team here at AdHawk is bringing together the best dev and design talent in Boulder with local community nonprofits to build real tech, with real impact.

In the event’s inaugural year, we have 12 participating nonprofits “ranging from food donation organizations, children bike drives, and entrepreneurship development groups,” said Rob Norback, HackFest Director. The HackFest is an opportunity to give back to the organizations that embody the Techstars motto of Give First. At its core, Techstars was founded in Boulder on the principals of giving first, acting with integrity, and treating others with respect. For Natty Zola, Co-Director of the Techstars Boulder program, “Give First means helping others without expecting anything in return.” He noted that “almost no one achieves his or her goals without support from peers, coaches, mentors, friends, family, et cetera” so he sees it as his mission to instill these values in each company he works with so that they may give back to those in their communities.

Our Givefirst Hackfest Nonprofits:

1. Patriot Boot Camp is on a mission to equip active duty military members, Veterans, and their spouses with the education, resources, and community needed to be successful technology entrepreneurs




2. Wish for Wheels has given over 10,000 bicycles and helmets to students at Title I schools in Colorado. They are dedicated to bringing health and happiness to kids by making sure every kid can one day own a bicycle




Spark Boulder

3. Spark Boulder is not your average tech
co-working space. They help young entrepreneurs connect with and contribute to the Colorado startup community with professional development & internship placement for members

The ZONE Business Connection Center

4. ZONE Business Connection Center seeks to increase adult self-sufficiency by helping entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses & achieve success. Events include technical assistance workshops & 1:1 business consulting


Chosen Advocates Association

5. The Chosen Advocates Association
is a nonprofit group leading the charge against human trafficking in America by building the first Healing Center to help rehabilitate the body, mind, and spirit of trafficking victims




Boulder Food Rescue

6. Boulder Food Rescue is the needed link between the wasteful food system and those who go hungry, are homeless, or are in need of food subsidies. They redistribute would-be wasted food and educate communities about food justice


7. Roots Elementary
 Roots Elementary Schooltailors learning to each individual student by using customized personal learning plans with an emphasis on goal setting, time management, and work ethic




Rocky Mountain Active - Helping Colorado Youth


8. Rocky Mountain Active 20-30 raises awareness and funds for local disadvantaged youth through fundraising and community events. They are trying to improve circumstances for these kids by fostering leadership skills and building relationships.



9. “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder I Have a Dream Boulder FoundationCounty has been motivating and empoweringchildren from low-income communities to reach their educational and carer goals with mentorship, tutoring, and cultural enrichment since 1990




Feeding America with Boulder Community Food Share

10. Community Food Share leads the effort to end hunger in Boulder and Broomfield Counties by collecting, processing, and distributing donated food to local human service agencies who support families and those who struggle to keep food on the table




11. Women Rising WomenRisinghelps women in tech and startups connect for peer solidarity and mentorship. Once a month, members are matched with two other women at their career level to network and learn from each other



Community Fruit Rescue Boulder

12. Community Fruit Rescue is working towards a Zero Waste Boulder by organizing neighborhood harvests of urban forests. These neighborhood harvests prevent bear attraction, provide a fun adventure for families, and fill food banks, shelters, and soup kitchens with fresh fruit.

HackFest by the numbers:





Volunteers Professional Mentors Projects Projected Cups of Coffee Consumed

We couldn’t make this happen without our incredibly generous sponsors:

#GiveFirst HackFest Boulder 2015

How can you help support the mission? Spread the word!

Click-to-Tweet: This Thanksgiving, Boulder’s #GiveFirst HackFest is building mission-driven tech for 10 local nonprofits.

Are you a Developer? Sign Up to Help Out: givefirsthackfest.splashthat.com


Questions? email Bobby@tryadhawk.com


About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.