Recap of our Fall 2016 Hackathon

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Last weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting nearly 200 students at the NYU Courant Institute for hackNY’s 2016 Fall Hackathon! For 24 hours, hackers teamed up to build apps, games, and data analytics platforms – many for their first hackathon! They integrated technologies such as image recognition, texting APIs along, databases, and hosting services, thanks to the help of mentors from NYC startups MongoDB, Buzzfeed, Twilio, and Clarifai. Hacks ranged from a VR game defending the hackerspace to a web platform allowing users to visualize how Twitter users feel about the current election.


Presenters from NY Tech Companies
Presenters from NY Tech Companies



After snapping some cool shots at the MLH photobooth, hackers could attend Saturday’s workshop on Data Visualization in Python – or attend MLH’s Capture the Flag game to learn the basics of cybersecurity. Some 25 of our women hackers attended the traditional Ladies Storm Hackathons meetup where they bonded over common interests and decorated cupcakes.


We enjoyed food from New York favorites such as Sophie’s Cuban, Veselka’s Ukrainian Diner, Schnitz, and the Kati Roll Company. Insomnia Cookies and Matchabar Tea donated their products for our midnight surprise to power hackers through the night and our friends at Kings Kolaches joined us in the early morning to heat up their delicious stuffed kolaches for breakfast!


Keeping our hackers fed
Keeping our hackers fed

hackNY also opened up applications for its 2017 Fellowship Program during the hackathon! Apply for the best summer of your life, where you will be paired with a NY startup, attend varied talks about all facets of the tech world, and share housing with the other awesome fellows and mentors!


hackNY 2016 fellows
hackNY 2016 fellows

Teams demoed their projects to our awesome panel of judges covered in our last blog post. Thank you to our judges, mentors, and volunteers who truly made our event possible. Thank you also to our sponsors: Quotidian Ventures, MongoDB, Buzzfeed, a16z, Twilio, Flybridge Capital, and Ultrapress!


All of our submissions and winners are listed on our Devpost. Don’t forget to check out our photos on Flickr!

1st place - Funsquare
1st placeFunsquare
Showing you which venues are trending on Foursquare through a phone camera and live AR markers.


2nd place - Defending hackerspace
2nd placeDefending hackerspace
Wreck some hackers and be the best defender in Virtual Reality


3rd place - Soundscape VR
3rd placeSoundscape VR
Build an immersive virtual-reality world out of a song with interactive elements that react uniquely to it.



Our top three hacks will present at the New York Tech Meetup!


Most Self-ReliantDynamo
Web app designed to organize a queue of major tasks by set priority.


Most TopicalClownspotter


Best Hack DesigniScavengerHunt
Scavenger hunt app used to help automate some of the annoying clerical parts of scavenger hunts.


Best Hack Using A Presented APIText2Song
Everyone is the DJ at your party


Best Hardware HackKeyboard Keyboard
Efficient and cool alternative input and output method


Best First Hackok emoji dot com
Visual and anonymous emoji based sentiment analysis


Best Use of MongoDB(sponsored by MongoDB)DnD Monster Lookup


Best Use of Twilio(sponsored by Twilio)Text2Song


Best Use of Amazon Web Services(sponsored by AWS)Ordr-In


Best Device Privacy Hack(sponsored by Watch Dogs® 2)Stegochat


#HackHarassment(sponsored by MLH)Clownspotter


Best Domain Name (sponsored by domain.com)ok emoji dot com

Our awesome panel of judges
Thanks again to our awesome panel of judges


Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter for updates, check out our Flickr for more photos of the hackathon, and don’t forget to apply to be a hackNY Fellow in the class of 2017!

hackNY presents: the Fall 2016 Student Hackathon Judges

Our fall student hackathon is less than a week away and we couldn’t wait to share the news! We’re excited to introduce our fall 2016  judges. These leaders in engineering, product development, and data science will draw on their expertise to determine the hacks most deserving of this fall’s awards. Check out the full list of prizes on Devpost!



Jimena Almendares
Former Chief Product Officer at OkCupid


About hackNY:
“Hackathons are a great place to identify talent. Not only will you be building innovative new products, you’ll also be building important future relations. Take an opportunity to spend time with your peers, have fun, and do the best work you can!”

Jimena Almendares
Jimena was most recently Chief Product Officer at OkCupid where she led the product, design, marketing, f/e, app development and business development teams. She was one of the two C-level executives leading the company towards its IPO in 2015, as part of the Match Group (MTCH, 1.2B revenue forecast for 2016).


Previously, she held different leadership roles at Meetup, Zynga, Eventbrite and Facebook, as well as in strategy consulting and analytical operations. Jimena has an MBA from MIT and an MA and BA from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).



Liz Crawford
Former CTO at Birchbox


About hackNY:
“I’ve worked with the HackNY internship program since its first year. It’s been a joy to be able to give so many brilliant young people support early in their careers.”

Liz Crawford
Liz was most recently the CTO at Birchbox. At Birchbox she built the engineering, product, and data science functions. She oversaw the scaling of Birchbox’s systems and consumer presence from supporting thousands of subscribers to more than a million people, across 6 countries, online and in store.


Liz earned her PhD at Carnegie Mellon. She has a long standing interest in developing personalized experiences. Liz has published papers on topics ranging from Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing, to Intelligent Tutoring Systems and Robotics.





Yael Elmatad
Senior Data Scientist, Tapad


About hackNY:
“I am very eager to meet more intelligent young computer scientists through hackNY and looking forward to seeing what creative solutions they have come up with.”

Yael Elmatad
Yael works on Graph Problems related to building Tapad’s Device Graph. Before coming to Tapad, Yael was an Assistant Professor and researcher at NYU, working with high performance computing to study physical systems. She spoke to the 2015 hackNY Fellows about Tapad’s data science as part of our Speakers Series.



Courteney Ervin
Developer, New York Public Library


About hackNY:
“I love seeing what people create when they care passionately about the problems they’re solving.”

Courteney Ervin
Courteney Ervin works in the space where open source meets social good. She’s a developer at the New York Public Library, where she supports accessible literacy in the city and beyond.



Sarah Guido
Senior Data Scientist, Mashable


About hackNY:
“I’m looking forward to seeing the level of innovation that hackNY participants will bring to the table.”

Sarah Guido
Sarah is currently a Senior Data Scientist at Mashable, a position she started very recently. Prior to working at Mashable, Sarah was the Lead Data Scientist at Bitly, where she worked on bringing a greater level of insight into the audience of content creators. Sarah has spoken at a number of conferences on topics such as machine learning, Apache Spark, and Python. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Information.

Thank you again to all our wonderful judges. We are looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend!