AUSTIN, TX—The HBCU Battle of the Brains (BOTB) is a hybrid event between a “Hackathon” and a “Business Case Competition” where teams from HBCUs across the country develop a solution to a complex issue, then pitch that solution in front of Industry judges, as well as a live audience. HBCU Battle of the Brains was a weekend’s worth of official programming from its welcome reception and check-in through the Tech Tour early in the week. This event was hosted in conjunction with the South by Southwest (SXSW) film, tech, media, and music festival. Teams from universities around the country competed until the “Final Four” teams are identified. Teams were comprised of 3-5 undergraduate and graduate school students, as well as up to two optional designated student researchers. Teams that pitched live in front of an audience with crowd participation also received one of the five final votes.
One team, Florida A&M University (FAMU), was crowned 2018’s HBCU Battle of the Brains Champion. Participating teams were strongly encouraged to incorporate technology, design, policy, business and STEM components into their final business solutions. Each was judged on the following criteria:
- Analysis – ability to thoroughly articulate the technology and business value of their solution
- Business/Technology Solution – proposed solution using current and/or future technology trends
- Presentation – the ability to pitch their solution effectively to the panel of participants
- Q&A – demonstrated mastery of subject through by addressing the judge’s inquiries.
Participating teams had 24 hours to develop a solution based on the business challenges presented.
– Source and photos: HBCU Battle of the Brains