Code to Give Hackathon

Dedicated to Helping Those in Need

For 85 years, Morgan Stanley has been committed to serving communities around the world. A central part of that mission is helping charitable organizations by providing technical support and innovative solutions. 

Code to Give is the latest initiative in this global effort. It’s a special series of global virtual hackathons to help nonprofits around the world solve real-word issues and further their missions through tech. As part of Code to Give, Morgan Stanley pairs its technologists with students and experienced professionals to build cutting-edge digital tools for our non-profit partners.

Real-World Impact

You’ll hear directly from local nonprofits and work alongside Morgan Stanley technologists to develop innovative solutions that allow them to better serve your community. After the event, Morgan Stanley will support the nonprofits to help them further build and deploy some ideas from Code to Give.

NonProfit Overview

The Amigos Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit helping children battling chronic diseases in 12 hospitals across 4 Hungarian cities. The nonprofit launched in 2015 with the aim of helping children (ages 6-12 years old) keep their education and learning on track when they’re unable to attend school regularly due to illness.

Depending on the hospital, Amigos will work with children undergoing cancer treatment, recovering from severe burns, or in active treatment for bulimia or anorexia. For many children, the challenges of their recovery coupled with the monotony of their hospital environments results in students falling behind on their schoolwork and/or missing out on critical development opportunities. Amigos works to encourage and inspire these children on the road to recovery by teaching foreign languages and other skills through fun and games.

To do this, the nonprofit draws on the help of university students, who are well placed to fill in the gaps these children are missing: dedicated and focused attention on their studies; a learning schedule customized to their needs; and someone closer in age who can be a role model and mentor. Amigos outlines, step-by-step, a customized, collaborative pathway for the children to reach their goals, whether that’s learning a new language, developing new skills, or simply interacting with their Amigos volunteers to build LEGOS!

Problem Statement

Amigos has historically worked with children through an average of 30 in-person sessions a week - the volunteers develop strong relationships with the children, their caretakers, and even hospital staff. As stay-at-home COVID orders put Hungary on lockdown, Amigos stepped into the digital world to maintain a connection with the children through private coaching and larger group sessions - Amigos Adventurer (focused on foreign languages) and Amigos Mini (focused on skills-development).

The Amigos Digital Challenges platform was designed to provide tasks that the children can solve in their own time away from the sessions. Children who are hospitalized for extended periods are more likely to face learning difficulties, having suffered hardships and challenges after being taken out of school. Amigos turns ’homework’ into fun challenges that kids can enjoy and look forward to solving! 

This is where you come in. Amigos is challenging you to enhance the experience of their digital platform with gamification, let’s make the learning exercises fun!

Technical Challenge Process

You need to leverage technology to redesign the Amigos Digital Challenges platform and drive greater engagement with children. We are looking for creative and innovative solutions (mock applications or gamified solutions) that can help Amigos engage more hospitalized children through its homework tool.

Hackathon teams will demo their solutions to a panel of judges consisting of Morgan Stanley and Amigos representatives. The most innovative and creative ones will be transitioned into Morgan Stanley’s pro bono tech program, where they’ll be fully built for Amigos.

Thought Starters

Gamification and game-based learning are both strategies that promote engagement and sustained motivation in learning. 

Hackathon teams should use their imagination and creativity to design a homework-centric technology solution suitable for children ages 6-12 years old.

The solution should contain multiple exercise modules that children can complete on their own time and in a highly interactive way, leveraging game-like elements such as levels, points systems, puzzles, quizzes or badges. The solution should also offer an administrative interface for teachers, where they can select learning modules to assign as homework and track the children’s performance. 

Teams are expected to not only ideate a great solution but also develop (code/program) a prototype.


Hackathon Rounds

First Round: Ideation 

May 12 – May 23

The first round of the Hackathon will focus on brainstorming/ideas. 

We recommend creating a list of illustrated exercises and a high-level description of technology and planned implementation. We suggest some responsive WEB-based technology for this framework to make it accessible from as many systems as possible. 

Optional: You can implement a maximum of two samples of your planned solutions as a proof of concept. 

The ideas will be evaluated by judges from Amigos and Morgan Stanley, who will choose the ten best concepts for the second round. 

Second Round: Prototyping 

June 1 – June 16

The second round of the Hackathon will include implementing the framework to create the homework tool with 5-15 different exercise types. 

During this round, all teams will be assigned mentors from Amigos and Morgan Stanley to support them during the development phase. At the conclusion of this round, teams will submit a short pitch video to present the concept and explain why the idea/product will be a great tool for Amigos students. The pitch is not just about the code but also about how well teams present, the practicality of the idea and the creativity demonstrated. All initial submissions, including the pitch video, will be reviewed by event organizers, and three teams will be selected to advance to the Final Round.

Final Round & Pitch Day

June 24

The final three teams will pitch their solutions live to the judges, who will select a winner. During a Q&A session afterwards, all hackathon participants can ask live questions to judges and finalists.

Forming a Team

Code to Give is looking to engage thoughtful, innovative and creative problem-solvers (current students, recent graduates, or experienced professionals) who are passionate about leveraging the power of technology for social good. 

The ability to work in a team is a necessity, and participants are expected to form teams (minimum of 2 and maximum of 4) after the hackathon kicks off on May 13th. We require all participants to have technology/programming skills, as teams will need to transition their solution from the ideation to prototype phase. We expect all participants to be self-starters with the ability to plan and organize their time and work.

Competition Language(s)

The competition is going to be in Hungarian and English. Participants are welcome to ideate in Hungarian, but they will be required to submit all solutions in English. For this reason, we recommend that at least one team member is a strong English speaker. 


In addition to helping a nonprofit address a technical challenge, participants will be eligible for the below prizes: 

*subject to local tax regulations

Hackathon Timelines

Please read and agree to the Terms & Conditions in order to enter the competition.