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Announcing the Inaugural Extra Life Hackathon at Extra Life United

At this year’s Extra Life United we’re thrilled to invite our support-base the opportunity to help Extra Life’s discover new solutions via the inaugural Extra Life Hackathon. We’re eager to create new and innovative tools that can be used by the Extra Life community to raise life-saving funds for kids treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across North America.


Over 50,000 Extra Life participants commit annually to “play games, heal kids.” These gamers have generated over $70 million USD for local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 2008. With the need of our hospitals continuing to grow, we’re looking for ways to explore untapped potential by unlocking the Extra Life community’s unparalleled passion. Hackathon presents the opportunity for the Extra Life community to not only help shape the future of the program by sharing innovative ideas, but also to engage with leaders and experts in the fundraising and gaming communities. With your help, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Extra Life are ready to level-up.

Key Success Criteria

Each submission should be aligned with one of the four below categories:

  1. Extra Life Community Management: Ideas should focus on ways to help Extra Life teams and or communities stay connected, and drive team members to be successful advocates for their local CMN hospital throughout the year.
  2. Live Stream Fundraising Tools: Ideas should focus on new tools and resources that will help content creators inspire and engage their viewers in support of local CMN Hospitals.
  3. Charity Esport Events: Ideas should focus on creating memorable experiences in local communities through gaming events that benefit local CMN Hospitals.
  4. Blue-Sky Innovation: The Extra Life community is one of the most creative and resourceful online communities to be reckoned with. If you have an idea that doesn’t fit into one of the above categories, place it within the Blue-Sky Innovation category!

Participant Incentives

The top four submissions will win an all-expenses paid trip* to attend Extra Life United in Orlando, FL from April 7-9, 2020. During their time at the event, they will be invited to present their concept to a panel of esteemed judges, who will choose an overall winner. CMN Hospitals will then allocate time and resources to further develop and test the winning idea.

What is a Hackathon?

Hackathon is a time limited event where individuals or pairs work to “hack” on a key problem, new idea, or new feature. The goal of this event is to involve the passionate and creative Extra Life community to explore ideas that haven’t been explored before. Hackathon is meant to bring value to Extra Life and help shape its growing future. To ensure your idea will bring needed value, observe what you see as challenges to Extra Life, or areas that have not been allocated the time or resources needed to grow.

Ideas will be judged by a team of subject matter experts to identify a top 15. These ideas will then be opened for community feedback and will be pared down to the top 4 ideas by the subject matter experts, in collaboration with four esteemed judges who are influential figures in the fundraising and gaming communities. These four individuals will hear the winning idea developers present in Orlando and ultimately choose an overall winner.

How do I participate?

  1. Come up with an idea to be aligned with one of these four major areas: Extra Life team management, live stream fundraising tools, charity esport events, or blue sky innovation—where the sky is the limit.
  2. Submit your idea proposal to Smart Lab between February 5 – 16.
  3. Participate in a live webinar to engage with Extra Life team and subject matter experts to help you refine or grow your idea before submission.

Hackathon submissions open on February 5, 2020. Please submit hackathon ideas here.

*Up to $2,000 USD