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Frequently Asked Questions

To put it simply, you’ll join a diverse team of equally passionate people and work on addressing a specific problem in health. You’ll have the opportunity to work with expert mentors to refine and build your idea, and at the end, each team will pitch their solution to our panel of judges. At THInC, we encourage you to capitalize on your skill set, network with like-minded people, and dive into a rapidly growing digital health space.

THInC will strongly enforce its anti-harassment Code of Conduct during the event. Please report any harassing or inappropriate behavior to a THInC staff member and it will be acted upon promptly.

Yes, THInC is a focused hackathon, with teams working towards the same goal– tackling real-world problems in healthcare. But we’re looking to reach beyond the people who typically come to hackathons and to bring in clinicians, designers, business folks and others who wouldn’t participate in the average hackathon.

While “hack” is used in the popular press to refer to unauthorized access to computer systems, that’s not at all what we’re doing here. To us, and to many others, “hacking” refers to exploratory innovation – to rapidly building new solutions by combining existing technology, new ideas, and expert domain knowledge.

We welcome anyone who’s passionate about improving health to join us at THInc, whether or not you have any experience in medicine, technology or business. On the first day of the challenge, you’ll join a team of individuals with diverse backgrounds and everyone will find their role in bringing your team’s ideas to life.

Yes. Our registration fees are very low – $15 for both students and non-students. Your fee includes a t-shirt, event and sponsor swag, and meals from dinner Friday evening to Sunday lunch and an afternoon snack. If you need financial assistance, please contact and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!

There is short questionnaire that asks about your skills and experience to assure there will be a diverse group of passionate THInCers. We also ask about any health care technology issues you have experienced to make sure we have a wealth of problems for you to solve. You should not worry about acceptance though, as long as you show your interest in THInC!

Yes, we welcome anyone to come observe the Friday idea pitches and the Sunday final pitches at no charge. In addition, we need volunteers help us before and during the event – email us at if you’re interested in volunteering (there’s a t-shirt and free food in it for you!).

No, we encourage participants to come hear about all the project ideas, and then find the team that’s the best fit for you, whether it’s with old friends or with new!

Teams will form during two rounds of idea pitches on Friday night. In the first round, anyone can pitch (for 60 seconds) a problem in health that they want to tackle. You’ll then have 30 minutes to chat with anyone you’re interested in working in and begin to form teams and plot out your solution. The second round of pitches is solution-based – anyone who wants to pitch can describe, in 60 seconds, what they want to build and who else they need (developers, clinicians, lawyers, business people, etc.) on their team to make it happen.  After the second round, we’ll all vote on the best ideas that will be tackled over the weekend.

We expect all participants to be onsite Friday evening after 6pm, all day Saturday, and Sunday until 5pm. If you can’t make it on Friday, or need to leave early on Sunday, we can accommodate that, but you must be able to commit to participating all day Saturday and into Sunday afternoon. We don’t require or expect teams to stay overnight working on their projects. However, if teams do want to stay overnight, that is certainly an option!

If you can’t make it for Friday night, you can still participate! Each team will submit a summary of their project on Saturday morning, and anyone who’s just arrived can pick a team to work with. Teams must register and be finalized before lunch on Saturday

Definitely not! We welcome anyone who’s passionate about improving healthcare, whether you’re from the Triangle, North Carolina, or beyond.

Yes. We encourage you to build a new team around a particular project, but if you have a couple other folks you want to work with, you’re welcome to come together! We require that all teams/projects be open to anyone who wants to join them, so you cannot restrict your project to just your pre-formed team.

You’re welcome to tackle any project related to health or healthcare. When selecting a project to pitch or to work on, remember that you should pick something for which you and your team can develop a prototype technological solution (typically an app, a website-based service, or a relatively simple physical device) within 48 hours.

Yes, we encourage all participants to pitch your problems or projects in the pitches on Friday evening. If your project is selected by the audience, then you can form a team to work on tackling it. We require that all teams/projects be open to anyone who wants to join them. In addition, you cannot work on a project that is already in development, or protected by someone else’s intellectual property.

We’ll provide all your meals and snacks while you’re here, from dinner on Friday night through lunch and a late snack on Sunday. And don’t worry, it won’t all be pizza – we’re excited to be bringing in some local favorites. Throughout the weekend, we’ll also have snacks, drinks and coffee available on the 6th floor. If you have specific dietary restrictions, please let us know when you register, and we will try our best to accommodate them!

We’ll provide basic prototyping materials (notepads, markers, sticky notes, etc.) to help you build your ideas and plan out your solution. We’ll also ensure access to reliable Wi-Fi and power supplies in all work spaces. If you’re building a hardware solution or physical device, we will have some resources to help you — Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, 3D printers, etc. If you have something specific in mind, let us know in advance (ideally) or when you start working on your project, and we’ll see what we can do!

Parking will be available at several places on Duke’s campus. Closer to the event, we’ll post a map with directions and specific parking locations marked. We will also coordinate carpools for students coming from UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State University.

It’s up to your team to decide ownership of your ideas. Note that each participant’s university or employer may have specific policies about IP ownership and each participant remains bound by those policies. Our Participation Agreement contains an IP statement to this effect and all participants will be required to sign this agreement at check-in.

Official judging criteria will be announced before the start of the event. In general terms, teams will be judged on:

  • Selection of “pain point” or problem in health/healthcare
  • How well your solution addresses your selected “pain point”
  • Progress made towards a functioning prototype of your solution
  • Feasibility/scalability of your solution
  • Business plan for developing and commercializing your solution