Hack-a-Thon Focuses on Economic Development

  • Monday, June 13, 2016 11:12 AM
    Message # 4072695

    The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (RTP) held its third annual Hackathon June 3-5, 2016 in conjunction with Code For America’s National Day of Civic Hacking (NDoCH). The event took place at the Lee County Economic Development Office located at 2201 Second St #500, Fort Myers, FL 33901. 

    The economic theme focused on developing ways to track and report references and results for the Lee Entrepreneurs' Assistance Resource Network (LEARN), a new organization recently formed by Lee County.

    RTP president Marc Farron says, “Our annual Hackathon is held in partnership with the National Day of Civic Hacking.  Computer programmers, software developers, graphic designers, project managers, community organizers and others are invited to join together for a weekend of intense collaboration, leveraging their skills to help their community.”  

    The winning project was presented by a team of 3 graduates from Dunbar High School.  The team members were Derick Vigne, Aboud Alamoudi, and Erik Leal.  They focused on the LEARN challenge, working to connect small businesses and entrepreneurs with resources to support the establishment and growth of local companies.  The Dunbar graduates were recognized for providing a scalable, mobile friendly, intuitive platform.  The team was not only able to facilitate connectivity between LEARN partners, but to track the referrals taking place within the network.  The tool developed allowed entrepreneur support organizations to track metrics and measure the success of the LEARN initiative.

    The SWFRTP also recognized the team of Jane Manning, James Sampel, and Matt Stieg. Team “STP; Strategic Technology Planning” came together as individual participants at the hackathon, using their diverse backgrounds collaboratively for success. This team also worked on the LEARN challenge. This solution was recognized for the creative combination of existing technology, allowing LEARN partners to leverage resources in a more targeted manner.  Key features of this solution were ease of maintenance, ability to customize, and affordability to implement. 

    Thanks to IBM for sponsoring dinner Friday night and demonstrating their Bluemix and Watson platforms for the participants to utilize.  Thanks to Hertz for sponsoring the prizes to the winning team!  Thanks to Zaxby's and Perkins for sponsoring meals.

    More About LEARN Hackathon Project

    Lee County has just helped launch the Lee Entrepreneurs' Assistance Resource Network (LEARN).  LEARN provides outreach activities and services to entrepreneurs and businesses in southwest Florida.  The mission is to promote the establishment, retention and expansion of businesses in the region.  There is a need to develop a way to track the references and results. This project aligns with the Code for America Economic Development silo which emphasizes how cities and regions are stronger when their residents have opportunities to thrive as entrepreneurs, employers, workers and employees.  

    Last modified: Monday, June 13, 2016 1:57 PM | Anonymous
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