For Immediate Release

For more information, contact Barbara Leiding, Media Relations, at 908-393-7225 or

Contact the winner, Lorenzo Sanelli, through his mother at 908-691-4906.

With photo and caption.

High School Student Wins $5,000 Grand Prize
at HackHunterdon Hackathon

—Tech Competition Sparks Ideas for New Products—

FLEMINGTON, N.J. – A 15-year-old high school student, Lorenzo Sanelli of Three Bridges, won first place and $5,000 in the second annual HackHunterdon Hackathon competition for creating a messaging app called "Communique" that allows users to anonymously post messages that fade away in sixty seconds and are not stored. Also, no registration or passwords are required to use the app.

The event, held June 9-10 at Lorenzo’s home school, Hunterdon Central Regional High School, was a 24-hour tech product creation competition that attracted dozens of competitors from the tri-state area and was open to people of all ages.

Judges included John Goodwin, an engineering manager at Facebook, Eric Herbel of Integrated Clinical Systems, a Hunterdon IT company, and Sam Napolitano, chief technology officer at Pond5 and a former vice president of engineering at Huffington Post.

According to organizers, the event was more than twice the size of the inaugural hackathon in 2017, attracting 72 technologists to the competition and additional sponsors. This year’s event also had added features such as technology education for the general public, presentations from Flemington-based tech companies and the addition of high schoolers as competitors.

“The new features helped us provide a more comprehensive experience for participants this year, and the addition of the students really amped the energy level up throughout the event,” said Marc Saluk, economic development director for Hunterdon County. “The hackathon continues to be a key piece of the county’s innovation initiative but is also really just a lot of fun as well.”

Second place winners, Paul John, Rohan Harish and Brian Christian, all of Basking Ridge, won $3,000 for their 3D scanning app, and Sheil Naik of Lebanon, Stephanie Trimboli of Neptune, Thomas Shweh of Morris Plains and Alex Barbour of Belle Mead won $2,000 for their audio app, “Walking Stories,” which allows users to listen to stories as they stroll past historic landmarks. 

The event is sponsored by Hunterdon County’s Office of Economic Development, Flemington Community Partnership, and the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce.
“The dividends that will come out of this very successful HackHunterdon event are impactful and long lasting,” said Chris Phelan, president of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. “As we continue to grow our workforce and welcome new businesses, the experience of participants, sponsors and those attending the closing session confirm that we are moving our local economy in the right direction.”

Ann Meredith, executive director of Flemington Community Partnership, added, “With the doubling of our attendance from our first year, and the remarkable talent we attracted, we are confident that Flemington is well on its way to becoming a technology hub for the region.” 

For more information, visit, or
HackHunterdon Hackathon winner Lorenzo Sanelli, third from left, accepts a symbolic check representing his $5,000 grand prize from Chris Phelan, president, Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce; Ann Meredith, executive director, Flemington Community Partnership, and Marc Saluk, Hunterdon County economic development director.
On the Calendar:

June 22-23 – Music and Family Fun ,   Flemington Filling Station, 144 Main St.,   5-10 p.m. Music, beer garden and family games, 908-812-1656, also on Facebook.

June 23 – Flemington Car Show , 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Mopars and Motorcycles. Music: The Big Horse Band; Somerville School of Rock. Children’s activities, Rain cancellation by 3 p.m. Facebook post and or call 908-806-6041.
Recurring Events (Free unless otherwise noted)
Music and Family Fun at the Flemington Filling Station , Fridays and Saturdays, 144 Main St., 5-10 p.m. Live music, beer garden, and family games, 908-812-1656, also on Facebook. Weather related cancellations on Explore Flemington Facebook page

Farmers’ Markets , Saturdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Stangl Factory, Stangl Rd. and Mine St.; Sundays, Dvoor Farm, 111 Mine Road, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.,

Live Music , Grateful Bites, Saturdays and Sundays, 12-3pm, 42 Route 12, free, schedule on Facebook.

Fiber Freaks , Knitters, crocheters, quilters, weavers and other fiber art, 90 Main St., Mondays, 6-9 p.m.,

Garden Yoga , Samuel Fleming House Museum and Garden, 5 Bonnell St., 6-7 p.m., weather permitting. Tuesdays starting May 22. Bring your own mat. Complimentary herbal water provided. Donations accepted,, 908-782-4607.

Museum tours , Samuel Fleming House, 5 Bonnell St., 6-7 p.m., 2nd Saturday of the month, 1-4 p.m.,, 908-782-4607.

Open Mic Nights , Factory Fuel Co., 2 Stangl Rd., Thursdays, 6 p.m. 908-968-9258,

Print Club , Print your own T-shirts or posters, 90 Main St., Mondays, 6:30-9, $10, preregistration not necessary.

Tai Chi , Saturdays, 8-9:30 a.m., 90 Main St, $5 donation, or

Tap dancing , Flemington Tap Project, 90 Main St., Saturdays 11 a.m.-12 p.m., donations suggested, ages 8+, sneakers OK,

Wednesday Night Walks, (bring your dog), 79 Main Street, 6-7 p.m. Leisurely stroll through borough streets, Barkley’s Gourmet Marketplace, or 908-751-5452.