Cincinnati Hacking Heroin

A movement for better prevention, response and recovery tools to fight the opiate epidemic


Like the photography on our site? Check out Cincy Rooted! 

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Hacking Heroin kicked off in June and is growing its impact - we have a 17a team working on how to build the community, content and tools for the movement to scale. More soon!

We started with a single hackathon in a single city - but we are building for national impact. The 17a team is exploring options to scale Hacking Heroin's impact along several dimensions. Check back in in the next few weeks for updates or sign up to get updates or support our network/send ideas/get involved here.

We are a pro bono initiative led by 17a, and made possible by partners like Microsoft's Civic Technology group, Harvard University, the City of Cincinnati and many others.


"All together it seems insurmountable, but little by little we can chip away at this until it becomes just a memory"

-Michael Praksti, heroin hacker and member of a winning team


Like the photography on our site? Check out Cincy Rooted! 


New to Hacking Heroin?

Here's a full recap of the hackathon that kicked off our work

Hosts for the June 10/11 Hacking Heroin Cincinnati:

Cincinnati had 8 challenges for hackers

Challenges were based on problems identified by people working on the frontlines

20+ leaders came together to share their frontline experiences

Hackers and community participants had the chance to hear from the recovery community, public safety/law enforcement, healthcare, tech/venture and City officials

15+ mentors volunteered as coaches

Mentors came from across the technology, recovery and business communities to coach hackers

24 hackers on 9 teams, worked on solutions

First Place:

Give Hope

Crowdfunding platform to match low-visibility organizations and tools attacking heroin problem with activated, inspired donors

Give Hope hackers: Tommy George, Mike Praksti, Jeffrey Wyckoff, Jonathan Marshall, Phil Heidenreich, Anna Armao

Prize for Most Community Impact:


A smart platform that connects struggling patient + familiesto real-time information about access to treatment center options, and service provider tools to help manage demand with efficient workflow tools

Window hackers: Raj Gupta, Sam Keaser, Jamie Maier.

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Prize for Crowd Favorite:


An Uber for requesting certified help through an on-demand, location-based, certified support network to assist those in need of treatment and support

Lazarus hackers: Jordan Crone, Daniel Slone, McCall Tucker, Robb Hedrick, Hoseong Lee, Waylon Duff.

Other solutions included:

  • Hope (digitized booklet of local recovery resources)
  • RecoveryConnect (social network for families and patients)
  • Amazing Dezignz (art for community solidarity)
  • ON-CALL (predictive modeling for first responder staffing)
  • Heroin Heroism (matchmaking database for recovery)
  • Pain Pack chat bot (a chat bot to improve adherence to alternative pain mgmt)



Made possible by the Hacking Heroin Corporate Sponsors

Thank you to all of the Hacking Heroin Community Sponsors who have made the weekend possible with their generous in-kind support.


We are building a movement


Like the photography on our site? Check out Cincy Rooted! 

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Hacking Heroin has 2 goals

(1) Kick-start work on new, practical technology tools for Cincinnati (and potentially beyond)

(2) Bring new energy to the fight against opiates, and show what is possible with new formats for civic engagement

The opioid epidemic is overwhelming. It can feel so big and hard to tackle that it is hard to know where to start - hacking heroin is about finding areas to make a dent in the problem quickly. 

With a problem this hard, we need to bring more groups to the table and find ways to use new skills to build better solutions.  Our work is about bringing together the collective experiences of those struggling with addiction and their families, public safety and city officials, the addiction response and recovery communities, and leaders in  technology and entrepreneurship.

We need meaningful tools to help fight the opioid crisis in Cincinnati. The hackathon kicked off our effort to build momentum for building and scaling good solutions.