First Annual Weather Hackathon Takes Place at University at Albany
This month the NYS Mesonet, Innovate 518, the UAlbany Innovation Center, the Weather and Climate Business-Analytics Research Center at UAlbany, and Blackstone Launchpad teamed up with companies in the region such as Troy Web Consulting, Covey, Truweather and Ignite U to put on a three-day "Weather Hack" at the University at Albany's Massry Center for Business.
The hackathon is an event that gathers programmers and aspiring coders
in an event that typically lasts several days, to meet and engage in collaborative computer programming and complete their choice from a selection of challenges. The challenges ranged from creating commands and skills for the Amazon "Alexa" to determine what to wear based on the weather for the day, to using weather data to develop a GPS software for EMS and freight trucks to get to their destinations faster and safer.
Five teams competed for the $500 grand prize and a interview and promo package with Startup Grind Albany. Covey also awarded the team with the best Alexa Skill a grand prize of $500. The students were accompanied and mentored throughout the weekend by experts in the field of entrepreneurship and weather technology.
At the end of the three day event, the teams were judged based off their final pitches by Mark Poskanzer, Director of Sales & Marketing at Troy Web Consulting, Lawrence C. Gloeckler, Customer Success Scientist at Riskpulse and Jerald Brotzge, Program Manager at the New York State Mesonet. Winners of Covey Team Challenge were Natalie Cohen (UAlbany), Yuan Gao (RPI), and Weilin Gong (RPI), the team also took home the overall contest first prize. Second place went to Ismail Jalwaj Soubai, Ravi Sood (UAlbany), and Jonathan Seay (UAlbany), who participated in the Truweather Challenge finding safer routes for freight vehicles. Third place was awarded to Madeleine Trombley (UAlbany) & Seamus Daly (UAlbany).