November 21, 2013 Posted by: Tawnya Lancaster
One of the most popular new trends among techies these days is the weekend “hackathon.” It’s a chance for developers, engineers and techies to power through 24- to 48-hours of coding frenzy — spurred on by copious amounts of caffeine, food and pure drive — all in the hope of developing a better technology (typically an app or web platform) than their competing peers.
Hackathons have become the “new cool” within the developer scene, a way to prove your worth and simultaneously impact social change. The weekend of Nov 16-17, Tech CU sponsored the High Grounds Hackathon for Mental Health. Produced by the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS) and Highground Hackers, it brought together a group of civic minded developers, technology executives, entrepreneurs, and investors working to tackle different areas of public concern.
With mental health professionals on hand, the event’s goal was to develop a technology that could address such problems as: youth violence, gun violence, isolation, mental health assessments, and more.
Tech CU awarded a $1,500 check to the winning team, Health Heroes! led by Zachary Zeleznick. The team developed a “proof-of-concept” for an on-demand emotional health service allowing students an anonymous and secure connection to their peers through one-on-one chat cessions, phone calls and meet-ups. Congratulations to all the developers and team members who spent their weekend coding away! You can read more about their projects here.
CIIS and Highground Hackers will partner up once again on December 14, the anniversary of Sandy Hook, for another hackathon. Teams will focus on reducing gun violence through the application of technology, with a focus on mental health. The keynote speaker will be Ron Conway, a top tech investor, entrepreneur, businessman and philanthropist. If you’re interested in participating, please click here for more info.
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