2021 Ascend Impact Challenge

Image with different healthcare scenarios: 1. Doctor with patient in office, Doctor with a family, and a team of doctor with in a hospital bed.

Learning from the pandemic, how can small businesses increase their resilience to withstand, adapt, and thrive in the face of future shocks?

Challenge Start Date

August 20, 2021

Registration Deadline


Submission Deadline

August 26, 2021

Demo Day

August 27, 2021

Winners & Highlight Video


Winners were selected on August 27, 2021 by a panel of judges. Projects were evaluated based on the judging criteria.

An EA game for each member

Second Place Winner

Apple Watches for Each Team Member
An EA Game for Each Member

Thrid Place Winner

$200 Amazon Gift Cards for Each Team Member

Crowdsource Prize Winner

$100 GrubHub Gift Cards For Each Team Member


As we look ahead to post-COVID recovery, we cannot lose sight of the impact the last 15 months have had on small businesses. The abrupt pivot in early 2020 to an almost exclusively digital economy exposed crucial vulnerabilities for many small businesses. Small scale restaurants, salons, gift shops — retailers of every type– had to reinvent themselves again and again. As a result, small businesses of every variety have adopted new business models, platforms, products and services.
Ascend invites innovative, socially conscious students and professionals from any school or industry to compete in this year’s Impact Challenge. Help us put resilience into concrete action by formulating a solution to the following challenge:

Learning from the pandemic, how can small businesses increase their resilience to withstand, adapt, and thrive in the face of future shocks?

Questions to consider might include:




August 2021

Friday, August 20, 2021

1-3pm EST

Virtual Event Kick Off. Link will be provided.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

5pm EST

Projects submission deadline. Projects should be submitted via DevPost.

Friday, August 27, 2021

2-4 pm EST

Team Presentations, Judging, Winners Announced


Submissions must reflect the original work of the project team alone. Submissions must consist of the following components:
Please adhere to the deadline for submissions above. This deadline is to give the judges time to review submissions before the competition. Submissions should be submitted via DevPost
The top 10 teams will present their submission on August 27 for the judging panel.
A video presentation is acceptable, however, at least one team member must attend the live virtual event to be available to answer questions. Teams will have a total of 5 minutes to present their idea to the judges and 2 minutes for Q&A. Your team’s 60 second video pitch may be included as part of your presentation but is not required.


Projects will be judged based on the following criteria:



Tools, Data, & IP Rights

Participants are permitted to use any commercially known open source tools. Participants are also encouraged to use their own proprietary solutions to develop creative and efficient products. If you are representing a company, your company’s proprietary software assets are also allowed to be used with the appropriate permission from your organization. Please reference the Terms and Conditions to confirm that all IP rights remain with the participant and/or the organization they are representing.
All participants must agree to the Terms and Conditions listed.


If you have any inquiries about participating in this competition, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at expeditionhacks@blueclarity.io.