Announcing the Class of 2019 hackNY Fellows!

This Fellowship of 20 students comes from 18 universities, spread out all over the US!  They are a diverse and talented group with strong ideas about the future of tech. Our Fellows are interning at 15 local startups this summer and learning everything they can about New York’s tech scene.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the Fellows program includes community-style housing in Union Square along with the opportunity to connect with founders, investors, journalists, technologists, and all-around leaders from the 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. 

Our AlumNY serve as mentors to the Fellows, helping them navigate their new internships, New York City, and life in general.

Since 2010, hackNY has partnered with over 100 host startups to host over 200 hackNY Fellows.

If you see this instead of a list of fellows please disable adblock. We’re working on a fix for this 🙂

Matthew Troy Joins hackNY as Executive Director

We’re thrilled to announce, after an extensive search, Matthew Troy has joined hackNY as our new Executive Director!

Matthew will help shape hackNY’s future as it enters its second decade. He is excited to find new ways to support the hackNY community and help it thrive. This includes working to expand social good initiatives and explore new opportunities for the alumNY around career development, networking, and leadership.

Matthew brings over a decade of nonprofit leadership experience. He is passionate about education and technology and has dedicated his career to building bridges that help young people to achieve their potential.

Prior to joining hackNY Matthew served as Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club where he brought innovative STEM programs to 4,000 NYC youth. Matthew put his care and attention into creating a hub for access to coding and robotics, 3D printing and a Makerspace, a science discovery program, and a media production lab that cultivated opportunities for youth to explore, collaborate, and most importantly, see themselves as innovators.

Matthew previously held leadership roles at Kids Creative and Lincoln Center, helping to raise millions for programs that serve underrepresented communities.

He began his career in and around City Hall as an advocate for nonprofit organizations. There he embarked on his own tech venture, creating digital tools to empower activists in local government.

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

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, 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: HandyCam; Dogs & Cats

Best Use of Amazon Web Services: FriendAR

Best Use of MongoDB, Atlas, or Stitch: TxtEd

Best Domain Name Registered With 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.