Hack the Gap is a two-day hackathon aimed at creating a high-energy weekend where women from all backgrounds and experience levels can enjoy an accessible, approachable, positive experience.


To have fun, connect with others and challenge yourself to build a weekend project with a team. Hack the Gap is a place for women. A safe place to hack and explore and build without the headwinds of inherent bias and sexisim in tech.


Programmers! But if you don't code, that's cool, each team needs idea people, designers, data analysts, and testers, too. This event is for women and non-binary individuals who are interested in working together on a weekend project. If you're not sure if this event is for you? Get in touch with us.


Target Plaza Commons

1011 Nicollet Mall

Minneapolis, MN 55403


Sunday, January 15th, 2017

7:45 AM: Doors open for breakfast

12 PM: Lunch

1 PM: Doors open to Public for Demo Event

1 PM - 2:15 PM: Demo Pit

2:45 PM Finalists Demo on Stage

4:15 PM: Award Ceremony

5 PM: Wrap up

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

7:30 AM: Doors open for breakfast

8 AM: Kickoff, pitches and team formation

12 PM: Lunch & Workshop

3 PM: Snack

5 PM: Dinner

8 PM: Snack

10 PM: Everyone goes home to sleep

Volunteer & mentor schedules will be posted closer to the event.


prize categories

first place

Apple Watch & $100 Target Gift Card


third place

$50 SparkFun Gift Card & $25 Target Gift Card

Second Place

Revolar Personal Safety & $50 Target Gift Card


Target prize

Target will raffle off fun prizes throughout the weekend for all of the participants.


TWILIO Unicorn Award

For the most creative/surprising/ambitious/audacious hack, Twilio will present the "Unicorn Award" - $100 in Twilio credit.

Twilio Logo


  • When demoing your project, you’ll need to show your technology live, even if there are stubbed out parts of your application. Do not use PowerPoint or PDFs. 
  • Team size can range from 2 to 6 people. Prize categories won’t have more than six prizes for the winning team. Teams with less than two people won’t be able to compete, although they can still attend the event.
  • The project hack must be built at the event, not prior to the event.
  • All teams retain full ownership of what they created during the hackathon. Hack the Gap claims no rights to any of the ideas.
  • There will be no alcohol served at the event.
  • You must read and adhere to the code of conduct.
  • That’s it. Those are the rules.


The weekend hacks will be judged by the innovation of the idea and problem solution; the technical impressiveness; and the impact of the idea of community, the market or the end users. No one of these categories will have more weight than another.

There will be a panel of four judges. Each judge will rate the team presentation of the project with a 1 through 5 for each of the categories: innovation, technical impressiveness, and impact. The total score of each team will be tallied up and the four judges will decide which team takes first, second and third prize.

The Target prizes will be random chance throughout the weekend for all of the hackers.

The 2017 Judging Panel

Sharon vickers kennedy


Sharon  is the Co-Founder of Blacks in Technology - Twin Cities and Co-Organizer of Code Switch and Open Twin Cities. 

With more than 15 years of experience in the field of technology, Sharon excels at IT strategy, business and IT alignment and software design and development. She currently serves as an IT Management Consultant on assignment with the City of St. Paul.

Davis Senseman

Davis Senseman


Davis has practiced corporate law for large and small businesses for 14 years, 7 as the founding partner of Davis Law Office. Davis teaches the Business Law Clinic at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and serves as the board president for PFund Foundation, the Midwest’s only LGBTQ community foundation and as a board member of Still Kickin, a non-profit dedicated to building a braver, more supportive world.  

mana profile picture

Mana Bhatt Sanghvi


Mana is the founder and CEO of Sittereco, a word-of-mouth mobile app network focused on empowering parents, sitters, and women.  Her career spans 15 years leading businesses across a multitude of industries including banking, consumer packaged goods, ecommerce, wholesale and retail, music, and most recently, tech.  She brings extensive brand and consumer/user empathy from her marketing background, having launched products in the US, Middle East, and Asia.  Mana has a B.S. in Finance and International Business from Stern School of Business at New York University and an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Alisa Mulhair Photo

Alisa Mulhair

Alisa Mulhair is Director of Internal Innovation at Target, where she has been for 15 years as a merchant within Apparel and Home categories and in roles that were created to deliver new guest experiences and merchandising capabilities, such as launching smaller flexible format stores.

Alisa is currently focused on driving new growth opportunities at Target, particularly through partnering with internal teams to identify which problems to focus on, applying rigor around innovation processes, and connecting with the startup community to explore, test, and develop solutions. 

In addition to her passion to drive growth at Target, Alisa is also passionate about driving impact within the Minneapolis riverfront by bringing public and private sector community partners together to solve problems and unite in shaping the future along the Minneapolis riverfront.  On a Friday evening, you will likely find her at a foodie restaurant, sipping on a fine tequila, and having a great conversation & laugh with her husband, Todd.


The Mentors



Sarah Olson


Sarah Olson is an iOS Developer at Trello and Director of Women Who Code Twin Cities. She has over 18 years of experience in development, including backend, middleware, front-end and mobile technologies. 



Emi Lyman


Emi is a senior software engineer and artist into merging art and code!


Daniel Daza


Daniel is a techie and front end wiz that loves to help others. 
Daniel has been writing software professionally for a long time and is currently working with Angular 2 / .NET Web API.


Shane Ewert


Shane is a software and product geek passionate about customers, UX and building things fast. Real fast. Ex-Amazon.com and freelance technology consultant, Shane is now leading tech and helping grow @kidizen. 


Jessica Zehavi


Jessica is a senior software engineer at Clockwork where she uses her imagination and creativity to architect great solutions for her clients! In her spare time, she can be found showing her standard poodles, Jasper and Gideon (yeah, like Best in Show), crafting, or watching Star Trek.


Casie Siekman


Casie specializes in the MEAN stack and loves anything related to Javascript. Casie is currently working as a consultant at SDG, learning ReactJS and volunteer for the Twin Cities chapter of the Geekettes. In Casie's free time she likes to do yoga, cook, and drink wine.


Steve Tuckner


Steve is an independent software developer interested in giving everyone a chance to flail about in software as he does.


Kristina Durivage


Kristina is a software engineer by day, and a hardware hacker by night who lives in Minneapolis MN.


Amanda lagrange


After 6 years with General Mills in Corporate Finance, Amanda joined Tech Dump as the Director of Marketing in 2013. The MSPBJ recognized her as a 2014 Top 50 Women in Business, and she stepped into the CEO position in 2015. She continues to grow Tech Dump’s social and environmental impact with the 2016 launch of their retail store, Tech Discounts.


kevin whinnery


Kevin is a software developer from Saint Paul working in tech startups for the last 8 years. Ask Kevin for help with anything related to building and deploying web or mobile applications, or about building products for other software developers.


Matt Weber

Matt has been writing software professionally for a long time and is currently working with Angular 2 / .NET Web API.


uriah Blatherwick


Uriah is a veteran developer and small business owner. He enjoys mentoring and helping build successful teams.


ben demaree


Ben is passionate about API design and engineering, product development, and keeping it simple. And donuts. Also passionate about donuts.


Dom smith

Dom is a software engineer working on Target.com and has participated in a bunch of hackathons here in the twin cities and in Silicon Valley (and even won a few). Dom's also judged a few of the local hackathons (Hack the Heat, CodeDay).


Change Agent


Transformation Advocates


Community Connectors

Bridge Builders

coco logo

Friends of Hack the Gap

Tamara Temple

Dyanne Ostlind

Moni Francesca

Courtney Ives

Dan Chamberlain

Randall Meeker

Elektra Wrenholt

Mark Boyd

Pa Vang

26 Letters

Dana Hazen

Antoinette Smith

Laura Abend

Lisa Mabley

Tracey Zavadil

Sarah Green Toews

Laura Andersen

Justin Cardinal 

Mary Kay Parulski



Want your logo featured here?

Contact us for more info on sponsoring.