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  • Aleigh Meredith

Solving Community Problems with College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) Inaugural Hackathon

A few weeks ago Ensemble helped CSM Launch their first Community Innovation Hackathon at the CSM’s Velocity Center in Indian Head, MD. After months of design, planning, and outreach, we are ecstatic to say the event went off without a hitch! Not only were community obstacles tackled, but local innovators had a chance to collaborate, connect, and get to take advantage of CSM Velocity Center’s fantastic resources.


With the help of BrightIdea’s innovative platform, we gathered local students, scientists, and inventors from the Southern Maryland community to come together at the Velocity Center, a newly constructed community makerspace, and solve one of three community-based problems for cash prizes from a $12,000 Prize Pool. The problems they were tasked with solving included CSM’s Tech Eval Challenge, the Town of Indian Head’s Cost Coordination Challenge, and the Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Division’s (NSWC IHD) Range Testing Analytics Challenge.


Hackathon Advisor Dan Pines assisting a team with their solution. Photo Credits: Matt Poynor of NSWC IHD.


In regards to the Hackathon, Lesley Quattlebaum, the Executive Director of the CSM Velocity Center mentioned that “There are opportunities to build bridges because everyone here is local,” and that “It’s possible that the solutions these teams came up with could have real-world


implications, or that the connections being made could lead to future partnerships. We are so excited to be hosting this event because we want the Velocity Center to serve as a hub for

exactly this kind of innovation and teamwork.” In a recent article released by CSM’s newsroom that covered the event.



The Cost Coordination Challenge’s winning team, Team Old Bay, being presented with their prize of $3,100. Photo credits: Matt Poynor of NSWC IHD.


A full list of the winners of the challenge and a prize pool breakdown is listed below


First-place winners in each challenge were awarded a prize of $3,100, second-place winners received $1,600, and third place came with $1,100. The top student team also received a membership to the Velocity Center’s Makerspace.


Tech Eval Challenge:


First Place: @n0NyM0u5 H@wK$


Second Place: Team Finessed


Cost Coordination Challenge:


First Place: Team Old Bay


Range Testing Analytics Challenge:


First Place: 111%


Second Place: Tesla, But Better


Third Place: Jon Davis


It's old news that Ensemble is passionate about the potential of open innovation programs to bring talented folks from different backgrounds together to solve problems both big and small. Over the course of the hackathon, it was satisfying to see our beliefs in the power of open innovation programs for both ideating and community building unfold before our eyes at the Velocity Center.


If you want to read more about CSM’s Community Innovation Hackathon: https://www.csmd.edu/news/2022/inventors-solve-problems,-win-prizes-at-csms-first-velocityx-hackathon.html


To learn more about CSM Velocity Center: https://www.csmd.edu/about/locations/velocity-center/index.html


To learn more about our partner, BrightIdea: https://www.brightidea.com/


To learn more about Ensemble’s Open Innovation Offerings: https://www.ensembleconsultancy.com/open-innovation-offerings