#BuildFor2030 Hackathon Participant Guide

We’re excited to have you join us at the second Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Hackathon, a part of the broader Microsoft #BuildFor2030 Initiative , a call-to action to our partner ecosystem to accelerate changemaking, innovation and collective impact, in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Through this learning and community-building journey, we can accelerate innovation that makes a difference. 

Read this blog by Nicole Dezen, Chief Partner Officer, Microsoft, announcing the launch of the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon

We hope this experience ignites a spark for your next feature, solution, or service offering, creates new value for customers, and drives us forward on the path toward a more inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future.

Let’s get started…

We created this participant guide to help you have a successful #BuildFor2030 Hackathon experience.

Site Navigation:
  • Click 'Join Hackathon' on the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon page and complete all sign-in steps to get important updates throughout the hack.
  • To register and submit your project, click ‘Start Project’ on the #BuildFor2030 hackathon page.  
  • Find and network with other participants in the 'Participants' tab.
  • Access the #BuildFor2030 Skilling Library to learn more about the challenge areas and access Microsoft technical and program information in the ‘Resources’ tab.
  • Stay up to date with announcements in the ‘Updates’ tab.
  • Ask questions by posting in the ‘Discussions’ tab.
  • You can also reach Microsoft #BuildFor2030 directly via email.  

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Participant Guide Contents

  1. Build your hack team
  2. Register your team
  3. Promote your participation
  4. Hack! Generate ideas, start concepting, and build your solution
  5. Learn new skills and connect with the community. Have fun!
  6. Submit your project
  7. Bring your solution to market


Build for 2030 pixels representing the UN SDGs Build your hack team

We believe that hacking is about people coming together to focus on innovating new ideas and solutions and that every person, regardless of their background, seniority, or expertise, can have a great idea.

Think about assigning roles in your team to help develop a well-rounded approach to your hack and solution building experience. Based on learnings from other hackathons, we suggest several roles within your team: Impact Lead, Solution Lead, Build Lead, and Storyteller.

Impact Lead

You have ideas, passion, and a connection to the theme and challenge statement. You see how your solution can make a difference to the customers or beneficiaries it is intended to serve and is aligned with your organization’s purpose, industry, or customer focus. You source input and bring in or represent the perspectives of intended beneficiaries. You help define the value, outcomes, and impact your solution can create.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Researching the challenge statement and prompts.
  • Connecting with diverse external and/or internal stakeholders and individuals who represent target users for your solution to provide ideas, input, or feedback.
  • Developing a strategy to assess the potential impact of your solution.
  • Addressing impact-focused questions in the entry submission.

Solution Lead

You know that when great ideas are coupled with thoughtful execution, magic happens. 

You’re the bridge between strategy, execution, and output. You work closely with the Impact Lead to build the strategy and an execution plan that will deliver. You know how to keep solution building on track, within your unique organizational context. You ensure your team completes all checkpoints to meet the entry deadline.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Developing an execution plan aligned with the solution strategy.
  • Establishing checkpoints and deliverables to help your solution building stay on track.
  • Submitting all registration and aligning project with submission requirements.
  • Securing approvals (depending on your organization’s policies) to submit your entry. Fields that will be public are indicated within the entry submission form.

Build Lead

You are technical and understand how to deliver the vision and impact outcomes with technology. You figure out the technologies to use and build reference architecture, demos, prototypes, etc. You enjoy the challenge of building technology that is thoughtfully and inclusively designed to meet user needs. You love the hackathon... it's your time to show what you've got.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Consulting with the Impact Lead to understand intended outcomes.
  • Designing reference architecture.
  • Recording a video walkthrough of your solution.
  • Addressing technical questions within the entry submission.


You know how to put together a differentiated pitch to highlight the value of your solution to customers or intended beneficiaries. You help sell a vision of the solution that persuades others to come along on the journey. You know how to tell your solution’s story internally and externally and have the marketing savvy to work the channels to gain support and increase your solution’s visibility and impact.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Capturing the team’s learning journey and insights uncovered along the way – this is useful for your final entry submission!
  • Building the vision and narrative of your solution’s potential real-world impact.
  • Delivering a compelling presentation and video for final entry submission.
  • Creating visibility and differentiation for your team and organization. You actively promote your team and organization's work on social media and other marketing channels.

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Build for 2030 pixels representing the UN SDGs Register your team 

To help us get to know you, register your team as soon as possible by completing all 5 steps below. This will also unlock access to solution building resources and sales acceleration services.

You can edit any of your registration information up until you officially submit your final project.

IMPORTANT: Only one primary team member of your Microsoft Partner Network (or Microsoft Cloud Partner Program after Oct 3, 2022) organization should start a project for your team.

  1. Click on ‘Start Project’ to begin your registration on the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon landing page;
  2. Enter your team members under 'Manage team' stage in the submission navigation;
  3. Enter your project name and elevator pitch under 'Project Overview' stage in the submission navigation; 
  4. Provide basic information on your partner organization in the "additional information" stage in the submission navigation answering questions R1-R10;
  5. Click 'Save'. You can return to add or update your project overview and story, as well as additional submission details when you are ready to submit. 

Your saved information will appear in the ‘My Projects’ tab.

Registered partner organizations will then receive solution building resources and/or an opportunity to engage with sales acceleration services to support their business growth.

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Build for 2030 pixels representing the UN SDGs Promote your participation

After you have your team in place, share the news with your customers, partners, and other employees. Let them know about your participation! Here's some suggested social copy:

  • [Your organization] is excited to be participating in the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon! Stay tuned to learn more about our hack project. Let's build for impact together! https://aka.ms/Microsoft-BuildFor2030-Hackathon 


  • I am so excited to be a part of [your organization]'s #BuildFor2030 Hackathon team. Our project will focus on solving for [share 1-2 lines about your chosen challenge/ solution being developed]. Stay tuned to learn more about our hack project!  https://aka.ms/Microsoft-BuildFor2030-Hackathon

It’s a terrific way to engage employees and customers and create visibility into your purpose-led effort!

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Build for 2030 pixels representing the UN SDGs Hack! Generate ideas, concepts, and build your solution

As you build your team, start generating ideas and find inspiration in the #BuildFor2030 challenge areas and prompts. It's time to ask some bold questions and to tap into the passion, curiosity, and ingenuity of your team!

Here are some tips, including suggestions from colleagues and friends, to generate ideas for projects/solution building opportunities:

  • Start with YOUR area of expertise! What are the known challenges in your industry that existing customers have shared, connected to areas of social, environmental, or community impact?
  • How can you create greater access to your existing offerings? What insights can you uncover if you consider your current offerings from a lens of inclusion, equity, or sustainability?
  • Have an impact-oriented feature on the product backlog? Now is the time to dust it off and use the hack to get it into action!
  • How can you take current philanthropy/ESG efforts to the next level?
  • If your organization is already giving or volunteering with a nonprofit, find out what issues they’re facing and where your technology expertise can make a difference.
  • Leverage your network to crowdsource ideas! Reach out to customers, nonprofits, interns, students, teachers, academia, friends, and family for their perspectives on challenges they wish technology could solve.

After you have several ideas on the table, narrow down to the one best aligned with your organization’s interest and expertise. Consider feasibility in bringing to market. Then, start hacking!

HINT: Make your hack project inclusive! Remember to include avenues to gather input or feedback from the perspective of customers and users that reflect the diversity of audiences your solution can serve. 

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Build for 2030 pixels representing the UN SDGs Learn new skills and connect with the community. Have fun!

We’re on a learning and community building journey together.

We encourage all participants to make the most of the resources provided for each challenge area and the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon skilling library. This is your opportunity to learn about the UNSDGs, changemaking, responsible AI, inclusive design, the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability and Cloud for Nonprofit, and opportunities to engage with local governments to serve communities around the world.

HINT: You will be asked to attest to engaging with at least one #BuildFor2030 Hackathon skilling library resource in your submission. Be sure to note and share your learnings so they can be incorporated into your project! 

You can network and find other changemakers along your journey. Learn about participating community organizations and connect with them at their upcoming events and build your community. 

  • Black Channel Partner Alliance: BCPA is a wealth-building organization committed to accelerating the growth of Black innovators and Black-owned technology businesses through mentorship, coaching, and community.
  • International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners: IAMCP is a professional association of Microsoft partners dedicated to helping companies and individuals in the "Microsoft ecosystem” to broaden their base of business opportunities through partnering with other IAMCP members – both within their own communities and around the world.
  • The WIT Network: We are a global and local nonprofit organization providing inspiration, education, mentoring, networking and practical advice to empower women (and men) to build and grow their careers in technology and pursue their ambitions.
  • Women in Cloud : Women in Cloud is a community-led economic development organization taking collective action to generate $1B in new net economic access for women entrepreneurs and professionals by 2030 through global partnerships with corporations, community leaders, and policy makers.  
  • Voices for Innovation:  Voices for Innovation is a Microsoft-supported community of technology professionals and everyday Americans who help advance technology, IT job growth, and businesses of all sizes. As citizen advocates, we champion public policies that foster innovation, support business growth, and enable technology to address societal challenges.

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Build for 2030 pixels representing the UN SDGs Submit your project

Start with the end in mind and begin working on your project write-up early! 

Focus on describing the inspiration behind your chosen challenge, your approach to the solution, technologies used, and the impact your new feature, solution, or service will drive for your customers, users, or beneficiaries.

To prepare for your final submission, review the official rules and complete all the steps outlined below:

  • Click Start Project on the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon landing page. This will allow you to enter the submission to register your team and submit your project.
  • Submit required information for the team registration, including your PartnerID (find it at aka.ms/mpn_id). 
  • Address all required questions in the entry submission to highlight your solution's value proposition and impact. 
  • Attest to viewing/attending at least one #BuildFor2030 Hackathon skilling library resource and share learnings that were incorporated into your project.
  • Optional: Upload a 3 minute video to a public site (e.g., Vimeo, YouTube) and enter the URL in your submission. Make sure your video highlights the value of your solution being developed and how it addresses the #BuildFor2030 challenge area you chose to solve. This may include a presentation or walkthrough of how the solution works, features, target users, etc. The video is encouraged as it is helpful to the judges to grasp your vision and gives you the opportunity to explain your approach to designing your solution.
  • Upload any additional optional information you believe will be helpful to the judges (e.g., reference architecture, etc.). This information will be private.
  • Your team registration and final project must be submitted by 11:45 P.M. Pacific time zone, November 22, 2022. Do not wait until the last minute! Microsoft is unable to accept any entries after the submission deadline.

Need help with your entry submission?  Visit Discussions to get support and have your questions answered.

After you've submitted your project, public portions of the entry will be posted on the #BuildFor2030 Hackathon Projects page. Don't forget to share your amazing work by inviting customers, employees, and your network to learn about your solution!

Stay tuned for winners to be announced in January 2023!

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Build for 2030 pixels representing the UN SDGs Bring your solution to market

Once you’ve completed development, what's next? Bringing your solution to market! 

  • Tap into your benefits within the Microsoft Cloud Partner Program and ISV Success Program.
  • Continue leveraging solution building resources from the hackathon.
  • Engage with partner sales acceleration services to receive guidance on attracting new customers, positioning your solution, and selling with Microsoft.

After you've published your solution or service offering on the Microsoft commercial marketplace (AppSource and Azure Marketplace), nominate your solution to be featured with added GTM benefits in the #BuildFor2030 Initiative. We love to highlight how partners are making an impact. 

Thank you for joining us on this changemaking journey.  Good luck!


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