Columbia’s DevFest 2012 Showcases Student Hacks, New York Talent

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The culture of hacking continues to bloom in New York, evidenced last weekend by Columbia’s DevFest 2012. DevFest is entirely student run, and had workshops and support from local VC firms and startups. The event culminated with presentations of hacks and awards judged by Fred Wilson (USV), Chris Wiggins (HackNY), Dave Jagoda (Andreessen Horowitz), Ryan Bubinski (Codecademy) and myself (Uncommon Projects). A full list of the winners is below.

DevFest and the entire developer scene has really blossomed since I covered last year’s event. To wit: HackNY hosted its successful Raise Cache event, NYHacker organized Game and Music Hackdays, Foursquare hosted its first and second (global) hackathon, we saw our first Art Hackday, New York Tech Meetup launched Hack of the Month, Etsy continued its awesome Code as Craft lecture series, students launched the Hacker league platform, GroupMe (TC Hackathon 2010) got acquired and Docracy (TC Hackathon 2011) got funded just to name a few developments. All this hacking is a huge win for New York because hacking leads to so much innovation – recently Eric Ries argued that the culture hacking and continuous development may be a new way of doing business and the heart of Facebook’s success.

But back to the kids. There were tons of great hacks – from a student presenting her very first hack, a crowd-srouced mobile marketplace for buying parking spots and the winning task manager by Sid Nair. Here’s a list of them all.

Lerner -Best use of the Twilio API – Zhehao (Howie) Mao
Beer Battle – Best game – Augusto Corvalan, Andrew Funcheon, Trevor Marshall, Moses Nakamura, and Andrew Stenvall
ParkAlly – Best pre-existing app – Sid Shanker, Mason Silber, and Zach Reitano
Situity – Best UI design – Alex Golec, Calvin Hu, Simon McGown, George Valdes, Ming Norman Tsui, and David Zhai
CookNooks – Best first hack – Sophie Chou
FreeSeat – Most technically difficult – Aditya Mukerjee and Zach Newman
ResearchMatch – Best business model – Yifan Li, Ryder Moody, Alex Poon, and Rebecca Sealfon
HelpRoom – Overall 3rd – Dina Lamdany and Elie Toubiana
omnified – Overall 2nd – Yufei Liu
Scheduler – Overall 1st – Sid Nair