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Announcing the Class of 2016 hackNY Fellows!

Meet the Class of 2016: This Fellowship of 25 students comes from 18 universities, spread over 5 countries and 3 continents! Our Fellows are interning at 20 New York City startups this summer and learning everything they can about New York’s tech scene. They are an impressive, diverse group, with great tech skills and strong ideas about the future of our industry. Thanks to the generosity of a diverse community of supporters, the Fellows program includes community-style housing in Union Square as well as a series of pedagogical lectures introducing the hackNY Fellows to founders, investors, journalists, technologists, and all-around leaders from the NYC startup community. They are also sharing their unique skills with the group by hosting workshops – from functional programming to feminism and Slack bots to snow globes! We are so excited the Class of 2016 is joining our community!

Since 2010, hackNY has partnered with over 100 host startups to host over 200 hackNY Fellows. This year, our 25 Fellows will be hosted by 20 exciting startups. We look forward to continuing the long partnerships hackNY has had with many host startups, and we are also excited to be working with 10 of our host startups for the first time. View all the host startups we’ve worked with on our Fellows site.

Announcing Demo Night 2016: An evening of demos and celebration will take place Friday, August 5th. This event commemorates the end of the summer and is a chance for the Fellows to show off the summer projects they worked on, both professionally and personally. Demo Night is open to the tech community, and RSVPs and more information will be coming soon.

Aditya Balwani
Stony Brook University

Alice Ren
University of Pennsylvania

Andrea Heyman
Columbia University

Andy Wang
Duke University

Anosha Minai
University of Pennsylvania

Brandon Fujii
Northwestern University

Chelsea Valentine
New York University

Christopher Hranj
The College of New Jersey

Claire Durand
Temple University

Dan Gorelick
Boston University

Ganesh Ravichandran
Columbia University

Jeffrey Wang
UC Los Angeles

Kathleen Chen
University of Pennsylvania

Matt O’Hagan
Florida State University

Nick Spinale
Carleton College

Olaolu Emmanuel
Rutgers University

Robin Pollak
Pomona College

Sakib Jalal
Rutgers University

Sam Couch
Temple University

Sam Pringle
UC Berkeley

Shahrzad Gustafson
USC

Shilpa Subrahmanyam
University of Illinois

Sophie Stadler
Columbia University

Su Hang
Columbia University

Veeral Patel 
Stanford University

Spring 2016 hackNY Hackathon Winners Demo at New York Tech Meetup

On Tuesday, May 3rd, three of the Spring 2016 hackNY Student Hackathon‘s winning teams presented at the New York Tech Meetup to a theater packed with local technologists. Accent, the first place winners, and Peer Wifi, the third place winners, were joined by Drone Regulator, winners of our traditional 8-breaker creativity prize.

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Claire Glendening and Jack Cook demoed their mobile app, Accent (formerly Interface), which helps language students learn outside the classroom by assisting them as they read news articles in their language of choice. Users can highlight words they don’t know to have them translated instantly and then added to Quizlet for future study. Accent is now available on the App Store!

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Andy Yu, Md Islam, and Minh Tuan Tran demoed their mobile app, Peer Wifi, which allows users to sell their excess mobile data to others by letting them connect to their mobile hotspots. Users selling their data set prices for usage time and data caps, and users in the vicinity can pay with Paypal or a credit card to connect. The audience laughed and cheered when they demonstrated their live demo had worked by loading a cat video compilation.

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Sean Bae and Colin King took a bus all the way from Maryland to present their hack, Drone Regulator. They realized that new technology often moves much faster than the law and wanted to provide an easy way for drone operators to follow all FAA regulations without any extra effort. Their web-based drone navigator app displays regulatory information, drone status, and environmental conditions along with a first-person camera view.

After demos, the presenters headed to the afterparty, where they had supporters coming up to talk to them about their projects and future plans all night.

Congratulations again to all the presenters! We will add NYTM’s official video and photos of the demos as they become available.

Spring 2016 hackNY Student Hackathon Recap

Last weekend we celebrated the 13th hackNY Student Hackathon with a record number of student hackers from all over the East Coast. Over 260 students hacked on projects over 24 hours, building webapps, games, and hardware hacks. They represented 50 different universities, and many joined with students from several other schools to form their teams.  We were extremely impressed by the quality of the hacks built – nearly half our hackers were attending their first hackathon!

Employees from NYC startups came to present their APIs to the students and mentor them throughout the weekend, including Buzzfeed, MongoDB, Foursquare, Clarifai and Giphy. Hacks included both useful and funny webapps, simulations and educational material using civic data, a hilarious but politically relevant game, and innovative hardware hacks using drones, Oculus Rifts and Arduinos. When they needed a break from hacking, hackers attended a workshop on APIs for new hackers, coding competitions with MLH, and our traditional Ladies Storm Hackathons meetup. At the LSH meetup, 30 women hackers enjoyed sharing their experiences and finding common interests while decorating cupcakes. We also introduced hackers to some of the best of New York’s food, like Halal Guys chicken and rice, Otto’s Tacos, Schnitz Sandwiches, Insomnia Cookies and Joe’s Pizza. The Kings Kolache team spent breakfast with us, heating up their famous kolaches on the spot so everyone had something hot and delicious to fuel their last hours of hacking.

We had over 50 teams demo their hacks to our team of judges, which included developers, entrepreneurs, and the CTO of the City of New York! You can learn more about our 5 inspiring judges in last week’s blog post. Thank you to our judges, local Technical Ambassadors who mentored our hackers, and volunteers who truly made our event possible. Thank you also to our sponsors: Quotidian Ventures, MongoDB, eBay, Datto, Capital One, Andreessen Horowitz, and Twilio!

In the media: NYC Tech Wizards Convene for hackNY’s Spring 2016 Event

View photos from the Spring 2016 hackNY Student Hackathon on Flickr.

Here are the winners of our 9 prizes. Check out Devpost for all the submissions, video stream of the event, winners of sponsor prizes and more. Later this week, we’ll update this post with photos from the hackathon.

HackNY
1st Place:
Interface
Optimizing the language learning experience through foreign language comprehension and accessible vocabulary.

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2nd Place: Toast Printer
An image of any size is scaled to fit on bread and is toasted onto it.

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3rd Place: Peer Wifi

This application provide a platform for the users to sell mobile data, and allows other users to buy.

Our top 3 hacks will go on to present at the New York Tech Meetup

Best First Hack: BunnyBot
A stuffed bunny that uses an Arduino Uno, two touch sensors, one buzzer, and one LCD backlight to sing, purr, and display messages.

The 8-Breaker: Drone Regulator
Fly your drone with a PS4 controller while never breaking drone laws.

Most Technically Impressive Hack: Adaptive Wireless Mesh-Networking
Mesh-Networks allow for advanced adaptive reconfiguration. Possible uses include Smart Cities, Transportation and more.

Best Hack Design: YUGE!
Donald Trump is building a wall, and it’s up to you to stop him! Win as many points as possible before it’s built!

Best Hardware Hack: Tin Cam
A minty, cheap, discreet, cloud-connceted camera that aims to end police brutality and the dangers of walking alone.

Best Hack Using an NYC Startup’s API: Pictorious
Like a race through wikipedia pages in search of some “thing”, but with gifs instead.

Best NYC Inspiration: PillowBrawl

Best use of MongoDB (Sponsored by MongoDB): Hyperios

Best Use of Capital One’s API (Sponsored by Capital One): Make or Break

Best PHP Hack (Sponsored by Datto): CraveSpot

Best use of Twilio (Sponsored by Twilio): RemindMe, DialVG, Pranker

Best Use of Amazon Web Services (Sponsored by AWS): Urban H20

Best Domain Name (Sponsored by Domain.com): Just Bike

Best Developer Tool (Sponsored by Github): Station Location

More than 30 women hackers attended the traditional Ladies Storm Hackathons meetup to share stories and interests, and decorate cupcakes. Photo: Hanne Paine
Hackers worked through the night to build sophisticated webapps, games, utilities, and hardware projects. Photo: MLH
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The Toast Printer slowly comes together from parts. Photo: MLH

View more photos from the Spring 2016 hackNY Student Hackathon on Flickr!

Meet the Spring 2016 hackNY Student Hackathon Judges

hackNY’s Spring 2016 Student Hackathon is just over a week away! We’ve lined up a team of judges with expertise in programming, design, and entrepreneurship to pick the best hacks. Check out the list of prizes we will be awarding on Devpost.

Minerva Tantoco
Chief Technology Officer, City of New York
As NYC’s first-ever CTO, Tantoco directs the Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation with responsibility for the development and implementation of a coordinated citywide strategy on technology and innovation and encouraging collaboration across agencies and with the wider New York City technology ecosystem. While still in college, Ms. Tantoco co-founded technology startup, Manageware Inc, which was successfully sold five years later. Since then, Ms. Tantoco has led emerging technology initiatives including artificial intelligence, e-commerce, virtualization, online marketing and mobile applications. She holds four US patents on intelligent workflow and is a speaker and author on mobile, security, big data, and innovation.
Stacey Mulcahy
Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft
Stacey Mulcahy is a technical evangelist with Microsoft. Prior, she was the Lead Developer working with a variety of technologies at Big Spaceship, a digital agency based out of Brooklyn, NY. She has worked at Teknision and Fuel Industries in Ottawa, Canada, and IQ Interactive in Atlanta in a variety of technical roles. A technical editor and instructor, Stacey enjoys sharing her love for her work in interactive development. She considers her lack of verbal filter and extreme candor just a small part of her charm. She runs Young Game Makers – a program to inspire kids to love code through game making. She says, “hackNY hackathons always have some of the most polished and curious projects, judging is always so much fun.”
Yael Elmatad
Senior Data Scientist, Tapad
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 last summer’s hackNY Fellows about Tapad’s data science as part of our Speakers Series. She says, “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.”
Renee DiResta
VP Business Development, Haven
Renee DiResta is the Vice President of Business Development at Haven, a startup in San Francisco that is creating an automated platform for freight procurement. She is an angel investor and adviser to hardware startups and was previous a VC at O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and a trader at Jane Street Capital. Her book, The Hardware Startup, was recently published by O’Reilly Media. She says,  “Participating in hackathons has been one of my favorite ways to meet and learn from new people. I can’t wait to see the exciting projects created by the hackNY participants.”
Courteney Ervin
Developer, New York Public Library
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. “I love seeing what people create when they care passionately about the problems they’re solving.”
Allie Diracles
Co-Founder and CEO, Vidcode

Alexandra Diracles started her career as a photographer and business owner. She studied computer programming in graduate school and fell in love with the creative potential of code. Since then she has made it her mission at Vidcode to create tools that help teen girls find their path and passion to code. “The power to build your own products, tools and businesses with code is huge. I can’t wait to see what the hackNY hackers have created.”

Thank you again to all our wonderful judges. We are so looking forward to next weekend!

hackNY Celebrates 2016 AlumNY Reunion

On Friday, March 4th, we celebrated 6 years of the hackNY Fellows Program with our annual reunion. Our AlumNY got to hang out at Tumblr‘s beautiful NYC headquarters and reconnect with their friends over dinner and music. We listened to talks by two great technologists and artists, Tega Brain and David Scheinkopf, who told us about their recent work and inspired us to see tech, art, and education in new ways.

Here are some photos from the event!

AlumNY sit with their friends after dinner, listening to talks by local technologists and artists.

Continue reading “hackNY Celebrates 2016 AlumNY Reunion”