Alexa Shop Assist wins the Disrupt SF 2017 Hackathon Grand Prize

It’s been a long night at Pier 48 in San Francisco. The building hosted a very special competition — the Disrupt SF Hackathon.

Hundreds of 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. Some of them slept on the floor in a corner, while others drank too much Red Bull.

We could all feel the excitement in the air when the 103 teams took the stage to present a 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 SF 2017 Hackathon winner.

Winner: Alexa Shop Assist

Many Amazon Echo owners already rely on Alexa to shop for stuff on Amazon’s website. But what about good old brick-and-mortar stores? With Alexa Shop Assist, you can ask Alexa where you can find products in a store. It can also help you find the right product.

Runner-Up No. 1: ASLink

While the deaf and hard-of-hearing population can visually communicate with people educated in American Sign Language, video chat can enable a new layer of communication. ASLink translates American Sign Language to text.

Runner-Up No. 2:

SpeechCoach.Ai listens to you speak, compares your speeches to some of the best speakers in the world like Obama and gives you immediate feedback. The feedback includes features like your pace of talking, how many filler words you used, sentiment analysis and number of grammatical mistakes

Frederique Dame

Product Executive, Angel Investor and Board Member

Frederique Dame

Frederique Dame is a product executive and angel investor with 15 years of experience building consumer and enterprise products for both public companies and startups in Silicon Valley. Most recently, she spent four years leading product and engineering at Uber, where she helped scale the company from 80 employees to more than 7,000, and from 14 cities in 4 countries, to 400+ cities in 68 countries. During her time at Uber, she spearheaded two strategic programs that focused on building tools to onboard and manage the global driver force and to support employee growth and productivity worldwide, both critical to getting the company off the ground. Frederique serves on the Board of Directors of both Ubisoft and Les Mills International, bringing expertise in digital customer experience and big data. She holds a Master of Science in Spacecraft Technology and Satellite Communications from University College London and a Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering from Télécom SudParis. You can find Frederique on Twitter at @fffabulous.

Dr. Marily Nika

Engineering Program Manager and EdTech App Founder, Google

Marily works for Google’s Assistant team while also being an entrepreneur, developing her own AI EdTech app. In the past, she worked at Facebook and previously as a Product Manager for a London-based startup. Marily completed a PhD in CS in London where she explored to what degree epidemiological models can give us insights about videos going viral. Marily loves creating technology and working on fresh ideas, has attended 30 hackathons up to date, MC’ed London’s TechCrunch Disrupt Hack 2016, has given 3 TEDx talks and won the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Influence Award 2015.  You can find Marily on Twitter @marilynika.

Amanda Richardson

Chief Data & Strategy Officer, HotelTonight

Amanda is Chief Data & Strategy Officer at HotelTonight, the leading mobile app for last-minute hotel bookings. She leads data analytics, corporate strategy and data engineering to create and execute data-driven strategies. Prior to this role, Amanda was VP of Product, responsible for product management, design and user testing. Amanda has several years of senior leadership experience in product management in companies, including Snagajob and Eclipsys. Prior to joining HotelTonight, Amanda served as Head of Product at Prezi where she upgraded Prezi’s workflow and user interface and led mobile efforts to create a truly multi-platform product suite. Amanda holds a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Stanford University.  You can find her on Twitter @amandarich01.

Parul Vora Weber

Parul Vora Weber is a product researcher and designer who faces a lifelong challenge of autocorrect changing her name to Paul. She works in a small but mighty overlap of technology and the social sector at Wikipedia,, Farmers Business Network and Abl Schools. Her formal education began at BH Montessori, ended at the MIT Media Lab and continues in the shop, on her bike, in the kitchen and in the woods. She loves telling people that she is the mother of two boys and wife of a handsome roboticist so she can judge them for defining her by the men in her life. You can find Parul on Twitter @parutron.

Maria Zhang

CTO, Tinder

As chief technology officer, Maria Zhang leads development efforts at Tinder, working with a team of world-class engineers to build and scale the app for its global user base. Prior to joining Tinder, Maria served as Vice President of Engineering at Yahoo Mobile, garnering the highly coveted Apple Design Award and shipping major product releases, including: Yahoo, Yahoo News Digest, Yahoo Sports and Yahoo Fantasy Sports. Prior to Yahoo, Maria founded Alike, a mobile local recommendation app later acquired by Yahoo. Maria’s previous positions include principal software development manager at Microsoft, product team lead at and senior software engineer at NetIQ Corp. Maria received a Masters in Computer Science and a B.A. in Computer Science, Mathematics and Economics from Eastern Michigan University after transferring from Tsinghua University in Beijing. She currently resides in Palo Alto, California.