North Carolina Esports Academy

North Carolina Esports Blog

The First Steps of a Gaming Revolution: Game Changers Hackathon

North Carolina Esports Academy recently teamed up with STEMedia for an unprecedented event: the inaugural Game Changers Hackathon. This event was more than just a success; it’s the beginning of an exciting yearly tradition. While the Esports Academy is stepping back to only provide the venue in the future, our sibling organization, EdTech Unite, is gearing up to spearhead the 2024 event planning. This strategic shift will streamline our efforts and amplify our ability to attract sponsorships.

A Meeting of Minds and Ideas

The idea was planted earlier in the year at the Wings Over Wayne Air Show at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Wayne County. It’s there I bumped into Nehemiah from STEMedia, a familiar face at these gatherings. He floated an intriguing concept – a hackathon for beginners. I was instantly hooked. Our planning kicked off, and soon, more groups joined the cause, including Echo Reverb, Empower All, and NSBE RTP. We even had support from individuals working at major companies like IBM and more.

Overcoming Challenges for Future Success

Initial Missteps

  • Date Selection: Our initial pick was a weekday in August. Not ideal, as we soon found out. So, we’re switching to November for the 2024 edition.

Sponsorship Struggles

  • Early Bird Gets the Sponsor: Starting late in the game meant many companies had already allocated their funds. Next time, we’re hitting the ground running to secure sponsors well in advance.

Participant Hesitation

  • Breaking Down Barriers: The word ‘hackathon’ intimidated some, who assumed it was for pros. We’re making it clear next time: this is a beginner’s playground.


The Right Team: We had a judge and a couple of mentors who were up to the task. For 2024, we’re reaching out to our contacts at IBM, Cisco, Red Hat, SAS, and other local companies to ensure a robust team of experienced volunteers for the next Game Changers Hackathon.

By learning from these experiences, we’re setting the stage for an even more successful hackathon in 2024. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this exciting gaming journey!

Interested in exploring future partnerships with us? Fill out our contact form and start the conversation.

Stay Up-to-date

Enter your name and email to receive your 1st 2 hours of Open Play FREE!

Recent Posts


About Us

North Carolina Esports Academy is dedicated to building character and life skill development through productive video gaming. The entire staff is committed to creating premier youth development experiences in order to create pathways for youth in STEM careers.

*Camp Hours* 8 AM - 3:30 PM
Sunday Closed
Monday Closed
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday Closed
Friday 4 PM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 11 AM - 9 PM