Annual Hacks’ Hackathon Generates Flurry of Innovations

Smith Union was filled with techies last weekend who were participating in the third annual CBBHacks Hackathon, the largest student hackathon in Maine.

Students from NESCAC colleges spent thirty-six hours throughout the weekend inventing new apps and computer products and services, competing for a selection of prizes that included Amazon and LL Bean gift cards.

As teams worked on their ideas, they got tips from entrepreneurs and professors. The event, which kicked off at 7 p.m. Friday and ended Sunday at 2 p.m., culminated in a presentation of the inventions to a panel of invited venture capitalists and CEOs.

One group of students from Colby College designed HYK, a real-time location sharing, group messaging, and distress-notification app. CP Majgaard ’18, Michael Remondi ’17, and Austin Nantkes ’19 won first place with their app design.

Bowdoin students James Lemkemeier ’19, Ezra Sunshine ’19, John Ahn ’19, and Ryan St. Pierre ’19 came in second with their idea to use machine learning techniques to predict a person’s risk of heart disease based on a variety of user input factors.

Nile Dixon ’20 and Kimberly Anker ’17 from Colby College claimed third place with their idea for “Colby Shuttle.” This app lets students check on upcoming shuttle stops.

There were three other award categories: Best Hardware Hack, Most Innovative Hack, and Best LL Bean Hack.

For the most innovative hack students from Bowdoin College and Williams College collaborated on a virtual reality museum.

“Dolla’Stretch,” created by Bates students Imad Rajwani ’18, Gideon Ikpekaogu ’17, and Yinya (Grace) Huang ’17 won the LL Bean Hack award. The app uses customer budgets and a selection of simple financial instruments to make shopping more cost efficient. The app displays the future value of one’s savings, and what possible LL Bean products one can afford based on these investment preferences.

Bowdoin College, Bowdoin IT Department, LL Bean, Adaptive Designs Inc., and Reizlabs sponsored the event.

Photos by Daniel Jang ’20


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