Imperial College X LSE COVID-19 Recovery Challenge

Innovation Hackathon: COVID-19 Recovery Challenge

The Imperial Business School Innovation & Entrepreneurship Club is proud to organize the ​COVID-19 Recovery Challenge​: a five-day competitive hackathon for all students at Imperial College and London School of Economics (LSE).

Our aims

As implied by its name, the aim of this event is to ​facilitate the generation of innovative solutions to the challenges engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic​. With individuals, businesses and even industries forced to consider their very survival on a daily basis, thinking long-term has never been harder. By providing participants with mentorship, workshops, inspirational talks, cash prizes and a unique opportunity for networking, our goal is to inspire solutions that will not only enable survival, but radically improve lives in the new status quo.


All graduate and undergraduate students from across the faculties of Imperial College and LSE are invited to participate in the challenge. The competition will therefore include students studying anything from medicine and engineering to business and politics. Participants will form interdisciplinary groups of 3-4.

Event details

The competition takes place ​entirely online​ between ​Monday 25th and Friday 29th of May​. At the end of the five days, the participating teams will submit pre-recorded pitches of the solutions they have come up with, to be reviewed by a panel of judges.

With backing from Imperial Enterprise Lab and LSE Generate, a growing prize pool currently amounting to ​£2,500​, and numerous business sponsors committed to developing the ideas relevant to their business, this is set to be a flagship event of the year at both institutions.

During the 5 days, we will be hosting an array of workshops, live speakers, mentorship sessions and networking opportunities.

Further details

Please find further details on the event ​here​. Do not hesitate to contact us at​ for any additional questions.

Can you help as a mentor or a judge?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left significant economic impacts on individuals, businesses, and industries. The goal of this hackathon is to bring the brightest minds together across two of the top universities in order to create sustainable solutions to a challenge that will be faced post coronavirus. We are aiming to contribute to a larger movement so that the best teams can take their ideas forward to turn them into real-life solutions and make a difference.

We are seeking mentors and judges from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Imperial College communities.


Time Commitment:​ Minimum 2 hours

Time Frame:​ May 25-29

  • You will be given a Calendly link to insert your availability from for at least six 1-on-1 mentor sessions with teams. Each session will last 20 minutes. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to contact relevant mentors through our dedicated slack channel.

Duties & Guidelines:

  • Please be on time for the 1-on-1 team mentoring sessions. If you need to reschedule then please let the organizers and teams know. You will be provided a link to enter in your availability for your six mentoring sessions one week before the hackathon.
  • Please be active on our slack channel: While we do not expect you to respond to questions 24/7, we would like for you to check slack on a daily basis to respond to questions in a reasonable time frame. The more time you could dedicate will really help all the teams.
  • Offer your knowledge. ​It’s better to acknowledge not-knowing than to point teams down a wrong or sub-optimal path. Ask the right questions instead. Feel free to also refer teams to another mentor if you know s/he may be better suited to a particular question/area.
  • Don’t join a team, you are not a hackathon participant. We know that it might be tempting to get very involved in the projects. Point them in the right and please do not push your own ideas
  • Be a positive mentor and empower teams. Encourage teamwork.


Time commitment:​ 1-2 hours

Time Frame:​ May 31- June 5

Duties and Guidelines:

  • Judging Process: Students will submit 3-minute video pitches and a short paragraph. On May 31, you will receive an email with all the links of the final proposals of the teams. In this email, you will also receive a survey link in which you can easily score all the proposals based on the judging criteria below. You will have until June 5 at noon to finalize your votes and scores.
  • Judging Criteria: Potential Impact of the idea, Team, Feasibility & Innovation, and Key Next Steps. Further elaboration will be provided one week before the hackathon.
  • Please do not be biased, we encourage you to rely on your expertise and professionalism to follow the judging criteria guide.

The purpose of this form is for you to confirm your availability and intention to participate as a mentor or judge for this event. We will then review the full list of mentors and judges and confirm your role as soon as possible. We need to make sure we have enough perspective in each capacity from volunteers from all the institutes involved.

Call for Speakers

We are looking for a top-notch speaker to give participants greater insights into particular industries or topics, and, most importantly, be the source of inspiration that truly inspires them to take action and innovate for a better collective future.

The speech/talk will take place for 30 minutes via Zoom, on any of the event days (depending on the speaker’s availability), between 11am and 5pm BST.