Hackathon Prompt

How has COVID-19 affected different aspects of the global economy and financial markets?


Description of Event

This hackathon is focused on analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and financial markets.

Teams will consist of 1-4 members and no technical expertise is necessary.

Teams will leverage data visualization and data analysis of economic and financial markets topics related to COVID-19. Using Python, participants will create novel charts and/or machine-learning models with MiPasa or personal datasets.

Examples include (note that some of these examples would require creating datasets not necessarily available on Mipasa. MiPasa allows for personal data set uploads.):

  • Create a “testing ramping” index, which would convey how quickly a country or state ramped up testing capacity, and evaluate the relationship between testing ramp-up speed and bolstering the economy,
  • Evaluate companies that took public money (e.g., PPP loans) versus companies that did not, based on publicly available information and equity market indicators,
  • Study the effects of vaccine/treatment updates as an indicator for stock market performance of companies, sectors, or indexes,
  • Conduct comparisons of unemployment levels to examine which countries or global industries (e.g. tourism, hospitality, energy) are being hit hardest,
  • Analyze consumer spending behaviors during lockdown (e.g., increased savings rates, decreased retail spending),
  • Examine price fluctuations through inflation and deflation in different sectors (e.g. trends in CPI, increases in grocery prices, etc.),
  • Create a “toilet paper index” (or index of PPE) that studies how the toilet paper supply chain (or PPE supply chain) was affected by the crises and see if the index could represent how other supply chains were affected.



Registration closes Friday, September 18th at 12:00 PM. Participants are encouraged to create an account with MiPasa and familiarize themselves with the platform before the hackathon begins.  There is no cost to register.


General Information

Who is running the hackathon?

The Wharton Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance is working in association with MiPasa, a multi-party, multi-source verifiable data platform built for sharing and analyzing data related to COVID19.

How do you use MiPasa?

Participants will create an account with MiPasa using an email address or LinkedIn profile. Participants can write code in Python under the code section ( Participants can also use the “Create a Dataset” function to upload their final unique dataset. Example datasets can also be seen under the dataset section of the website:

Who can participate?

We are seeking a diverse group of participants from all levels of experience, and academic and professional backgrounds. All skill sets are welcome! What really will matter the most is an individual/team’s commitment, interest, and enthusiasm to collaborate!

Do I need to be part of the UPenn community?

Absolutely not. Anyone from anywhere is invited!

Do I need any technical skills to participate?

The Hackathon is geared towards participants with an interest in coding. Basic experience in Python is helpful but not necessary. Mipasa provides a tutorial on how to use the site.

What tools/ resources will be provided?

Teams will be connected with technical resources, data sets, developer platforms and experienced mentors throughout the week to help them create, iterate, build, and develop solutions as quickly as possible. Everyone will receive a free Mipasa account to access data and a coding terminal.



We’re pleased that you can participate. Before you join in the fun, we want to be certain that you understand that your participation is subject to the below rules and parameters.

  • Attendees from all backgrounds, genders, and geographies are welcome.
  • All teams must have a team name and be registered by Friday, September 18th @ 12:00 PM. The participation period is Friday, September 18th @ 12:00 PM – Sunday, September 27th @ 12:00 PM.
  • You must be 18 years old to participate. You may be asked to provide proof of your age upon request from the Organizers. Any false claims about age will result in immediate discharge.
  • Teams can consist of at least one team member to a maximum of four members.
  • Changes to team members are not permitted after Friday, September 18th @ 12:00 noon.
  • A team can submit only one entry for the hackathon. All entries should be submitted to the hackathon before judging begins by Friday, September 25th @ 5:00 PM. Failure to submit will result in disqualification.
  • Participation at the hackathon is subjected on a “per-team” basis meaning you are not allowed to be on more than one team.
  • All prizes will need to be shared amongst team members equally. Contest prizes are non-transferable by the winner. If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting such prize.
  • All work must be original. Each submission must be original, of the respective team and team members, and must be their own creation and newly written during the Hackathon and must not have been entered in any other competition or program similar to the Hackathon.
  • No development may start before the actual date and time of the event. Any teams that violate this rule will be automatically disqualified. The first line of code should be written on or after Monday, September 21st @ 11:00 AM after the Live Opening Session and your team has registered. However, we encourage you to brainstorm ideas and create wireframes/mockups.
  • The prizes will be awarded solely based on the decision of the judging panel.
  • Any intellectual property developed during the hackathon will belong to the team that developed it.
  • Please treat all other hackers and hackathon mentors, speakers, and sponsors, with the utmost respect.  We ask that you act kindly, behave professionally, and do not insult or put down other attendees.  Remember that harassment and racist, sexist, or exclusionary jokes are not appropriate for this event. If at any point you see a fellow hacker being harassed, please contact the hackathon organizer.
  • Committee members are not eligible to participate in the hackathon. They may, however, assist teams as mentors during the coding/development phase.
  • At least one team member must be virtually present during the kickoff event, and for winning teams, at least one team member must be virtually present to present the project during the closing ceremony.
  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • Winners are solely responsible for any and all federal, state, provincial and local taxes, if any, that apply to prizes. Prize amounts listed are per team, not per person, and are in United States Dollars.
  • If a selected winner cannot be contacted, is ineligible, fails to claim a prize, the prize may be forfeited and an alternate winner may be selected from remaining valid, eligible entries timely submitted.
  • You acknowledge that the Hackathon is intended to be an event where ideas are shared freely, and therefore acknowledge that any information that you share with other participants of the Hackathon, the sponsors of the Hackathon and/or other third parties during the Hackathon is solely at your discretion and risk. If you wish to protect your information, it is solely your responsibility to implement confidentiality and security measures with respect to the persons to whom you are disclosing your information. None of the Releasees shall have any responsibility under this Agreement or by virtue of their participation in the Hackathon with respect to your information.
  • You acknowledge that if you provide the Hackathon with false or misleading information (such as your identity or status as a student), or otherwise contravene the rules and obligations set out in this document, you forfeit your right to participate in the Hackathon and/or obtain any prizes from the Hackathon. You agree that in such a case, the Hackathon may pursue any remedy in law or equity to reclaim any prize or recover any damages occurring as a result of your contravention or misrepresentation.
  • Indemnity: You agree to release, indemnify, defend and hold Sponsor and their parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, directors, officers, employees, sponsors and agents, including advertising and promotion agencies, and assigns, and any other organizations related to the Hackathon, harmless, from any and all claims, injuries, damages, expenses or losses to person or property and/or liabilities of any nature that in any way arise from participation in the Hackathon or acceptance or use of a prize or parts thereof, including without limitation (i) any condition caused by events beyond Sponsor’s control that may cause the Hackathon to be disrupted or corrupted; (ii) any claim that an Entry infringes third party intellectual property or proprietary rights; (iii) any disputes among team members, (iv) any injuries, losses, or damages (compensatory, direct, incidental, consequential or otherwise) of any kind arising in connection with or as a result of the prize, or acceptance, possession, or use of the prize, or from participation in the Hackathon; (v) any printing or typographical errors in any materials associated with the Hackathon; technical errors that may impair your ability to participate in the Hackathon; or (vi) errors in the administration of the Hackathon. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Wharton, its directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives, vendors, contractors, content partners and sponsors (collectively, “Indemnitees”) shall not be liable for any damages, losses or claims resulting from any person’s participation (or attempted participation) in the Hackathon. To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, Indemnitees are not responsible for technical problems or technical malfunction or other occurrences which may affect the operation of the Hackathon, including but not limited to: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, telephone, cable, satellite, network, electronic, wireless or Internet connectivity or other online communication problems; inaccessibility of the Hackathon site or any third party service being used in connection with the Hackathon (including but not limited to any third party websites or Internet service providers); traffic congestions on the Internet; and/or inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account, data, app or other item used or desired to be used in connection with the Hackathon). To the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, all Participants and any other individuals registering through the Hackathon site and/or attempting to participate in the Hackathon hereby release the Indemnitees from any and all claims, damages or liabilities arising from or relating to their participation or attempted participation in the Hackathon.

Note: These rules are subject to change.



For those registered hackers and teams please feel to reach out to our mentors for guidance.

Jonathan Levi (CEO of HACERA & Mipasa) {Office hours: Monday 9/21– Thursday 9/24, 2:00 PM-6:00 PM, Friday 9/25 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT}

Gari Signth (CTO of Fabric, IBM) {Office hours: Monday 9/21– Thursday 9/24, 2:00 PM-6:00 PM, Friday 9/25, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT}

Wendy Feng (CIS MSE student at Penn) {Office hours: Tuesday 9/22, 2:00 PM-6:00 PM EDT & Thursday 9/24, 2:00 PM-4:00 PM EDT }

Jordi Nonay Jordi (Engineering Student at the University of Pennsylvania) {Office hours: Monday 9/21 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM, Wednesday 9/23 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Thursday 9/24 7:00 AM – 9:00 AM  & Friday 9/25 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM EDT}


Who can be a mentor?

Mentors must be a graduate student with a background in computer science or related background in data science and statistics. Mentors should be well-versed in Python and should have a general understanding of the economic landscape.

What is expected of mentors?

Mentors are asked to provide four hours of virtual office hours where teams can join for advice. During office hours, teams can ask mentors for help with code, data visualization, cleaning data, etc.

How can you become a mentor?

Thank you for your interest in becoming a mentor! Please email us at to receive more details.



What if I have other questions that have not been answered?

If you have additional questions or press inquiries, please email:



1st prize $2,000

2nd prize $1,000

3rd prize $750

4th prize $250


Judging Criteria:

30% Technology (quality of code, technical and analytical skills demonstrated)

30% Creativity and Innovativeness (novelty of the idea)

30% Applicability and Impact to the Real World (addresses real world issues, potential to make positive impact on real lives)

10% Presentation (clarity of written submitted documents)