October 2023

Events / GiveBackHack Columbus 2023


GiveBackHack is the launchpad for social innovation in Columbus.

Attend to partner up with the community and find the resources to make that idea a reality.

We kick off Friday night, where you will meet community members of all backgrounds who are eager to make an impact on the city around them. Anyone can pitch an idea on Friday night, so come prepared to pitch or take notes! Together, we identify crowd favorites and form teams around them. The rest of the weekend is spent learning the GiveBackHack process for idea validation. You will be mentored by top social entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, venture capitalists, and prominent business professionals as you vet your team’s idea and build real products — physical products, smartphone applications, websites and anything else that will innovate on the issues we face in Columbus.

Who attends? Engaged citizens, designers, developers, non-profit leaders, business professionals, entrepreneurs, change makers and more.

What do I need? A passion to make an impact on the community. Nothing else. You don’t need an idea or a specific background in order to attend. You just need to come ready to work hard to solve problems.

If you do have an idea to make an impact — awesome. You’ll pitch that and get the chance to get talented people to work with you to make it a reality.

Why should I attend?

The reasons are endless, but here are just a few:

  1. You’ll make an impact on your community by working to solve to top social issues we face through innovation.
  2. You’ll learn a lot about social issues, how to bring an idea into a well-vetted reality and how to physically build something amazing.
  3. You’ll meet an amazing community of motivated people  — people who will work with you and change the world.

What happens next? Sunday night concludes with a pitch for up to $15,000 in funding to continue to vet + validate your idea, creating impact along the way. We will help you get connected to accelerators, workshops, mentors, and more resources to see your business come to life.

Your ticket for the weekend includes:

  • World-class Design Thinking training
  • Mentorship by local social entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, venture capitalists, tech execs and more
  • The opportunity to grow and learn alongside the most incredible people in the city
  • Meals throughout the weekend
  • GiveBackHack t-shirt
  • Surprises and swag from our sponsors and community partners
  • An opportunity to change your community for the better

Where is the venue?

We are honored to partnered up with Columbus College of Art and Design as our venue partner. We will use two locations during the weekend:

  • Crane Center 3rd Floor
  • Canzani Center

Please refer to the image below!

Want to attend, but can’t afford a ticket? Email to apply for financial aid.

Refund Policy: Refunds will be granted up to 7 days prior to the event start date. Food, drink, and shirts will be ordered multiple weeks in advance, which is why refunds are difficult so close to the event. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Participation Agreement:

As organizers in your local community, we’re working hard to provide you with an experience to meet community members, interact with prominent local entrepreneurs and non-profit leaders. GiveBackHack is a community, non-profit event. The event is intended to be a collaborative forum for sharing, learning, building, and having fun. As such, by registering as a participant, you acknowledge that any ideas shared by you or anyone else over the course of the event are contributions to the overall experience and community. If you as a participant are worried about someone stealing your ideas, please reconsider your participation in the event itself or simply refrain from sharing specifics about your idea.

As a member of your community, you agree to be inclusive of any and all people and their ideas. You agree to act professionally, treat everyone with respect, and treat the facilities with proper care. You agree that you are responsible for any accidents or damages that you cause. You also agree to not hold GiveBackHack, your local volunteer team, or any of the event supporters liable for any loss, damage, injury, or any other unforeseeable incident. If the organizing team feels you are not acting within the spirit of the event, you may be asked to leave without a refund for the event.

By Participating at the event, you grant GiveBackHack permission to capture photo/video of the event.

Judges & Mentors

The list of mentors and judges will be added soon!

Sign up for our mailing list in the footer below to stay in-the-loop.

Event Sponsors


Adam is a co-founder of Wild Tiger Tees, a budding social enterprise work program for youth experiencing homelessness. (Which started as a GiveBackHack project in 2018!) He is passionate about inspiring others to get involved, and hosts the People Helping People Podcast to inspire greater social change in the world. By day, he utilizes his technology background as the CTO for Asset Strategy Group, where ... Read More »

Bob Fornal is Senior Solutions Developer (Front-End) with a passion for learning, testing, mentoring, speaking and personal growth. He is a blessed husband and proud father of two as well

Clayton is an IT Specialist for the Office of the Ohio Attorney General where he is the go-to guy for assistance with over 200 applications and systems built around protecting Ohio's families. His previous background in hospitality is fused with a passion for technology that he discovered at, of all things, a GiveBackHack event in 2016.

His mission since has been to provide resources ... Read More »

Colin is an emerging innovator in the Columbus community. He spent his time at The Ohio State University pursuing his desire to create and critically problem solve which landed him in the Columbus entrepreneurship space.
He has spent time in a variety of roles, which range from Conservation Crewmember to Idea Development and Business Strategy intern. He is passionate about helping businesses ... Read More »

Emily is a Design Thinking practitioner by day and a Social Innovation enthusiast by night. She spends her time building the social impact launchpad at GiveBackHack, coaching social entrepreneurs, and empowering communities through Design Thinking facilitation. She is passionate about leveraging systems thinking to build sustainable social solutions, creating true social impact in our communities. Previously ... Read More »

Grant loves applying his skills to create a positive impact in the Columbus community. He is inspired by the ideas brought forth at GiveBackHack, and hopes he can help bring them to fruition!  In his spare time, he enjoys music, watches sports (especially Ohio State football), goes bike riding, and plays soccer.

Lydia is an independent art director, graphic designer, and brand strategist working with nonprofits, social enterprises, and startups. She is the board chair for the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts (CSCA) and planning for impact with the organizers at GiveBackHack.

Max is a Software Engineer living in Columbus. He is thrilled by watching people drive to make great ideas a reality, especially when they are focused around compassion and community. He loves the outdoors and music.

Rachyl founded @greatercolumbusconsulting from her passion for helping small local businesses succeed. Rachyl is a lifelong Buckeye, with a degree from The Ohio State University, and 20 years of business experience in central Ohio. She has assisted executive teams in securing over $65M in funding, as well as helping businesses of all sizes create strategic goals that are realistic based on their past ... Read More »

Terry is Founder of Philosophical Entrepreneurship, an upcoming social enterprise development organization contributing to declassify the blueprints of generational wealth & financial freedom for at risk youth / future entrepreneurs. He is also a proud co-founder of Youth in Entrepreneurship and Sustainability, a Columbus-based hackathon that enables today's youth/early adults to make their own ... Read More »

Pre-submitted Ideas

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