University of Hawaii students shined in the third annual AT&T UH Mobile Tech Hackathon, held this year at Sacred Hearts Academy. This event attracted an impressive 125 participants.
Governor David Ige, a graduate of the UH School of Engineering, made a repeat appearance as a judge. Todd Nacapuy, Chief Information Officer for the state, and Mark Wong, City and County of Honolulu Chief Information Officer, rounded out the judges panel.
The 24-hour event is designed for those interested in coding mobile apps or hacking hardware solutions. Members of Hawaii’s tech community were on hand to network with students and others interested in technology.
“I’m very impressed once again by the talent and drive exhibited by these students who are solving our community’s problems through the development of these apps. Through their technology skills, the students are working to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii, their communities, our state and the nation,” said Governor Ige.
The teams had a mixture of creative talent and development skills. They created their Android or iOS apps from conception to implementation. Each team had three minutes to present their finished mobile app to the panel of judges.
Team Micro Manager won the grand prize of $5,000 in gift cards. Team Push Box won $1,000. Team Data Dudes won $1,000 for Best Smart City Application. Two other teams won $500 and a final team won Harman Audio Packages.
AT&T sponsors the Hackathon in partnership with UH. The goal is to create a sustainable environment for aspiring and seasoned developers to deploy a mobile app with a website backend that is fully hosted in the cloud. The event also aims to help entrepreneurs and startups build mobile apps.
“One of these participants could well be the next Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg,” said David Chin, professor and chair of Information and Computer Sciences at UH. “With the high cost of doing business locally, we’re not going to be able to persuade existing tech companies to relocate to our islands. Our best bet is to grow our own entrepreneurs, people who grew up here and love the ʻaina, who will build the next Microsoft or Apple or Facebook right here in Hawaii.”
“We are so pleased that Governor Ige joined us again as a judge along with the chief information officers for the state and the county,” said Carol Tagayun, AT&T Director of External Affairs. “This is a reflection of the growing importance of technology in Hawaiʻi and the seemingly unlimited potential of this industry.”