The Tech to Protect Challenge contests bring unique importance to each of the 10 cities they’ll take place this September and November. As emergency responders on the frontlines of public safety know, protecting communities nationwide is no small task, and solutions that participants like you develop through programs like Tech to Protect have the potential to make a significant impact.
If you’re a participant in the Tech to Protect Challenge who wants to spur innovation in your community, the story you tell is critical. After all, at the end of each in-person codeathon, all participants will present their solutions for a chance to win up to $2.2 million in cash prizes and be part of catalytic change for public safety nationwide.
Her are tips for participants like you who are looking to sharpen your pitch and maximize the impact of your efforts:
Understand and incorporate the requirements of your chosen contest. Tech to Protect coding contests invite participants to create technology solutions that will aid emergency responders. Each of the 10 coding contests—with technical areas including user experience, security and location-based services—will equip participants with evaluation criteria and the expected deliverables.
These requirements include a three-minute narrated PowerPoint or video with a summary of the submission, basic information about you or your team, specific requirements of the contest chosen, visuals of your solution or prototype, and an overview of key functions included in the submission.
Who: Grab attention and establish authenticity. The start of your presentation should communicate who you and your team are, and what makes your perspective unique. If you have experience in the public safety field, this is a good time to share it. Get judges to lean forward and pay close attention by showing them your passion.
What: Convey your big idea. Now that your audience understands the problem, introduce them to your innovation. How does it work? Do you have prototypes, evidence, or images to show them how it will work? Focus on three to five specific features of your solution and connect it to how it will address the public safety challenge and attempt to solve it. aThis is your chance to use a demo or short video to visualize it.
Why: Help the audience understand the stakes. Tech to Protect’s purpose is to improve the safety of communities by creating new technology for public safety that is progressive, easy to use and dependable. Whatever contest you choose, humanize your solution by addressing the complex technology challenges emergency responders face and why you’re trying to solve it. Consider using data or real world example to get this point across.
How: Communicate your path to implementation. At Tech to Protect regional codeathons, you’ll be surrounded by problem-solvers who want to see your vision come to life. Use your pitch closing to demonstrate the impact your solution will have and what will be needed to take the solution from paper or prototype to the hands of emergency responders. What can your Tech to Protect solution become with the right resources and time? Don’t hesitate to craft that vision for those in attendance―they might be able to help make it happen!
An effective pitch could lead to your solution empowering public safety professionals to save lives and improve community safety. But an excellent pitch is only the start of your journey from the local codeathon to a national stage. Your first step is signing up and attending a codeathon near you or competing online. Don’t miss your opportunity to use your talents to win prizes and recognition while helping advance technologies and applications for public safety.