DETROIT – Forbes and Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans announced the Under 30 Detroit Hackathon: Accelerating Change to bring together entrepreneurs and problem-solvers to work in tandem with the city’s private and public leaders, stakeholders and organizations to tackle systemic inequities that have been magnified by the pandemic and brought to center stage by the most recent events of racial injustice.

The collaboration between Forbes, Rocket Mortgage, the Under 30 community and Detroiters will strive to ensure the city emerges stronger and more resilient than ever before.

The series kicked off June 5 and involves three weekend-long sessions facilitated by Major League Hacking. Founded by prominent Under 30 listers, Major League Hacking will help engage problem solvers and subject-matter experts across industries, venture capitalism, public policy and more to tackle the needs articulated by Detroit stakeholders. They will be joined by world-class mentors including Kevin Systrom, Karlie Kloss, Jay Farner, Steve Aoki, Tory Burch and more.

The largest entrepreneurial effort of its kind ever convened virtually, Under 30 Detroit Hackathon: Accelerating Change will encompass every aspect associated with the signature Under 30 Summit, including incredible networking, world-class mentoring and cutting-edge ideas – with the Detroit community at the forefront leading the charge. The initiative is open-source, and the work will be available to the world so that all breakthroughs, whether a game-changing idea or a small tweak, can have a maximal global impact.

Stakeholders from Detroit will identify each week’s challenge and work collaboratively with Under 30 listers, mentors and subject-matter experts to construct positive change for the city. The teams will address the following problem areas over the month-long effort:

  • June 5 – 7: Reimagining how we can build more equitable and sustainable supply chains in order to rebound from record unemployment.
  • June 12 – 14: Sustaining and adapting small businesses, the backbone of the economy, with an emphasis on business owners and entrepreneurs of color who have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • June 19 – 21: Bridging the digital divide, which complements the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s “Changing the Course” multi-year campaign, committed to ensuring every resident has access to technology, the internet and digital literacy programming.
  • Late June: The month-long effort will be capped with a virtual celebration and finale, showcasing the work from the previous three weekends.

To solve each week’s challenge, the “Under 30 Detroit Hackathon: Accelerating Change” idea labs will draw upon the more than 10,000-strong community of Under 30 listers. Individual challenges will be based on a real-world scenario, and the ideas generated are intended to provide big, bold solutions that are realistic, thoughtful and in collaboration with Detroiters.

“We’re elevating the 2020 Under 30 Summit from a four-day event to a four-week movement,” said Randall Lane, Chief Content Officer for Forbes. “This virtual format is purposefully built in partnership with Detroit’s leaders to marshal the full power of our Under 30 community and the best minds in business. Together, we’re looking to solve issues exacerbated by the pandemic. Now is the time to regroup, reset and reimagine a new path forward and ensure that Detroit remains the world’s innovation laboratory and a model for entrepreneurship.”

Rocket Mortgage – and its affiliated companies comprising the Rock Family of Companies – have already taken massive strides to support Detroit since the onset of the pandemic through supporting 51,000 students with access to technology and internet, standing up a Covid-19 shelter for those experiencing homelessness, rent forgiveness for Bedrock tenants, direct funding for small businesses and backbone support of the City’s Covid-19 testing site by Quicken Loans and Rock Connections. Rocket Mortgage will continue to play a pivotal role in working alongside Detroiters to impact the outcome.

“We are committed to employing every resource we have to enable Detroiters to solve the unique challenges they face due to the pandemic – whether they are recent hardships or systemic issues,” said Jay Farner, CEO of Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest mortgage lender. “By bringing together the world’s most inventive young minds, passionate Detroiters and organizational leaders to work together towards the next chapter of progress, we will offer forward-looking solutions to the city we’re so proud to call home.”

“Focusing the Under 30 ‘Detroit Hackathon: Accelerating Change’ virtual event in Detroit builds on an entrepreneurial spirit and rich heritage of innovation that is continuing to drive opportunity for growth, even in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “The collaborative imperative of the event, and the impressive minds being leveraged to provide inclusive, accessible and sustainable solutions for residents and businesses across Detroit will help us to see through the challenges that were exacerbated by Covid-19 in stronger, smarter and more determined way.”

How The “Under 30 Accelerating Change” Idea Labs Work

  • Thursdays: Confirmed attendees receive an email with details for that week’s topic that is designed in partnership with Detroit community partners to address real-world needs. Attendees will begin convening via private Forbes Slack channels, where they leverage the group’s diverse skills, knowledgebase, network and areas of expertise.
  • Fridays: Each week’s idea lab kicks off with inspirational keynotes, followed by attendees brainstorming how to address the challenge at hand.
  • Saturdays: The teams spend the day working together to develop solutions. Various high-profile mentors coach the groups along and offer advice, guidance and real-world input.
  • Sundays: Each team presents their solutions to the Under 30 Community, Detroit community partners and other stakeholders.
  • Mondays: The results, including all related articles and videos, are published on Forbes.com
  • Last year, Forbes announced a three-year commitment to host its signature Under 30 Summit in Detroit. Originally slated to take place this October, the in-person summit will resume in 2021 and also be extended to 2022.

“With our new format this year, we’re also extending our signature Under 30 Summit in Detroit an additional year by staying through 2022, a testament to tremendous spirit of the city and the entrepreneurs globally who look to it for inspiration to design their own path forward,” Lane added.

Join the conversation on social with the hashtag #Under30Summit.