The CityPlace Tower building has the best views, and at night, the bright lights of the downtown Dallas skyline can be seen from every floor.
From the 39th to 42nd floors, the brightness of the Dallas Region’s future workforce was also on display as the eighth annual HackDFW, powered by Say Yes to Dallas and presented by Google, connected hundreds of aspiring technologists to several Fortune 100 companies. The unique 48-hour marathon from the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC) challenged more than 550 people from 80 universities.
Each team spent the weekend solving different challenges from the biggest names in the Dallas business community.
“Our future workforce is in this room,” said James Harding, Enterprise Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Customer Engineer at Google. “We want to empower the kids to be able to do some of the things we are doing. If they can start making changes today and start pushing change, whether that’s implementing new technologies or policy changes, that’s a good thing.”
Participants competed for more than $84,000 in prizes, including laptops, iPads, and gift cards. Teams created ways to innovatively tackle waste management, climate change, better understand decisions from the Supreme Court, and much more.
No job fair can top it, since participants quickly stood out in front of future employers.
“The innovation presented throughout the weekend has been energizing, and Google is proud to have been a part of a program that brings people together for ideation and creation that can improve people’s lives,” Harding said. “Congratulations to our winners and to all the participants who embraced the entrepreneurial spirit to create some truly inspiring projects.”
Grand Prize Winners
First Place: Curtainfy
Created by: University of Texas at Dallas students Aru Gyani, Divya Khatri, Avinash Tumu, Prajwal Nellogi, and Lillie McMaster
What is does: Curtainfy tracks the temperature and the azimuth of the sun around your house. The app suggests which curtains to close to reduce the energy usage of the heating and cooling systems.
Second Place: Care Companion
Created by: University of Texas at Dallas students David Brooks, Megan Tran, Reshmi Ranjith, Saloni Shivdasani, and Vincent Vu
What it does: Care Companion keeps track of health care milestones that patients must complete throughout their care. Children are also provided easy-to-understand resources, so children can take control of their own health.
Third Place: Hat or Not
Created by: Eyshika Agarwal from the Stevens Institute of Technology, Sebastian King, Tyler Adam Martinez, Ali Hammoud from the University of North Texas, and Mireya Hernandez from Texas Woman’s University
What is does: Hat or Not is an AI recommendation engine, answering the question, “should you wear a hat or not?” The engine has multiple purposes, including automatically finding ingredients for a recipe, recommending outfit choices, or providing tips for purchasing a car.
Sponsor Challenge Winners
Children’s Health Winners: Eye Alert (Innovation Award); Healthify Me (React Award); and VR Knowledge Base (Health Care Award)
Digit-7 Winner: Mez
Lockheed Martin Winners: Eye Alert (First Place) and Say No to Trash (Second Place)
CarMax Winner: c[AR}
EssilorLuxottica Winners: Contact Tracing (First Place) and Mckesson+ (Second Place)
McKesson Winners: Personal Tracker (First Place); McKesson+ (Second Place); and Healthify (Third Place)
State Farm Winners: CONfident (First Place); c[AR] (Second Place; and The Game of Insurance (Third Place)
TIAA Winners: Avacado 2.0 (First Place); Second place, Bread Stack Retirement Plan, Life’s a Beach (Third Place)
Tyler Technologies Winners: Jurify (First Place) and Legal Dove (Second Place)
Pepsi Co. Winners: Chester’s Chest Quest (First Place) and Chasing Chester (Second Place)
Google Winners: Curtainfy (First Place); OnSecond (Second Place); and Urban Kitchen (Third Place)
Grand Prize judges were: Bob Pragada, President and COO of Jacobs and 2022 Board Chair of the DRC; Nancy Flores, EVP/CIO/CTO at McKesson and Chair of the DRC’s Innovation Task Force; Hope Shimabuku, Regional Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Robert Atkins, CEO of Balance Media; and James Harding, Enterprise Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Customer Engineer at Google.
The presenting sponsor for HackDFW was Google. Other sponsors included: Workforce Solutions Greater Dallas, PepsiCo, McKesson, State Farm, Carmax, Tyler Technologies, EssilorLuxottica, TIAA, Lockheed Martin, Digit7, Children’s Health, Dallas Mavericks, Goldman Sachs, USAA, BGSF, AMN Healthcare, the Frisco Economic Development Corporation, and the McKinney Economic Development Corporation.
CityPlace Tower is currently under renovation by NexPoint Real Estate Advisors, a Dallas-based multibillion-dollar alternative investment firm. Neiman Marcus Group recently announced that it will be moving its corporate headquarters to the building and there are plans to add a five-star InterContinental® Hotel within the building.
Learn more about Say Yes to Dallas, the DRC’s talent attraction initiative.
Photos and video provided by HackDFW.
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