Twenty-Four Hours of Hacking Frenzy in Newark Produces Results at First IDT Hackathon

 

Photo: Jacob Jonas hands iPads to Shaoliang Zhong of Stevens University. Jonathan Hyman CTO of Appboy is in the center. Photo Credit: Courtesy IDT Corp.
Jacob Jonas hands iPads to Shaoliang Zhong of Stevens University. Jonathan Hyman CTO of Appboy is in the center. | Courtesy IDT Corp.

IDT Ventures (Newark) hosted its first Hackathon on April 21-22 at IDT Corporation headquarters, in Newark. And by all accounts, it was a success.

In an email to NJTechWeekly.com, Jacob Jonas, director of IDT Ventures, said, “We had an amazing first Hackathon! Hackers came from many different universities and professional backgrounds. We even had a team of high school students!

“We fueled our hackers up with as much soda, energy drinks, snacks, and coffee as they could handle, and set them loose on a 24-hour quest to build the best messaging, payments, or communications-related mobile app. Our meals consisted of pizza, bagels, pastas and salads, and Chinese food. Our ping pong, foosball and pool tables all received a lot of attention. Our office beanie bags were home to a few 30-minute naps. And we even opened up the IDT gym!”

Photo: Team hard at work coding Photo Credit: Courtesy IDT Corp.
Team hard at work coding | Courtesy IDT Corp.

Judges for the Hackathon included: Zev M. Green, IDT's director and technology evangelist; Nathaniel Ritholtz, IDT software developer; Jonathan Hyman, cofounder and CTO of Appboy (New York); Anthony Delgado, CTO of Fownders (Newark); Tom Brennan, a member of the  OWASP Foundation (Bel Air, Md.) global board of directors; and Sharon Ptashek, senior manager, mobile and emerging platforms, at CBS Interactive (New York).

The winners were:

1st Place: Chill - an app that lets you and your friends stream videos over your phones while you’re still able to talk to each other.

  • Team: Shaoliang Zhong and Xiaohang Su. They grew up together in China and now attend Stevens Institute of Technology and NYU Tandon School of Engineering, respectively. 
  • Prize: iPad Mini 2

Photo: Second place winners Nicholas Feuer, Alben Kalambukadu, and Stanimir Stoychev holding their Drones. Zev Green, IDT Director of Emerging Technologies (far left). Photo Credit: Courtesy IDT Corp.
Second place winners Nicholas Feuer, Alben Kalambukadu, and Stanimir Stoychev holding their Drones. Zev Green, IDT Director of Emerging Technologies (far left). | Courtesy IDT Corp.

2nd Place: Supernova Tasker - a task manager that adds a necessary level of complexity while maintaining the same simple user experience people are accustomed to.

  • Team: Nicholas Feuer, Alben Kalambukadu, and Stanimir Stoychev. All three are students at Purchase College, SUNY.
  • Prize: Discovery HD+ Drone

Photo: Third place winners Mark Annett, Tejas Shah, Mosies Cordero, Samuel Lebreault, Ivan Quan and Patrick Needham holding their Raspberry Pis. Zev Green (far left)l. Photo Credit: Courtesy IDT Corp.
Third place winners Mark Annett, Tejas Shah, Mosies Cordero, Samuel Lebreault, Ivan Quan and Patrick Needham holding their Raspberry Pis. Zev Green (far left)l. | Courtesy IDT Corp.

3rd Place: Man Cave Sharing - Airbnb for man caves.

·       Team: Mark Annett, Tejas Shah, Moises Cordero, Samuel Lebreault, Ivan Quan and Patrick Needham. Annett is a patent agent and president of Annett Enterprises (Livingston).

  • Prize: 32 GB Raspberry Pi 3

Best Use of Artificial Intelligence: Ellie - a conversational bitcoin transfer exchange and wallet

  • Team: Christopher Tan, Timothy Goltser, Zeynep Akpinar, Curtis Mason. All four are high school students at Staten Island Tech.
  • Prize: Amazon Echos, sponsored by Fownders.

Photo: AI Winners Christopher Tan, Timothy Goltser, Zeynep Akpinar, Curtis Mason. All four are High School students at Staten Island Tech. Their prize was sponsored by Fownders. Photo Credit: Courtesy IDT Corp.
AI Winners Christopher Tan, Timothy Goltser, Zeynep Akpinar, Curtis Mason. All four are High School students at Staten Island Tech. Their prize was sponsored by Fownders. | Courtesy IDT Corp.

At the event, IDT announced that it is seeking applicants for its summer internship program, which will start June 5 and end August 18. The program is for students pursuing an undergrad or graduate degree in computer science, and IDT promises that participants will “be working on real engineering projects all summer!” IDT noted that there will also be room for some fun, including intern road trips.

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