Creating community technology solutions to support black owned small businesses

August - November 2021

$25K USD Prize Pool

Empowering black-owned businesses and developing eCommerce-solutions that serve everyone.

Let's #BuildBetterTogether

Develop. Build better. Empower.

Be part of our journey as we learn and collaborate to create solutions that support underserved business communities around the United States and Worldwide.

Nearly half of black owned SMBs have been wiped out YTD as the pandemic has ravaged minority communities disproportionately. "Black businesses experienced the most acute decline, with a 41% drop. Latinx business owners fell by 32% and Asian business owners dropped by 26%."

Our goal is to make sure we continue to develop flexible, creative commerce solutions that serve everyone, and that commerce is accessible to everyone, everywhere. So through the Empower Hackathon, we’re focusing our inclusion and diversity efforts on a key part of our business: our developer community.

We are also emphasizing our efforts an emphasis on those owned by Black women in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington, D.C.--we'll keep our eye out for solutions that focus on these pain points and needs in these specific communities

Who should participate

This event is as much about the technology as it is about the idea--you could say it's equal parts hackathon and ideation. In other words: we're welcoming idea generators and business owners right alongside developers and engineers; we're challenging project managers and consultants to join with technologists and designers. Bring a team, or register and join a team formation webinar and hack virtually on the platform!

Web & mobile


AI & ML engineers

eCommerce startups & consultants


Product managers & marketers

Small business owner & idea generators


$25,000 USD in total prizes




$1,000 amount USD to each team that best demonstrates a solution custom catered to Black & women-owned businesses in





Washington, D.C

Los Angeles

Judging criteria

Each project will be scored by our diverse panel of judges according to the following criteria:

Innovation (20 pts)

Value & Impact (20 pts)

Implementation (10 pts)

Has the solution been tried before at other businesses? Furthermore, is the solution a "game changer" or does it simply change a workflow while not saving enough time and money?

 Does the solution provide enough value that is worth the company's time to implement? For example, will the solution save our employees time and the owners money, or will it be another hoop to jump through in our daily work? Is it a simple tool for users to begin using immediately, or will it require too much training and resources? Does it pinpoint the pain points of the target cities? 

Can the solution be scaled easily? How developed is it? How many partner integrations and Cybersource APIs or tools have you successfully included? Is it something that is ready to produce, or will this need to be contracted out and developed further?


Registration opens!

Jul. 27th, 2021

Sign up to access the platform and resources in advance of the call for submissions

Hackathon kick off: Call for submissions

Sept. 1st

The platform allows for team creation and project pages are open for drafting and submission

Team formation

Sept. 3rd-13th

First of three webinars where idea generators can meet with developers on a call to matchmake. Already have a team? No problem!

Webinars begin

Sept. 2nd

Join informational briefing webinars from the integration partners, black small business and developer communities, and Cybersource to help you create and #BuildBetterTogether.

Project submission deadline

Nov. 29th

All projects must be submitted by this date for review.



Judges will review your project page and video submissions and select winners

Winners announcement!


Let's find out who won!


Until kickoff!

Hackathon partners

Community friends

Reach out to the BeMyApp team for any registration, hackathon platform or support questions!

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At Cybersource, we know payments. We helped kick start the eCommerce revolution in 1994 and haven’t looked back since. Through global reach, modern capabilities, and commerce insights, we create flexible, creative commerce solutions for everyday life—experiences that delight your customers and spur growth globally. 

Through the ease and simplicity of one digital platform to manage all your payment types, fraud strategies, and more. Knowing we are part of Visa and their security-obsessed standards, you can trust that your business is well taken care of—wherever it may go.