It’s been a long night at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. But this time, you couldn’t see anyone waiting for a boat. Instead, the Cruise Terminal hosted a very special competition — the Disrupt NY Hackathon.
Around 650 engineers and designers got together to come up with something cool, something neat, something awesome. The only condition was that they only had 24 hours to work on their projects. Some of them were participating in our event for the first time, while others were regulars.
We could all feel the excitement in the air when the 90 teams took the stage to present a short one-minute demo to impress fellow coders and our judges. But only one team could take home the grand prize and $5,000. So, without further ado, meet the Disrupt NY 2016 Hackathon winner.
AlexaSite lets designers update websites using their voice. This technology could be particularly useful for designers working with clients. You could make small adjustments on the go without having to dive into your CSS sheets. AlexaSite uses Amazon’s Alexa API and works with Squarespace websites. Impressive!
Runner-Up #1: Bumperz
Bumperz aims to make cutting edge accident, prevention and collision avoidance technology available to all drivers. It warns you when you’re approaching a dangerous area with a historically higher than average accident rate. It also warns tired drivers when they’re accidentally changing lanes. Bumperz leverages New York City’s open data when it comes to car crashes. Useful!
Runner-Up #2: Hungry Host
Hungry Host helps you find and cook the best recipes with whatever you have in your fridge. But this hack’s secret sauce is that it works with your Amazon Echo and natural language. You can simply tell Hungry Host your ingredients, then the app will guide you step by step with instructions and timers. Neat!
Kathryn Finney is the founder and Managing Director of digitalundivided (DID), which invests in the success of Black and Latina women founders by providing them with the network, coaching, and funding to build, scale, and exit their high-growth companies. DID runs the BIG Innovation Center, home to the BIG Accelerator, a 16-week program for high potential startups led by Black and Latina Founders. She is also a General Partner in the Harriet Fund, the first pre-seed venture fund investing in high-potential Black and Latina women-led startups.
One of the first social media “stars,” Kathryn sold her site, The Budget Fashionista, in 2014. She was the editor-at-large at BlogHer, a platform representing 40 million-plus women influencers.
An honors graduate of Yale University and Rutgers University and Eisenhower Fellow, Kathryn received the Champion of Change Award in 2013 from the White House for tech inclusion. She’s also listed in Marie Claire’s 10 Women to Watch in 2016, Entrepreneurs Magazine’s “Woman to Watch in 2016”, New York Business Journal’s Women of Influence Award, SXSW Black Innovator and more. She’s inducted into Spelman College’s “Game Changers Academy.”
On February 26, 2015 she was honored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer with the “Kathryn Finney Appreciation Day.”
Trained as an architect with a decade-plus of experience in planning and design, Jean founded Sweeten, the first-of-its-kind residential renovation marketplace, matching homeowners with local design and construction experts based on the budget, location, and style of each project. Sweeten has raised $4.3 million in funding, tripled in size in 2015, with more than $300 million in renovation deals posted.
During her time as the Senior Manager of Global Architecture at Coach Inc., Jean built and managed web platforms for the design and construction of Coach stores internationally and received the company’s Chairman’s Award for her work. Jean graduated from The Cooper Union with a Bachelor of Architecture and was selected as one of 9 recipients of the 2011 Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Jean also co-founded and chairs the African American Student Union (AASU) at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, dedicated to supporting African Americans in architecture, real estate, and urban planning.
Charlie O’Donnell is the sole Partner and Founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures. The fund makes seed and pre-seed investments and was the first venture firm located in Brooklyn where he was born and raised. Brooklyn Bridge invested in the first rounds of Canary, Orchard Platform, Tinybop, Hungryroot, Clubhouse, Ringly, and goTenna among others. He has also funded two companies, GroupMe and Docracy, out of the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon.
Previously, Charlie worked on the investment teams of Union Square Ventures and First Round Capital. He bikes to work, in Gowanus, has done six triathlons, four marathons, and runs the kayaking program in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The longest he has consecutively been outside of the five boroughs of New York City is three weeks.
Saron Yitbarek is the founder of CodeNewbie, the most supportive community of programmers and people learning to code. She’s also host of the weekly CodeNewbie Podcast and a program manager at Microsoft for Tech Jobs Academy, a technical training program for talented New Yorkers ready to launch their tech career. You can follow her @saronyitbarek.