We didn’t get a lot of sleep this past weekend, but we did do something pretty cool: Warby Parker, along with the Mayor’s Office of Tech and Innovation and MKTG INC, hosted a 24-hour intern hackathon at Civic Hall—appropriately named HudsonHack: NYC Intern Edition. The event was the first of its kind, bringing the next generation of technology leaders together to celebrate the power of tech and innovation across the city.
Throughout the experience, heaps of caffeinated interns had the opportunity to compete against each other, in hopes of building industry-changing products. (Update: they did.) While facing off, participants had access to one-on-one advice from world-class engineers, plus the ability to use state-of-the-art APIs and data as foundation for their ideas. (They also had naps rooms, ping-pong, and foosball.)
Prizes were awarded to those teams or individuals that built the most above-and-beyond products. One special prize recognized the best social innovation-based idea or solution; to help inspire those who chose to work on social projects, we invited local non-profit organizations Blue Ridge Labs, NYC Department of Homeless Services, and DonorsChoose.org to present product-based issues they were currently facing.
Each final product was then judged by a pretty impressive panel of experts: Minerva Tantoco (New York City’s first-ever Chief Technology Officer), Shelley Leibowitz (Board of Directors of E*TRADE and former CIO of Morgan Stanley and World Bank), and Alan Wade (Board of Trustees of The Aerospace Corporation and former CIO of the CIA).
In the end, yes, there were winners. But let’s face it: everyone’s a winner when they’re hacking for good.
Take a peek below to see some behind-the-screens action. #computerjoke