Weekend Challenges

Over the weekends, SSI hosts company-sponsored weekend challenges. Weekend challenges are hackathon-style competitions in which students are given the chance to compete in challenges designed around a specific problem a company sponsor has faced in the past. Each challenge is designed to help students develop valuable practical skills in a variety of fields, including networking, finance, and design.

Top submissions for each challenge are recognized, and winning students are invited to a virtual dinner with the company CEO/founder. Please see a list of the 2021 company sponsors below.

Challenge Sponsors

Kalshi

Kalshi allows people to trade on event outcomes, from whether Brexit will happen this year to whether it will rain in NYC tomorrow. The mission of the company is to allow users to capitalize on their opinions and to trade in the domain of everyday knowledge. The company is developing a new asset class called “event contracts” and a financial exchange for trading on them. Kalshi was recently federally regulated by the CFTC as the first-ever legal futures exchange in the U.S. for trading on a broad category of events.

Harvard Technology Review

The Harvard Technology Review is an online publication that covers technology and its intersection with society. The mission of the publication is to examine technology’s ever-increasing role in today’s world. From cybersecurity and the November elections, to misinformation and tech policy, to venture capital and the latest tech innovations, the publication aims to cover the latest happenings in technology both on Harvard’s campus and around the world. 

Crown Education Challenge

The Crown Education Challenge is an international contest for elementary, middle, and high school students in the humanities and STEM. The theme for the 2020 Crown Education Challenge was “Hope During a Pandemic,” and the 2020 Challenge received over 1,600 entries from 63 different countries. Mentors and judges for the program include Stephen Wolfram, the founder and CEO of Wolfram Alpha, Tina Seelig, a Professor in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University, and Charles Huang, the co-creator of Guitar Hero.

Ladder

Ladder is a professional community platform seeking to transform the way students find information to level up their careers. The mission of the company is to democratize access to professional development for the next generation of young people. Through the platform, students have exclusive access to jobs, fellowships, competitions, and mentors. Through Ladder, students join communities where they can engage with ambitious peers with similar professional interests and help each other grow. Tens of thousands of students use Ladder, and the platform has a database of over 1,000 internships. 

Develop for Good

Develop for Good enables engineers and designers to create social impact by developing digital tools for nonprofits. As one of the largest intercollegiate technology and design for social good organizations, its mission is to empower the next generation of leaders to use technology for social good. Develop For Good is currently working on approximately 50 projects with 45 nonprofit organizations; collectively, projects are estimated to have saved partners over $2 million in development costs. To date, Develop For Good has accumulated ~20,000 volunteer hours from 300+ volunteers.

Nooks

Nooks is an online platform that enables dynamic social interactions for virtual gatherings. The platform allows users to organize rooms by discussion topic, with each room hosting a suite of collaborative tools. The platform provides functional discussion spaces, facilitates personal connections, and supports modes of communication such as whispering. It structures large group interactions while encouraging engagement, allowing users to interact naturally. Nooks is currently being used for courses and events at Stanford University and other universities across the country.