Develop applications that can be launched in Cuba to facilitate (1) connectivity/access to information, (2) entrepreneurship and (3) journalism and digital advocacy.

Roots of Hope, a nongovernmental organization focused on empowering youth in Cuba through technology and entrepreneurship, is hosting a two-day hackathon in the San Francisco Bay Area at Facebook Headquarters.

The project is Roots of Hope's second annual liberation/circumvention tech hackathon focused on solutions for the Cuban context.  Cuba is the least connected and technologically capacitated country in the Western hemisphere, but it is also a country with a talented workforce and an ever-growing number of innovative solutions that leverage technology. The goal of this hackathon is to develop ideas and applications that can be launched into the Cuban reality and inform and empower a broader community around the topics of technology and innovation in Cuba. This year’s theme, Connectivity, Digital Activism & Entrepreneurial Empowerment, encourages greater dialogue, free speech, and knowledge-sharing. Join us in building solutions for Cubans on the island so they may connect more-readily to the rest of the world.

Roots of Hope's first hackathon was hosted in Miami in January 2014, yielding great results and establishing the conversation around what innovative technology solutions can meet for Cuba. Check out the winning ideas from the Miami hackathon: 

Apretaste, an online marketplace - similar to Craigslist - which allows users to purchase and sell goods and services directly from one another. Apretaste is completely functional via email, making it accessible to the over 60% of Cuba's population with email access. The application has launched and has more than 40,000 monthly users in Cuba.

Cuba Direct, an email-based application which allows users to access Google searches, Wikipedia articles, Twitter updates and more, without needing a connection to the Internet, and therefore making it accesible to over 60% of Cubans.

Raspberry Pi, a credit-card-sized single-board computer, was adapted to allow Cubans on the island to create web access points for sharing information with those in their vicinity.

For more information about Roots of Hope, visit

View full rules


Participants: Individuals (over 18 years in age)

Teams: Up to 8 individuals

Countries: No restrictions 



Valid submissions include hardware or software solutions and relate to at least one of the three specific themes: (1) connectivity and access to information, (2) entrepreneurial support, and (3) journalism and digital advocacy.

Submissions should be idea MVPs accompanied by a description with development goals, applications, and potential for expansion.

How to enter

Sign up to participate via Challengepost, create a team, and join us at Facebook HQ on April 25th and 26th!



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Edward Avila
Manos Accelerator

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Francesca de Quesada Covey

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Larry Diamond
Stanford University

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Ramses Martinez

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Jesse Martinez
Latino Startup Alliance

No avatar 100

Samantha Ready

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Juan Carlos Hernandez
Nobox Ventures

Sabeen Ali

Sabeen Ali

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation
  • Utility
  • Ease of Implementation
  • Relevance to Conference Theme
  • Possibility of Expansion