Local needs in urban settings create opportunities for STEM students and professionals to work together with city stakeholders to develop original innovative solutions. In preparation for the upcoming Kumbh Mela festival to be held in Nashik, India in 2015, a technical hackathon was convened with students and faculty, technology professionals and entrepreneurs as mentors and instructors. Over the 72-hour event, teams ideated concepts, created rapid prototypes, and tested hardware, software, and social entrepreneurship business models. Stakeholder inputs gathered prior to the event guided the project goals. Top projects were advanced through rapid prototyping and demonstrations. Through this experience students applied principles of design to solving real-world local needs and provided innovative solutions for improved resilience and responsiveness.