Some of the creators of TechCrunch Disrupt NY hackathon project Espace are still learning to code, and this was the perfect event at which to hone their skills. The six-person team designed a site this weekend to connect meetup groups with venues offering space where events can be hosted. Organizers and venue owners use the site to sign up and list their needs or what they have to offer, respectively. Espace then helps to put them in touch to broker the deal.
The idea resonated with two of the group’s members in particular: husband and wife team Jamal and Felicia O’Garro. Both started learning Ruby recently, and today host a meetup group of their own. This group, started in January, is focused on helping others who are also learning to code, by offering training classes and coffee-and-coding sessions. The group meets Sundays at New York-based co-working space, Alley NYC, and despite its young age, it has already grown to around 550 members, with 30 or so showing up at each weekly session.
Others working on the Espace team this weekend include David Lau, Adam Waxman, Cavaughn Noel and Linda Peng. The site uses the Twilio API, which gives both the vendor owner and meetup organizer a virtual number that they can use to connect to discuss the details of the group’s meeting space needs. Asked if meeting organizers were really all that concerned about sharing their real phone numbers with venue owners, Jamal admitted that he was mainly interested in playing around with the Twilio API.
Jamal may be a newer coder, but he’s already building software for another area startup, CommonBond a recently seed-funded company that connects student borrowers with alumni to crowdsource funding of student loans. Whether or not Espace continues after this weekend is unknown: Jamal is turning into a hackathon junkie, it seems – this is his third in just a few months’ time, he says.