Announcing the Class of 2018 hackNY Fellows!

Meet the Class of 2018: This Fellowship of 19 students comes from 15 universities, spread out all over the US!  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 varied 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.

Fellows will also use their skills to assist nonprofits in social good projects, from mental health technology to tech education to interactive art installations. They will work alongside hackNY AlumNY and representatives of social good organizations to build the tools needed to give back to New York City. 

AlumNY from the program return to mentor the Fellows during the summer, helping them navigate their new internships, New York City and life in general. We are so excited the Class of 2018 is joining our community!

Since 2010, hackNY has partnered with over 100 host startups to host over 200 hackNY Fellows. Our Fellows are interning at 13 different New York City startups this summer and learning everything they can about New York’s tech scene. We look forward to continuing the long partnerships hackNY has had with many host startups, and we are also excited to be working with 5 of our host startups for the first time. View all the host startups we’ve worked with and more program details on our Fellows site.

Announcing Demo Night 2018: An evening of demos and celebration will take place Friday, August 3th. 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.

Amber Rawson 
Rutgers University

Ben  Yang
Rutgers University

Calvin Dong
UC Berkeley

Chuang Tang
Vanderbilt University

Dana Fein-Schaffer
Wellesley College

Emily Koagedal
UC Berkeley

Janice Lee
MIT

Kalvin Lam
Brown University

Kellie Dinh
Bryn Mawr College

Kevin Liao
Haverford College

Krish Dholakiya
University of Colorado Boulder

Martha Edwards
Brown University

Michael Yang
New York University

Noah Huber-Feely
Columbia University

Noah Keppers
Michigan State University

Pearl Leff
Hunter College

Raymond Berger
Eckerd College

Tanya Balaraju
Rutgers University

Zach Hay
University of Pennsylvania

 
 

Hanne Paine Joins hackNY as Director of Operations

We’re thrilled to announce that Hanne Paine (hackNY Fellows Class of ’14) has rejoined hackNY full-time as our new Director of Operations! Hanne has been working with Eric Wu to carry on his work over the past three years as he moves on to new adventures (stay tuned!). Hanne has been a hackNY Fellow, Mentor, Program Coordinator, and Director of Admissions, and is now excited to be taking the reins at hackNY.

Hanne has previously worked at NASA, Green Map Systems, Google, and Betterpath (as a hackNY Fellow). She has been passionate about tech and education ever since middle school, when she worked at a space simulation camp as a senior volunteer and their first female computer programmer.

Hanne has been devoted to hacking and organizing since college. While a first-year student majoring in computer science, she restarted her department’s inactive Computing Society as President, increasing its membership to hundreds of students and organizing weekly Tech Nights featuring talks with startup leaders, tours of NYC tech companies, and the school’s first Startup Career Fair. She also introduced her classmates to hackathons, organizing bus trips to hackathons around the US and Canada for students from Stony Brook and the NY area. Hanne also directed Unhackathon, a series of events that were designed to prioritize a greater diversity of hackers, projects, learning, and creativity.

In her free time, Hanne is a hard-core nerd. She enjoys thinking about linguistics, especially constructed languages from fiction. You can find her at speculative fiction conventions all over the world, teaching her immersion course in a language from outer space.  She’s always happy to recommend a good book and talk shop about telescopes or high-tech cooking equipment.

Hanne is looking forward to an excellent summer with Class of 2018 hackNY Fellows. She also hopes to work on hackNY’s social good initiatives, promote inclusivity, combat impostor syndrome and stereotype threat, and one day expand hackNY’s reach to include younger students.

Welcome, Hanne!

Spring 2018 Student Hackathon Recap

hackNY returned to NYU on April 7th and 8th for our 17th Student Hackathon! A group of over 200 dedicated students produced some of the best hacks we’ve ever seen. We noticed an extra focus on social good this season, with hacks to protect schools from guns, make online communities safer, bring education to those without resources, and help the world be more accessible to those with disabilities. For a couple of the winning teams, their members came solo and found their new teams and friends at the hackathon. That’s what we love to see!

The Spring 2016 hackers represented over 70 universities, with students coming from as far away as Chicago and Florida to work on projects. Check out all 36 awesome hacks on Devpost!

Hackers learned about APIs and Blockchain technology in workshops taught by hackNY Fellows Sam Agnew of Twilio and Calvin Chan of Airswap.io, and laughed at the improvisational skills of Slideshow Karaoke participants, put on by MLH. Meals and snacks were plentiful throughout the weekend, with hackers enjoying italian, thai, Kings Kolaches, Veselka and Insomnia Cookies, among others.

Our traditional Ladies Storm Hackathons meetup was as fulfilling as always, with women gathering to relax and share their experiences. They discovered many similarities, like the struggle to find mentors, interest in studying abroad, and ideas about integrating interdisciplinary skills into their technology careers. They discussed some of the most difficult issues facing women in the world of technology. At the end, the LSH hackers left with a sense of solidarity, new friends and mentors, and (of course) cupcakes!

After a series of impressive demos, a panel of experts judged the hacks and determined our amazing winners.

First Place: Myo Piano
These hackers used a Myo armband and machine learning to allow users to play a virtual piano. This was their first experience with iOS development, and we were tremendously impressed with their learning in just 24 hours!

 

Second Place: DigiCane
This team took an important goal for the world – equal accessibility to navigation in Google Maps – and interviewed real users to determine how to help them best. They created an Android app that combines navigation with obstacle detection, alerting users with voice alerts and vibrations.

 

Third Place: Vizy
Recognizing that the visa interview process can be confusing and stressful, these hackers created a virtual interview system that guides users through practice interviews and gives them useful feedback based on an extensive dataset. Unfortunately, they had to leave early from the ceremony and we couldn’t get their photo.

 

Best First Hack: TxtEd
After noticing that students at impoverished schools in South Africa had access to phones, but not textbooks, this team made their very first hack about bringing education to everyone. They created a system to provide educational material and quiz students through only text messages, allowing teachers and parents to track students’ progress and adapt material as students learn.

 

Best Social Good Hack: SafeDetect
This team used Clarifai’s image detection API to identify guns in images, and Twilio’s API to text people in the vicinity, warning them of possible danger. They hope technology like this can save people from shootings in public places. This team was also at their first hackathon!

 

Best Hack using an NYC API: RatatouAI
This virtual rat uses the Clarifai API to detect the foods users have available and suggest recipes they can make. Next steps for this team include adding features like customizable nutrition content.

 

Most Fun Hack: Twitch Plays: Horror House
These hackers took the crowdsourced virtual fun of Twitch and brought it into the real world, allowing Twitch users to create experiences in an actual haunted house. They also made an excellent haunted house model to show off their hack!

 

Most Technical Hack: redditBotAnalysis
Bots posing as real users on social media can artificially influence public perception. To combat this, this team worked with the Reddit API, machine learning, and the Levenshtein distance algorithm to determine the overall likelihood of a thread being overrun with bots.

 

Best Hardware Hack: FriendAR
Using HoloLens and the Microsoft Face API, this team created an augmented reality system allowing users to identify the people around them by looking at their faces, providing social media information and the opportunity to chat via text.

 

Best Use of Twilio API: Infinite Loop Thingamajig Supply Inc.

Best Use of GIPHY API: HandyCamDogs & Cats

Best Use of Amazon Web Services: FriendAR

Best Use of MongoDB, Atlas, or Stitch: TxtEd

Best Domain Name Registered With Domain.com: Twitch Plays: Horror House

Many thanks again to our judges, volunteers, and of course our sponsors: Twilio, GIPHY, AirSwap, The New York Times, MongoDB, HistoWiz, Clarifai, David Aronoff, Bloomberg, Foursquare, and Insomnia Cookies.

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.