TechTogether's First Annual Hacker Awards


TechTogether's first awards ceremony. A virtual celebration of your success this 2020-2021 hackathon season.

About this Event

Our community is the force that drives TechTogether's mission forward. The Annual Hacker Awards are a celebration of all that we have accomplished as a collective this year.

Whether you were nominated for an award or attending to support a friend, we hope you will join us for this momentous event in TechTogether's history.

Each ticket costs one $10 minimum donation to TechTogether and will give you access to the following perks:

  • Fireside chats with Megan Smith and Arlan Hamilton
  • Awards ceremony
  • TechTogether trivia networking session
  • Musical performance by Chel

All ticket revenue will be doubled by a donor and go to expanding TechTogether's impact. Scholarships are available upon request.

Award recipients receive a certificate of achievement and an invitation to a private virtual dinner with all food expenses covered by TechTogether.

🔗 For more details, visit the event landing page.

🔗 Apply for a scholarship to attend for free.

Fireside Chat with Arlan Hamilton (She/Her/Hers)

Arlan Hamilton is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a venture capital firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT. She is also co-founder of Backstage Studio, which launched a four-city accelerator program in 2018.

Arlan has been featured on the cover of Fast Company magazine as the first Black woman non-celebrity to do so, and is the author of “It’s About Damn Time” and host of the weekly podcast “Your First Million”. Arlan and her mother, Mrs. Earline Butler-Sims, announced their scholarship program which kicked-off with scholarships for Black students at Oxford University and HBCU Dillard University.

Moderated by: Gefen Skolnick (She/Her/Hers)

Gefen is the founder of venture-backed coffee startup Couplet, and invests in tech startups as a venture capital scout for Contrary Capital and Backstage Capital. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in computational linguistics and spent time working as a product manager at Tesla, Hulu, Outfox AI, and Mend. She founded the 2000+ person community, Bunch of Founders, which is a space for underrepresented founders to connect with venture capitalists and potential advisors and continues to champion underrepresented founders through various initiatives she joins and starts in her free time.

Fireside Chat with Megan Smith (She/Her/Hers)

Award-winning entrepreneur, engineer, and tech evangelist. Smith is CEO and co-founder of shift7, a company working collaboratively on systemic social, environmental and economic problems -- finding opportunities to scout and scale promising solutions and solution makers and engage proven tech-forward, open, shareable practices to drive direct impact, together.

Smith served as the third U.S. Chief Technology Officer from 2014-2017 -- working on issues from AI, data science and open source, to inclusive economic growth, entrepreneurship, structural inequalities, government tech innovation capacity, STEM/STEAM engagement, workforce development, and criminal justice reform. Eleven years as vice president at Google for nine years leading new business development and and later in the leadership team at X founding SolveforX and WomenTechmakers. Led acquisitions of Google Earth, Maps, Picasa and engineering transition of PlanetOut CEO, Apple Japan, General Magic innovating early smart phones.

Board member of MIT, Vital Voices, LA Olympics 2028, Thinkof-Us; Co-founder of the Malala Fund and UN Solutions Summit, advisor Silicon Valley Comes to the UK and the Algorithmic Justice League. Bachelors and masters degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT, master’s thesis at MIT Media Lab. Member, Council on Foreign Relations and National Academy of Engineering.

Musical Performance by CHEL (She/Her/Hers)

For most of her life, Chel was told that she did not have the looks nor the body type to succeed in the music industry. When her first opportunity came along, she was bullied online, mocked, taken advantage of, and stolen from. Instead of giving up, however, Chel prevailed, and has since become an Indie-Pop powerhouse and a role model for droves of young women. With well over a million loyal social media followers, Chel has been featured in outlets like Hollywood Life, Flaunt, Billboard, Sports Illustrated IG, Celebmix, Ladygunn, The Deli Magazine, St. Louis Post Dispatch and Sweetyhigh, while her brand endorsements include FabFitFun, Fashion Nova, GitiOnline, and Good American. Her most recent single, “Nasty Woman," is an anthem for every woman who has been made to feel inferior.

Event Host, Michelle Kwok (She/Her/Hers)

Michelle is a born and raised Vancouverite - medical science student turned social entrepreneur. She co-founded FLIK (, a platform connecting female founders/leaders and students across the world via meaningful apprenticeships. Michelle has had the honour of speaking at universities and spaces across North America sharing her thoughts on entrepreneurship, womxn empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and breaking down barriers. She now serves on the alumni advisory council of League of Innovators and as an alumni rep for Next 36 where she works to accelerate more youth entrepreneurs. She has been recognized as YWCA’s Young Woman of Distinction in 2020 and a Conversationalist GenZ Honoree in the Economics category.


TechTogether Atlanta 2021



Date & Time

March 13, 2021, 7 a.m. - March 13, 2021, 10 p.m.



Learn More & Register

Learn More & Register