Mylan Hackathon 2015

Our mission at Mylan is ambitious: We are committed to providing the world’s 7 billion people access to high quality medicine and to setting new standards in health care. We are looking forward to hosting the 2015 Mylan Hackathon, an opportunity for students and professionals to connect, collaborate and communicate with your peers and Mylan professionals to develop innovative solutions that address real-world challenges.

We will provide a terrific space for hacking, great food and awesome prizes. Mylan coaches and engineers will be on-hand throughout the event to help you be successful and make your teams’ ideas a reality.

Challenges include building a web or mobile app, finding solutions to make data more accessible or creating a visualization tool.

This year's focus is 100% on building - no PowerPoint files, please!

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but we do give away great prizes

We awarded more than $18,000 in prizes last year, with the top team taking home $1,000 per person! We also gave away top-notch swag at the door.

Is this your first Hackathon?
Here are some Tips & Tricks

We want everyone to be successful!


Think "Survivor" and plan appropriately. Come prepared. Bring whatever it takes to win.

Before the event:

  • Form your teams and talk about your potential solutions ahead of time. What are you going to build? What are other teams going to build? Is there another way to look at it? Manage your expectations. Can you build the entire end-to-end solution? Would it be more impressive to take one narrow slice of the project and go deep in just that area?

During the event:

  • When you arrive, be clear about direction. Did you hear "circle" when we actually said "square?" Draw it. Be concise. Remember, there only are 36 hours to build your solution so if any one of your teammates waste an hour, it may affect your outcome. Be clear and move forward. Reconnect often. Perhaps pick points to health check your progress and compile everything to that presentation laptop. Maybe run through your prototype early a few times as a team. Be honest. Be critical.
  • Seek advice from the Mylan coaches. We'll try hard to steer you in a positive direction. Don't wallow in being stuck for more than 10 minutes. Get an opinion. Make a decision. Move forward. Test your progress. Wash, rinse and repeat.
  • Throughout the event, be sure to get up and stretch. Go for a walk. Get a drink. Grab a coach and explain your progress. Chat up a judge if they are available. Always be selling your idea and always be making progress. Don't forget to eat. Have fun. We will have activities if you need a mental break. Maybe it's an XBOX One Just Dance competition on the big screen out in the hall. Maybe the admins can out dance you. Maybe they can't. But we are 99% sure that they can.


  • When the buzzer sounds, be ready. Take a deep breath. At this point you're probably panicking that something is not done. Brush it off and get ready to present. Inhale. Exhale. Think about The Karate Kid. Find your center. Everyone will be judging from the same point of view, but will have different backgrounds.
  • At the end of the event, you will have 5 min. to present your solution. "Wow" us and you could take home a prize.
  • Teams will draw numbers out of hat to determine the presentation order before lunch time. If you are first, crush it and set the bar high. If you are last, adjust to other's presentations and hit the sweet spots they did not. If you are in the middle, do a bit of both and show your agility.
  • Be sure to discuss roles before presenting (i.e., who is going to present, who is running the laptop, etc.). A weekend’s worth of work comes down to who presents with authority and shows the judges that you have built something, you've thought differently and you've done more than the next team.
  • The 5 min. cut-off for presentations will be strictly enforced. Be sure to designate one laptop as the presentation machine.
    • Whilst everyone is working on their own machines throughout the day, you should have one machine that ultimately hosts everything you will demonstrate onstage during your presentation.
    • Test getting everything loaded on the presentation machine early and have that process worked out before you walk in the door. Make sure you have the ability to connect to the projector, we support VGA and HDMI.
    • Need a clicker or laser pointer? You should come prepared with them. Whatever puts you in control, procure it beforehand and have it setup at go time.

Additional Logistics:

  • Wireless access will be provided to all participants to research and build their solutions. Our wireless access is strong throughout the entire space.
  • We are unable to provide any access to Mylan’s internal systems, software or servers during the event.

Things that will speed you along:

  • Set realistic expectations - a bit of whiteboarding in the a.m. may save you all a lot of time the rest of the weekend.
  • Draw. There is less left to interpret when you draw what you want to build. Leave nothing to assumption. It may bite you later.
  • Use a framework - bootstrap, jquery, project templates - fast, fast, fast, iterate, iterate, iterate.
  • Use github or similar - share code and be able to roll back quickly if needed.
  • Start from the UI and work back - what will people see?
  • It should look decent - give it a name and logo, brand it.
  • It has to make sense in a minute - communications are key. Are you explaining it during the presentation or is it apparent on screen?
  • Take your idea and build the perfect demo mentally and whiteboard it out - now your weekend is just working backwards to make that happen.
  • Avoid PowerPoint.

Join us at our beautiful
Robert J. Coury Global Center

We're gonna build something this winter.

01: Why

Because you are "hacking for a cause" and it's a good time.

03: When

Saturday, February 28 - Sunday, March 1, 2015

04: Who

Students, developers, designers, analysts, tinkerers, robots.

05: How

Come prepared with a great idea to one of our challenges. You will have to work hard to win, but believe us, it will be worth it.

06: What

Develop an innovative solution to one of our challenges and your team could take home the prize.

Looking for something to to build?

Put your own unique vision and identity on one of these challenges.


Please choose a challenge from the above list!

We are offering multiple challenges this year - click one of the above icons to see further details on each.

We will have even more information on each challenge available on location the day of the event for teams to use and review.


Investor Relations iOS App

Our Investor Relations team works to connect investors, analysts, employees and others so as to provide access & transparency to Mylan's business. As this population continues to evolve through the digital revolution, we want to adapt our messaging vehicles to reach a broader, digital audience. Investor Relations is looking for an iOS specific app that provides easy access to investor specific content through a compelling and innovative UX on a phone. Serving many different types of content in an engaging format will keep existing and potential investors connected and package useful information and tools available at the tap of a finger. Social media and multimedia content should also be made available through this application.


Communications Data Analysis

One of the issues in any large corporation is making sure the right people see important information as it happens around the world. Our Global Communications team monitors many different news and information sources identifying important information and relaying that information to the relevant interested parties. Using Hadoop and R, can your team identify and harvest specific and prioritized information in a very large dataset? Once that data of interest has been flagged, a successful solution would intelligently route that finding to the appropriate group or individual person. Routing could be done by the type of information found, by keywords, or by the person or group's interests.

Mylan will supply relevant datasets to investigate, but public information APIs can (and perhaps should) be used to build a compelling solution.


Technology Innovation Ideas iOS App

Ideas come from anywhere at any time. Since most of us have a very close relationship with our phone, wouldn't it be great to be able to capture an idea to your iOS device as it happens? We're looking for an app that accepts a multitude of content types: text, pictures, documents and submits them to an API.

Think "If I had an idea..." - how would I easily capture that on a phone? What would keep me interested in submitting more ideas in the future? When building this app, ask yourself how will this app drive participation and keep users engaged? Gamification? Knowing the right people looked at your submission? Something totally new?

There are two components of this challenge:

  • An API that consumes the ideas, which can be any of different content types mentioned above. This API will need to return a response to the requesting device that supports the motivational components of the application.
  • An iOS app with a innovative UX that allows users to submit and get feedback on their ideas as they are processed by the API.

Make it Personal (blending physical and virtual services to our Global Workforce)

At Mylan, we have implemented an employee service concept called SmartStop. SmartStop is a concierge type service for employees to get help on technology issues for their computers, iPhones, iPads and other available and supported technologies. Recently, we have expanded the concierge service to cover human resource services. Think of it as the Apple Genius Bar for the Enterprise. The service implementation has gone so well, we are opening up SmartStops globally.

But wait, while this service is a quick stop for help for those that have time, may not be as accessible for the on-the-go employee or for employees that don’t have time to potentially wait in line for assistance. What if we could provide our concierge services virtually using already available technology like Microsoft's Lync product? What if we can personalize the service by providing face-to-face service through desktop video conferencing from anywhere, anytime and on any of our supported devices?

Your challenge is to create an employee (consumer-like) experience to get SmartStop services virtually. Remember this challenge is to "Make it Personal". Providing face-to-face services digitally to employees that need help. Using all of the facilities / capabilities available with our implementation of Microsoft’s Lync product.


Project Management Connection, Communication, and Collaboration Velocity
It's not just about being fast, but being faster!

At Mylan like many company’s we have several projects and initiatives in flight at the same time. Staying connected to the pulse of specific project activities without some type of real-time capabilities is realistically impossible. Conversely, providing timely updates on project responsibilities has become a challenge as well. A key competitive advantage will be companies that can create visibility and increase connection, communication and collaboration velocity. Increased velocity will ultimately lead to faster results. This new game of connection, communication, and collaboration is fast, but we don’t just want to be fast, we want to be faster.

  • Faster to PEOPLE (people you know and more importantly connecting to people you don’t know yet that can solve a problem on a project)
  • Faster to INFORMATION (quick access to information to make decisions, reducing redundancy and leveraging ideas and solutions)
  • Faster to ANSWERS (asking the crowd for help, using the collective wisdom of the crowd to help move things forward on project issues)
  • Faster to DECISIONS (being able to make quality project decisions faster, makes us more competitive)
  • Faster to RESULTS (having all of the other areas covered, the goal would be faster RESULTS)
  • But, being faster requires new ways to connect, communicate and collaborate. It requires new ways of thinking and of course needs to be enabled with an easy to use solution.
Your challenge is to create an employee (consumer-like) experience that:
  • Provides dashboard like features to be involved in multiple projects simultaneously
  • Enable an employee create or be involved in many projects at the same time
  • Be able to use Web 2.0 features such as hashtags to invite, follow, or update on various projects and posts
  • Links the Web 2.0 features mentioned above to our current technology foundation (Microsoft Office, Email, Microsoft Lync, and Jive)

Employees are consumers too: Connect people to content, people to people

Consumerization of technology in the workplace has never been more important than today. A mobile first, desktop second mind-shift is critical in today's technology development world. Life-work balance blending is not the exception but the norm. Companies like Mylan spend millions on creating data and information but to unleash it in the hands of tomorrow's knowledge workers is still often a manual task. More and more there is an expectation that apps in a company need to be as easy to use as the apps we use in our everyday life as consumers of technology. Just because an app is written for the enterprise / company doesn't mean it can't be intuitive and easy to use.

This challenge is to create a mobile consumer experience for the work place that presents information to employees that makes their life easier and job easier. Personalization and flexibility for the employee to configure what they want and need to see is key.

The iPad and iPhone are great mechanism for consuming many different types of information leisurely, and there are more than a few applications with great interfaces for reaching, watching and consuming.

Everyone at Mylan is presented with a huge volume of information each day via our internal collaboration network, based on Jive software. Using the Jive API, could you build a Flipboard like application that packages content for magazine style reading, all the while supporting sharing, liking and collaborating on articles and content? But don’t just leave it to that... in your app idea allow the employee to access shared powerpoints, excel content, etc.

This app should speed up our ability to read through content, while driving more engagement out of our users. An innovative and great looking UX will be a core part of any compelling solution to this challenge. Think like a Consumer because at the end of the day, Employees are Consumers too!


Quality at consumer fingertips

Mylan is built on quality. We hold all of our products to one global quality standard.

We'd like consumers to have access to quality information for the medicine they take. Imagine if you could go to your medicine cabinet and type in the names on those amber bottles and you could not only search information about the quality record of that product and manufacturer but also receive alerts if there are incidents that occur in the future.

The types of information could include: Recalls, date of last FDA audit, supply chain shortages, and more. Most of this information is publically available and searchable, but consumers have to do the digging. Making this easy to use and pushing the information rather than requiring consumers to pull and search would make for a compelling solution!

Read our Frequently Asked Questions

These are the best answers we could come up with. If you still have questions, contact us.

Do I need to be a developer to participate?

All different participant skill sets are welcome. However, this is an event focused on building, and each participant will be expected to contribute to the development of a working app, so each team should have at least one experienced developer.

Do I have to stay on site throughout the entire weekend?

Participants are free to come and go but spending time on site is highly encouraged. If you leave overnight, you cannot return to the building before 6 a.m. the following day. We encourage you to bring a sleeping bag or pillows and blankets if you plan on sleeping. Don't forget your tooth brush!

Does each team member need to register?

Yes, each team member needs a ticket.
We have to figure out how much food to order!

Are you traveling to build with us?

You might just qualify for a travel stipend.

In order to make it easy for out of town teams to attend, qualified students, developers, designers and entrepreneurs can be eligible for a maximum $200 travel stipend.

This travel stipend has a cap of actual expenses incurred for travel and lodging of $200. To qualify, a participant must:

  • Have a prequalification letter from Mylan's 2015 organizing team;
  • Check-in onsite to Mylan's 2015 Hackathon and provide your prequalification letter to a Hackathon organizing team member;
  • Submit a Challenge solution at the end of the Hackathon, and:
  • Demo to the judges on Sunday, March 1, 2015.

All receipts such as hotel, airfare, gas, and lodging must have the attendee's name on them. Receipts must reflect the dates of Feb. 27 - March 2. Only travel to and from Mylan's 2015 Hackathon and hotel stay during the event will be reimbursed up to a total of $200.

apply for a travel stipend here

Do good. Do well.