May 11-13, 2018


Events / Cleveland 2018


Friday - May 11

Doors Open
Dinner & networking (don't miss this!)
Friday night begins! We'll cover everything you need to know, let you pitch, vote on top ideas & form teams for the weekend
Wrap up!
Facilities close

Saturday - May 12

Doors open & breakfast to start the day!
Morning business/mentors arrive
Community updates - circle up and discuss progress
Afternoon Mentors arrive
Wrap up!
Facilities close

Sunday - May 13

Doors open + breakfast to start the day
Business/mentors arrive + community updates
Pitch practice and presentation tech check
Final Presentations Begin
Judging and awards
Wrap up and celebrate
Facilities close


Rushabh Seth

Manager, Enterprise Business Systems, CoverMyMeds

In his day job at CoverMyMeds, Rushabh (Shubs) analyzes financial data to gain insights and facilitate decision making, identifies different sources of revenue, and focuses on customer development. In his spare time, he helps entrepreneurs vet their business ideas, connects them to appropriate resources, and helps them increase their probability of success. By night, he follows his strong passion ... Read More »

Nicole Capuana

Head of Product Design, Convey

Nicole works on crafting innovative, impactful, technology products that deliver maximum business value and exceed users’ expectations. She has been designing software and leading teams for 1-woman startups to Fortune 100 companies for the last 18 years. Whether designing a smart household robot or making big data easily understood, she helps teams work through uncertainty and validate a product’s ... Read More »

Nichelle McCall

CEO, Bold Startups

Nichelle McCall is a speaker and Startup Strategist. Since 2007, Nichelle has provided startup advice to hundreds of entrepreneurs and startup business owners. Many of them have gone on to raise millions in early-stage funding. She has been both a funder and a business owner (three-time startup founder), so is uniquely positioned to empathize and understand what entrepreneurs need at the start of their ... Read More »


Adam Dunn

Co-Founder of Cleveland Co-Labs

Adam is an educator. Having spent the past 9 years creating community in public schools as a teacher, mentor and team leader he knows the troubles facing communities. After teaching across the country and returning to academics through the University of Pennsylvania for a Masters in Education Policy, he returned to Cleveland his hometown, to add value to the current renaissance underway. He is a past ... Read More »

Don Firca

Patent Attorney, Cooper Legal Group

Don Firca is a seasoned patent attorney with significant experience handling patent preparation and prosecution in the electrical, computer, chemical, and software related arts. Don also has experience with licensing, strategic IP counseling, IP related contract matters, and opinion work.

Don received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering in 2006 and his Bachelor of Science ... Read More »

Victoria Avi

Program Manager, CWRU LaunchNET, Case Western Reserve University

Victoria Avi is a transplant from Azerbaijan. Her family moved to the US in ‘97. Cleveland is her new and forever home. She’s had the honor and the pleasure to work with and to learn from some of the best sustainability pros in Cleveland and the nation. Currently, Victoria is managing Case Western Reserve's LaunchNET. She previously managed the Sustainable Business Center at CSU and teaching MBAs ... Read More »

Pete Martin

Founder and CEO, Votem

Pete Martin is a serial entrepreneur with 5 start-ups including several successful exits generating an average return to investors of 11 times invested capital. His current venture is as founder and CEO of Votem Corp, a revolutionary mobile voting platform designed to securely cast votes in elections across the globe using Blockchain technology. Pete has 25 years of enterprise technology & software ... Read More »

Katherine Gullett

Senior Director, The Fowler Center

Katherine Gullett is Senior Director for the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. In this role, she supports the Fowler Center staff, faculty, advisory board and student researchers. She joined the Fowler Center in 2014 and has been a part of the CWRU community since 2009. A born and raised Clevelander, she ... Read More »

Andrew Sobotka

Director of Technology, JAC Creative

Andrew is the creative problem solver and tech support manager of the group at JAC Creative. He's worked with countless systems and web languages as he continues to stay up-to-date. With his clever wit and mega-computer brain, he can find a solution to any marketing, visual, or programming need.

Sarah ‘sadukie’ Dutkiewicz

Owner, Cleveland Tech Consulting, LLC and Cleveland Tech Events

Sarah - who goes by "sadukie" in the tech community - is a platform-agnostic technologist known for helping developers understand user experience and on boarding developers into new technologies in a short period of time.  She also helps with promoting communities, engaging over social media, and helping non-technical teams understand how to work with their technical counterparts.  Sarah is a native ... Read More »

Olivia Hiles

Lead Designer and Brand Specialist, Prosper for Purpose

Olivia is the Lead Designer and Brand Specialist at Prosper for Purpose, impact-focused strategic communications agency and Certified B-Corporation. Prosper specializes in branding, marketing, PR and fundraising solutions for organizations aiming to make a positive social or environmental impact. With a history of designing for large corporations such as Verizon Wireless and P&G, as well as building ... Read More »

Mark Harwood

Staffing Executive and Practice Manager, Robert Half Technology

Mark W. Harwood is the Staffing Executive and Practice Manager for Robert Half Technology's Salaried Professional Service (SPS) division in Northeast Ohio. He has built a well-rounded, permanent team at RHT; that focuses custom application development or subject-matter-expert staff augmentation for an array of clients local to the greater Cleveland/Akron/Canton areas. They have not only consulted for ... Read More »

Joel Byler

Software Developer, CoverMyMeds

Joel is one of many amazing software engineers at CoverMyMeds. He has experience working with startups as well as large corporations in a vast

array of programming languages.  He is also the organizer for the Cleveland Ruby Brigade and enjoys participating in community events such as Cleveland GiveCamp, Startup Weekend, and Global Day of Code Retreat.  Joel is passionate about helping ... Read More »

Joshua Kruszynski

Product Designer, Complion

Joshua Kruszynski does product work for Complion. He is a board member for Rust Belt Riders and an organizer for Design Breakfast.

Fehmida Kapadia

Founder and President of Kapamed Consulting

Fehmida Kapadia is the Founder and President of Kapamed Consulting. Fehmida has 12+ years combined experience in consulting, entrepreneurship, project management, research and education. She leverages these experiences to extract meaningful insights that deliver business results for her clients. She has deep expertise in customer-focused innovation management and is passionate about helping companies ... Read More »

Danielle Doza

Danielle Doza is a Cleveland native, civic leader, and social entrepreneur. She is a licensed attorney with experience in the nonprofit sector including providing legal services for low-income community members, policy work, and nonprofit development. Danielle is a partner in Venture Forward Strategies, a company focused on developing social enterprises and improving the triple bottom line. She is also ... Read More »

Event Sponsors


Feras Deiratany is an Application Programmer at Progressive Insurance in Cleveland, with a Computer Science and Engineering degree from The Ohio State University. He is a member of the Cleveland Hub of the Global Shapers community, an international initiative of the World Economic Forum. His first participation in GiveBackHack sparked his interest in the event when he saw the impact it created within ... Read More »

Katie moved to Cleveland in 2016 as a Venture for America Fellow, and spends her workdays designing and testing software for interpretation of genetic data in cancer patients. Outside of work, she enjoys swimming in lakes and pools, reading sci-fi from the Cleveland Public Library, exploring the brewery scene, and visiting local ice cream establishments. Organizing GBH Cleveland 2017 was her first dive ... Read More »

Lindsey McEntee is fueled by a passion for social justice and love of words. After graduating from Ohio State University with degrees in marketing and English, she has been committed to applying commercial strategies to propel progressive social change. Lindsey is excited by GiveBackHack as it brings together worlds that otherwise may never interact. She has seen first hand the impact that GBH has had ... Read More »

Peter Grapentien is an iOS and Android developer for Progressive Insurance. Before picking up coding as a career, he taught English as a Second Language at Kent State and worked for various nonprofits including the now deceased Flyover Country Review magazine. As a former attendee of GiveBackHack in 2017, Pete’s excited to contribute to this year’s GBH and hopefully make it the best one yet.

Joshua Su takes social good seriously, as that is his motivation in everything that he does. Coming from Wesleyan University, where he launched a non-profit for diversity and inclusion in tech and entrepreneurship, he balances the intricacies of data, health, and innovation passionately. Joshua has a background in non-profit finance, data analytics, and health. In his downtime, you might see him playing ... Read More »

Kimberly Schonhorst is new to Cleveland and was excited to join the Give Back Hack planning committee as a way to be introduced to the issues the community sees here and to help provide a space for people to launch their social enterprise ideas. She majored in Biological Engineering and concentrated in Business and Global Heatlh at Cornell University, and currently works as a Business Analyst for BioMotiv, ... Read More »

Abby Radcliffe is the Client Solutions Director at Health Journeys Inc. She came to Cleveland to earn a Master's degree in Physiology and MBA from Case Western Reserve University and liked it so much she decided to stay! Abby is passionate about entrepreneurship and healthcare, with a background in consulting and marketing. She was first introduced to GBH Cleveland after watching the public presentations ... Read More »

Daoning Zhou's passion is in elevating businesses through aligning the business's strategy, processes, and people. He believes that as a tool, business and innovation can be harnessed to create a better world. He has three principles to social innovation: start with why; lead with people; and support with data.

Kartik Ramkumar works in the corprorate world, but loves supporting and collaborating on ideas in the social enterprise space. When he is not working or helping out with GiveBackHack, you can find him mentoring students at Minds Matter Cleveland or enjoying a hot cup of coffee. This is his first year with GiveBackHack Cleveland and he looks forward to hearing all the great ideas that are pitched and worked on!

Pre-submitted Ideas

Submit your Idea 

  • 1. Transformational T-shirts submitted by Adam Morris

    Transformational T-shirtsSubmitted by Adam Morris

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Helping disadvantaged youth find jobs / transitional employment. Working to help youth or those afflicted by homelessness, abuse, trafficking, who may not have an education or any work experience to develop skills for joining the work force.

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    I want to develop a t-shirt subscription, where each month subscribers receive a t-shirt (and possibly a card) that shares an uplifting message of social impact & community. T-shirts which are designed by local designers, but screen printed by these disadvantaged youth. The work is highly flexible, and fits well within the workforce development program they're building at Star House - we have access to the right population, and a need for work they can participate in. It both provides jobs and raises awareness of social issues... and also hopefully raising additional funds to help other social enterprises.

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?


    How you have vetted your idea and the success or difficulties you have seen thus far?

    I've been exploring my idea with colleagues for feedback... but with the intention of bringing this idea to Give Back Hack. I haven't formed any sort of team, but I have spoken with Star House, a day-center for homeless teens, about working together on the idea - an organization that I'd love to partner with.

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    I run a podcast on social change (called People Helping People :-), and am connected to both the design & social impact community in Columbus, OH. I care a lot about spreading awareness of how people can get involved. Star House is on board to try a pilot. So... I want to put together a team together to help execute, and develop a plan for how it will operate. I would love support from designers, support on whatever expertise is needed to build the correct platform for managing subscriptions, and I also want to flush out the idea with others to transform it into something really compelling and juicy. The idea started as a way that I could use my podcast to reach more people with the possibilities of how people can get involved in the world, and I'd love for the end business to fit with the podcast to reach more people.

  • 2. Resourceful submitted by Josh Graber

    ResourcefulSubmitted by Josh Graber

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Waste and inefficient use of resources, specifically electricity

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    In order to effectively change behavior, it is important to first observe current behavior and become informed. This product will observe and analyze electricity consumption patterns and provide meaningful insight into how electricity is being consumed and how it can be conserved.

    To my knowledge, there are no solutions currently that provide good insight into exactly how and when electricity is being used, offering suggestions on how consumption can be reduced.

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?

    Brand New

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    I am passionate about reducing consumption and waste so that we can have a sustainable future

    I am a software developer with exposure to machine learning, which will be a crucial part of this solution

    I have lots of experience developing successful products

  • 3. Accelerated Attendance submitted by Marissa Utterberg

    Accelerated AttendanceSubmitted by Marissa Utterberg

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Latency and human error in student attendance. This data is collected regularly (period by period in high school) and is considered to be legally binding documentation, but I can attest anecdotally to high variability in accuracy. Addressing input latency could make this data more usable regarding student safety and effective truancy intervention.

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    Collecting attendance automatically addresses the latency issue and using biometrics for this seems to be the most reliable way to ensure validity - students can not pass their fingerprint to a friend while they cut class.

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?


    How you have vetted your idea and the success or difficulties you have seen thus far?

    This idea was a finalist in the Civic Tech Pitch Competition at Data Days CLE, but no progress has been made beyond research and discussion. My background is in data science, so I would need significant assistance from the local development community, especially those with hardware or security experience. As a public school teacher, I haven't had the means to invest in hardware for a prototype from my personal funds.

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    I am uniquely positioned to address this issue out of a blend of domain knowledge and technical capability. CMSD has also shown some interest in this idea being developed. My contacts in the district have given some feedback and would like to continue to be part of the conversation moving forward.
    As I said, my background is mainly in data science (and classroom teaching), so I bring ETL pipeline knowledge to the table. My main gaps are in hardware experience, data/network security, funding, and marketing. While I have pitched this idea once before, I am currently a team of one and recognize that I will need help if this idea is going to gain ground.

  • 4. Freedom Cycle submitted by Anastasia Rokisky

    Freedom CycleSubmitted by Anastasia Rokisky

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Homelessness--enabling those in this position to gain more financial and physical freedom through the usage of a circular based bike sharing economy. Also, teaching/sharing programming with them that could aid with personal growth--topics that shouldn't be limited or only available to those who are more privileged.

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    By creating a bike-share program that encourages financial and personal growth/accountability, we can develop a self-sustainable (circular) economy for those who have financial and transportation needs.

    (1) having bikes available for use
    (2) teaching/employing the people at the shelters on how to maintain the bikes
    (3) educating them on a diverse range of topics not normally available to people in this position through custom programming on a diverse range of topics
    (4) unique opportunities for further leadership and professional development

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?

    Brand New

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    I'm a strong systems thinker that can identify gaps and create unique solutions through lateral thinking. I have a diverse background with experience/knowledge in the fields of language, philosophy, and the hard sciences. I've developed programs to improve processes and organized groups to fulfill unique needs before. Cross-disciplinary sharing is my jam. I'm super passionate about sharing and teaching to assist those in need; and I believe pulling from diverse knowledge sets to solve a problem is key. I'm a strong communicator and good at translating problems into actionable steps/human-centered solutions.

    I want to develop this idea with folks who have the belief that those in hard economic/life situations have deep roots, and IF GIVEN THE TOOLS/TAUGHT HOW TO USE THEM can grow into the tallest trees and give back in ways our community never thought possible.

    I want to meet/work with people who can help me develop the "business plan" and logistics of what this type of program/system would look like. I have zero background in the business sector, so is this idea even viable? Shrug. Is it something worth digging into? Absolutely.

    I am also MORE THAN WILLING to shift the focus if someone has a more specific or relevant focus that would better assist this community of people.

    [Side note: I also think it would be super cool to document the entire process of development and implementation so people in other cities could do the same.]

  • 5. Keeping It Simple Sobriety Support App submitted by Teresa Johnson

    Keeping It Simple Sobriety Support AppSubmitted by Teresa Johnson

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Addresses the recent spike in opiate and heroin addiction in NEO, with the possibility of later expanding to other reasons, and/or generalizing to other types of substance abuse.

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    This solution is driven by the person who is in recovery (instead of their doctor, therapist or sponsor).
    Because the features in the solution are designed by the person in recovery themselves, it will increase end user buy-in.
    It will allow the user to feel both confidence and autonomy which are both important as people in recovery tend to feel as if their lives are not within their control.

    The person in recovery can customize the app to include multiple levels of support:
    A primary level of support in which the multiple methods of support are available only to the client. Features will include a calendar, a journal, inspiration gleaned from AA, ability find meetings and support quickly
    Example features would be an alert that can be programmed to appear at the times and places that serve as encouragement.
    Example: if a person indicates in the app that they are tempted to use during certain times of the day or places they are in or near, an alert can appear to remind them of their success. (i.e “Congratulations John, you have been sober for 123 days. Remember your reasons! (The phrase refers to a feature in the app that has the person in recovery list the reasons they are working so hard on sobriety.)

    Secondary level of support that will allow their sponsors and loved ones to receive real time information about the client’s successes so they can continue to provide encouragement.
    Tertiary level of support in which case managers, therapists and doctors can receive real time information regarding the client’s successes.

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?

    Brand New

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Ohio with over ten years of experience and training working with clients who are impacted by substance abuse.

    Although there are some similar applications in existence, few of them have been designed by someone who is licensed and has master’s level training and experience in the topic of addiction.

    My practical experience has equipped me to identify possible features to be included as well as the assurance of being able to make the solution HIPAA compliant.

    I also have several contacts throughout northeast Ohio who may be willing to pilot the app. I also have grant-writing experience which could help secure funds for development.

    Additionally I am a Jr. Frontend / Software Developer who would like to focus on UX/UI and design. My strengths lie in HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

    In addition to funding, the primary resources I can identify are:
    Strong backend developers with knowledge of PHP, API access and implementation, SQL and other advanced technologies that will make the solution run in real time and interface properly.

    Additionally, I would like to have collaboration from a doctor, psychologist or psychiatrist who specializes in addiction.

    Panel discussions to discuss appropriateness of app features and to identify other areas of need that could be addressed by the solution.
    Participants to include:
    Case Managers
    People who are presently in recovery

  • 6. Stop Food Waste App submitted by Susan Porter

    Stop Food Waste AppSubmitted by Susan Porter

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Problem: Excess produce that ends up in the landfill

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    An app which will not only allow farmers (large and small) to enter excess produce they have on hand, but will also notify non-profit agencies, who provide meals to those in need, when there is available produce in their area.

    In speaking with both produce growers and meal providers, there is definitely a need to become better connected.

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?

    Brand New

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    I have a non-traditional background. After building two businesses from the ground up- the first in custom software development, and the second in the restaurant industry, I decided to pursue a degree in higher education.
    I studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. I earned my Bachelors Degree in May 2014 at the age of 56.
    Since my graduation, I moved back to the Cleveland area. I am currently working as the Interim Director of Operations for Peaceful Fruits, while I am building the foundation for my new social enterprise. My new project, "Social Sprouts", will glean second tier produce from the waste stream and re-purpose it into new food products.

    What is most needed: 1. Technical minded people who can create mobile apps. 2. Creatively minded people to help work out logistics 3. Funding to help with costs associated with hosting and maintaining a website. 4. Marketing gurus to help get the word out!

  • 7. Prove Your Move submitted by David Myers

    Prove Your MoveSubmitted by David Myers

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Motivating people to be more active through potential monetary loss. There is evidence to back this idea, as people are much more motivated by potential loss than potential gain.

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    We are going to hold people accountable with their own money on a daily basis. Other apps/ideas have tried to solve this problem via long-term goals or bets, and we want to help people form better habits by reminding them daily to get moving!

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?


    How you have vetted your idea and the success or difficulties you have seen thus far?

    This idea was first worked on at GiveBackHack Columbus 2018. We built a prototype (somewhat functional), and we started customer validation. We didn't get incredibly far, but we got a great start over the course of the weekend.

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    I am a software developer.

    I am uniquely positioned to solve this problem, because I am personally motivated to see a solution come to life. I wholeheartedly believe that people want to be more active, and I know that daily activity is one of the best ways to help make life more enjoyable as we age.

    I need people from all backgrounds but am specifically looking for designers, developers, and people to help validate this idea and build a sustainable business model.

  • 8. Parents in Motion (PIM) submitted by Chanel Williams & Charisma Curry

    Parents in Motion (PIM)Submitted by Chanel Williams & Charisma Curry

    What is the problem are you solving?

    Lack of affordable childcare transportation.

    How will this idea solve the problem?

    This idea solves the problem by creating a community of parents that can exchange rides. We are unique positioned because we approach transportation from a different safety prospective and business model that benefits everyone.

    Is this idea brand new or has it been partially-vetted?


    How you have vetted your idea and the success or difficulties you have seen thus far?

    The idea was vetted at last years GiveBackHack and continually throughout the year. PIM has had launch events and worked with JumpStart to continuing vetting and validating.

    Why are YOU uniquely positioned to solve the problem? What other people do you need to help?

    The skills I bring to the table is one from a technical perspective to make this idea technically function. However I am looking for people with technical experience, project managers, researchers, writers, designers, and anyone with a marketing background.These people and their skills are wants needed to bring this idea out in a marketable way.