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Announcing the Winners of the 1st Palm Beach Tech Hackathon

on November 10, 2016 / by Rich Andrews ,


The 1st annual Palm Beach Tech Hackathon kicked off Friday, November 4th at the Palm Beach Tech Space with over 30 attendees, plenty of beer, and an unveiling of projects supporting the South Florida Science Center and the Loxahatchee River Center.  

A “hacker” is often defined and portrayed in the media as “a person who secretly gets access to a computer system in order to get information and cause damage.” But few know that hackers can also be skilled programmers and problem solvers.

The Palm Beach Tech Hackathon had plenty of problem solving going on, as attendees formed teams and gathered at the South Florida Science Center Saturday morning  to begin hacking away at four topics to benefit both of these local non-profits:

  • Create a self-guided tour for the Loxahatchee River Center
  • Create a way to capture guest feedback for the South Florida Science Center
  • Create a way to track the results of the River Center’s 2017 Jr Angler Fishing Tournament
  • Create your own idea to benefit both organizations

On Sunday all coding and hacking stopped at noon, while hackers, guest and patrons gathered to see the final project presentations and hear the winners decided on by an elite team of judges:

  • Brian Dunnam, Executive Vice President Technology @ Levatas
  • Cecil Phillip, Senior .NET Developer
  • Jonathan LeBlanc, Head of Global Developer Advocacy @ PayPal.

In the end, it was a close call, but 3 projects came out on top:

1st Place: Rick Blalock

Created an application featuring a virtual tour and customer feedback system for the River Center & Science Center utilizing IBM Watson. View Project

2nd Place: Rich Andrews, Rishi Gohil, and Divyang Purohit 

This team of FAU graduate students & graduates created an interactive Facebook chat bot using ChatFuel for the Science Center. View Project

3rd Place: Melanie Kafka, Denis Zabavchik, Tedley Meralus, and Ed Janeczek

These “Wordpress Weekend Warriors” created a website and full blown iPhone application to help easily manage the River Center’s 2017 Junior Angler Tournament.

A special thanks goes to the Palm Beach Tech Hackathon Committee:

And a huge thanks to our sponsors:

Announcing the Winners of the 1st Palm Beach Tech Hackathon