By Jackie Rees, Xplorer Senior Manager at VMware
On Saturday March 18th, several hundred students from Northern California gathered at San Francisco State University to participate in the first ever SF Hacks event.
SF Hacks is San Francisco State University’s 24-hour college hackathon where 350 students from all over northern California come together to learn, experiment and create. Teams of students are taking innovative ideas turn into a reality. They are working together to understand and build solutions to real problems. Students were encouraged to make websites, develop mobile apps and games and anything else they could think of in that 24-hour period.
VMware was a sponsor of the hackathon and of the Best Social Hacks category. We believe that it is important to support innovation that promote a social use of technology. This is a core belief of VMware and of our EPIC2 values.
The top three teams who won prizes in this category were:
- Agoodnight.space – An online resource tool for homeless shelters to manage resources and share this data with other local shelters.
- Octobytes – Speech-to-text technology and facial expression technology which allows people to get to know each other and as they continue to chat and get to know each other, the video images become clearer.
- Babybumps – A mobile app that creates a personal social network for Pregnant women
The winning team, consisted of 4 students, built a centralized resource called a Agoodnight.space. This tool helps local homeless shelters communicate resource availability and features a simple API for the shelter managers to update as their resources change throughout the day. When one shelter is full, a list of filterable criteria for other shelters is available to facilitate resource sharing and collaboration between shelters. Future releases will include the integration of text messaging and a user-accessible site. These improvements will lead to greater sharing and analytics and enable greater service for the community at large.
Mark Peek, a Principal Engineer at VMware, was at the event on Sunday March 19th to review the submissions and assist with the selection of winners. In speaking with Mark about the event, he said, “It was a great privilege to be able to attend and provide preliminary judging at the SF Hacks event at SFSU. The students worked hard over the weekend and through their Saturday night on some awesome projects and I thoroughly enjoyed discussing the projects with the teams. Given VMware’s long history in software excellence, I’m glad we were able to sponsor this event.”
SF Hacks had such a great energy for two days and it was a great opportunity for VMware to connect with students from all over California using VMware products such as VMware Fusion to implement innovative ideas with a net positive impact on society. VMware is committed on fostering social innovation and using technologies as a force for good.