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!”
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
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
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.
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.