USC Marshall and UCLA Anderson Announce ‘Hack for Hope’ Winners


For USC Marshall
Matthew Simmons,, 202-277-4890


For UCLA Anderson
Rebecca Trounson,, 310-825-1348
Paul Feinberg,, 310-794-1215

USC Marshall and UCLA Anderson Announce ‘Hack for Hope’ Winners

Unified USC-UCLA team developing 3D-printed reusable respirator masks takes home top prize


Los Angeles (April 24, 2020) — Traditional rivals USC Marshall School of Business and UCLA Anderson School of Management united earlier in April to fuel a search for solutions to problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The joint effort, an online hackathon called Hack for Hope, empowered more than 600 students and community members from both schools to help deliver 89 projects, create new connections and help make a positive contribution.

“Hack for Hope was designed to give current and former students a direct and constructive way to confront the reality of COVID-19 and help out those in our and their communities,” said UCLA Anderson alumna Dr. Elissa Grossman (’96, Ph.D. ’05), director of USC’s Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Orfalea Director’s Chair in Entrepreneurship and professor of clinical entrepreneurship at USC Marshall. “Our goal was to foster community, encourage collaboration and turn ideas into action. We were so inspired by the participants’ energy, commitment, and contributions.”

“We were very impressed by the global scope of the teams; they included undergraduates, graduate students and alumni, along with professionals from business, technology, health care, edtech and entertainment,” said Elaine Hagan (’91), associate dean of entrepreneurial initiatives at UCLA Anderson School of Management and executive director of the school’s Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. “Their ability to provide real-time solutions that have already benefited at-risk community members has given the organizers confidence that we have moved from hope to impact, for which participants should be commended.”

Each team was asked to submit a two-minute video describing the problem and their solution. Judges awarded a total of $38,500 in prize money to the most promising projects — specifically, to fund prototype development, proof of concept work or community outreach directed at students or workers in need of extra support at this time.

For additional details and to view the team videos, visit

The top teams included:

  • GOLD MEDAL ($10,000)
    • Masks for Hope (USC and UCLA): Created a sophisticated, 3-D-printed, reusable respirator mask that can be easily disinfected and is compatible with any filter. They also made their 3-D print pattern available to others with an interest in making masks.
  • SILVER MEDALS ($5,000)
    • Adoptimize (USC): Building an app that utilizes technology to automate and enhance pet photos from video, increasing adoption rates at a time when pet abandonment is expected to increase radically.
    • Harbor Health (USC): Designed and built software that works with an FDA-approved biosensor to help hospitals monitor the health of staff members to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
  • BRONZE MEDALS ($2,500)
    • Bridge (USC): Created an app that allows elderly parents and those they love to connect and help support daily needs.
    • DalyTally (USC and UCLA): Building an advanced predictive system that models pandemic spread and risk, creating actionable dashboards that can help guide resource allocation and planning.
    • Corevent (UCLA): Designed a simplified, working ventilator that can be easily mass-produced at low cost and meets the clinical requirements of treating COVID-19 patients.
    • ShieldLA (UCLA): Produced a low-cost face shield that provides full facial protection for health care professionals and essential workers on the pandemic’s front lines.
    • HaveNeed (USC): Created an app-based platform that connects those who have with those who need, enabling them to find each other when geographically proximate, and to exchange.

Hack for Hope was a call for entrepreneurs, creators, web developers, mentors and volunteers across the region to come together to identify problems arising from the crisis and create solutions. The only requirement was that at least one team member be a UCLA or USC student, alumnus, staff member or faculty member.

The event invited teams to form and solve problems caused by the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic along two tracks: Hack for Now, in which participants developed prototypes ready for rapid deployment or production, and Hack for the Future, where participants anticipated opportunities likely to emerge in the post-COVID-19 world. Teams developed ideas ranging from health and wellness, online education, communication and connections to vulnerable populations, entertainment, and small and larger businesses.

Partners in Hack for Hope included Twitter, Product Managers Association of LA (PMA.LA), the UCLA Biodesign Program, Artificial Intelligence Los Angeles (AILA) and

Follow #HackForHope @USCGreif  @USCMarshall  @uclaanderson

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world, with faculty members globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Located in Los Angeles, gateway to the growing economies of Latin American and Asia and a city that personifies innovation in a diverse range of endeavors, UCLA Anderson’s MBA, Fully Employed MBA, Executive MBA, UCLA-NUS Executive MBA, Master of Financial Engineering, Master of Science in Business Analytics, doctoral and executive education programs embody the school’s Think in the Next ethos. Annually, some 1,800 students are trained to be global leaders seeking the business models and community solutions of tomorrow.

About USC Marshall School of Business
USC Marshall School of Business is built on a promise: that rigorous intellectual inquiry and unprecedented global opportunity can combine to create an extraordinary environment. Located in the heart of Los Angeles — one of the world’s most diverse, dynamic and vibrant metropolises — and at the gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall provides an unparalleled perspective on 21st-century business.