Palm Beach Tech AssociationPalm Beach Tech Association

By Vanessa Calas

Palm Beach Tech Hackathon, Palm Beach County’s first ever 24-hour hackathon, was held on February 23 to 25 and brought in over 75 attendees. Hosted by Palm Beach Tech and the South Florida Science Center, the attendees ranged in age from middle school students to seasoned professionals with 20 years in the industry.

All hackers were invited to bond over the local community and their shared love of technology.

 

Hacking with a Purpose

This was wasn’t your typical hackathon… Instead of having teams just compete for money or to seed a business, the goal was to give back to the community by helping out a local nonprofit that is hungry for technology. By involving participants in building and providing high-quality tech in every facet of the community, including non-profits, we’ll grow our overall innovation at an exponential rate.

This year, Palm Beach Tech partnered with the Palm Beach County STEM & the Palm Beach County School DistrictThey brought three definitive problems for the hackers to solve:

 

  1. Matchmaking Classrooms with STEM Professionals: Creation of a platform where classrooms can post their needs and companies can submit their abilities.
  2. Promoting Events & Organization Opportunities: Creation of a software tool that integrates events from partner organizations, to aggregate then disseminate that information to parents, teachers, and the community.
  3. Your Own Idea and Project: Any team who can identify a credible problem and tangible solution to present their own idea. The project must be presented to the School District Staff on Friday evening for vetting and approval.

 

The Event

Over 75 participants, coaches, judges, and volunteers took over the Science Centers STEM Education Building

Participants coded, hacked, built, and tested as the hours ticked by. The animated atmosphere encouraged most to work through the night. There was palpable energy through the Science Center as the end of the 24 hours got closer.

When the hackathon ended, and each hacker sat back with a deep breath. They’d spent the past 24 hours creating and collaborating towards a shared goal. Despite their exhaustion, they felt immense pride, energy, and accomplishment.

Team Red Stapler, comprised mostly of employees of Florida Power & Light, came in first place. They worked 24 hours straight to build a website that automatically aggregated STEM and community events, and even included an integrated FAQ chatbot.

 

The Results

Team Nebular sponsored, participated, worked through the night, and won third place!

1st Place* | Team Red Stapler: Carolyn Gadigan, Rita Borraccio, Kirk Suscella, Dmitri Soroka, Laura Fagley, Sathiya, Venugopalakrishnan

*This team donated their winnings to Palm Beach Tech & Tech Garage

2nd Place | Team Undecided: Brett Wright, Colton Zecca, David ‘Mack’ Seager

3rd Place | Team Nebular: Ryan Wang, Gabriel Ferguson, Greg Perlman, Dani Healy, Sarah Nohe

4th Place | Team Tech Garage: Arman Alexis, Oalis Husband, Julia Cardoso, Christopher Cox, Devin Willis, and Dexter Dixon

 

Getting Involved

Damian, JT, Jermey, and Todd worked tirelessly to Organize and Coach

Palm Beach Tech is already planning next year’s hackathon. We’re looking to turn this 24-hour event into an annual competition that helps nonprofits and community organizations for years to come.

Are you looking to get in on the action?

Attend one of our upcoming Palm Beach Tech events or become a member today! We look forward to having you on board for our other exciting events.

GET INVOLVED

 

 
Hacking for a Cause: The 2018 Palm Beach Tech Hackathon