You could say all 175 participants in the eMerge Americas hackathon were winners. They may have met new people and learned some new skills. And in addition to generous giveways from sponsors, they all got free tickets to eMerge Americas Techweek this week.
Thirty-three teams presented, which may be a record for a South Florida hackathon.
The challenge: Come up with hacks for the social good. Ideas ranged from food safety and food distribution concepts, to emergency preparedness and connected neighborhoods, to bringing some transparency to politicians in Latin America, and many others.
This hackathon dangled a $30,000 prize. So who were the winners?
Grand prize -- $20,000: DLD, a global developers network. Team members: David Shaw, Dainel Vera, Wes Cowan and Randy Jarrin. (Pictured above)
Second Place -- $7,500: Uplift, which works through telephone voice menus and text messages to provides farmers in emerging markets with access to information that can improve their farming techniques and quality of life. Creator: Eddy Borja
Third Place -- $2,500: NOSH. Team: TBA
And a special award for Best Civic Hack – CoFarmer.co. Team members: Tamar Lucien and Kwame Ampem.
Judges were: Thomas Osha, Wexford Science and Technology; Stas Gayshan, Cambridge Innovation Center; Neisan Massarrat, Second Muse and representative of National Day of Civic Hacking; Bharat Krish, CIO, HBO Latin America; Yvan Aquino, Tiger Direct; Omar Chanouha, Medina Capital; Alfonso Govela, UN-HABITAT.
Sponsors were: Wexford, AWS, .CO Internet, TigerDirect, Invisio and University of Miami. The event was hosted by Refresh Miami at the UM Life Science and Technology Park.
eMerge Americas wants to help the winning team take their idea to the next level and turn the idea into a product. Alfonso Govela, co-founder of UN-HABITAT City Changer Labs and Connected City Platform has offered to help the startup launch the product and wants to put a City Changer Lab in Miami.
Nissan Misrette, representing the National Day of Civic Hacking, also said he doesn’t want these ideas to be left on the table. Come to Code for Miami or Code for Fort Lauderdale and continue working on your project. Hack for Change, the national organization is there to provide resources and support, he said. “This is a year round effort. It’s been and amazing day.”
Photos of presentation and judges by Jessica Kizorek