Calling all techies! The Tech Valley Center of Gravity’s Clean Tech Hackathon is happening in Troy on October 15th and 16th, and if you’re into clean technology “hacks” you could have a chance to win some serious cash – and make significant connections in the technology field as well.
The Clean Tech Hackathon
From 9am on Saturday the 15th to 4pm on Sunday the 16th teams of computer programmers, engineers, inventors, scientists, and entrepreneurs will be working hard to come up with clean technology solutions.
Five $1,000 cash prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories:
- Best Advanced Buildings Solution
- Best Renewables Solution
- Best Clean Transportation Solution
- People’s Choice
- Most Likely to be Commercially Successful
Hackathons allow those in the tech industry to explore new ideas, solve problems, and create something amazing. The hackers collaborate together on complex projects, working virtually nonstop for the entire duration of the event.
Problems hackers will be tackling at the Clean Tech Hackathon include: making solar photovoltaic and wind energy more predictable, innovations in smart building technology that can adjust energy usage based on intelligent predictions of the occupants’ behaviors, and designing hardware/software solutions that use on-street installations to improve bike and pedestrian safety and comfort.
Bruce Toyama, Vice President of Product Development at BessTech, acknowledges that there isn’t often a major breakthrough at these events, but that’s not the only purpose of a hackathon – they also encourage entrepreneurship.
“I don’t know many entrepreneurs that went to market on the first try,” Toyama said in a statement. “The majority of times you have to pivot a few times.”
BessTech is one of several tech companies that will have “hackathon mentors” and representatives at the Clean Tech Hackathon. Other tech professionals will be in attendance from New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), The Wagoner Firm, New York State Mesonet, and Bette & Cring Construction Group.
According to Toyama, clean tech is a “hot” area right now with inventors and investors, particularly with software apps that help reduce energy consumption in the home and office – Toyama expects to see a lot of software hacks at the event, among other innovative ideas.
“At this event, great minds are coming together to create solutions to New York’s energy challenges, and we look forward to hearing their ideas,” John B. Rhodes, NYSERDA President and CEO, said in a statement.
How and Why to Register
In addition to free food, a chance at cash prizes, and the opportunity to collaborate on an amazing project, if you’re looking to break into the technology industry, this is a great opportunity to meet those in the field.
“The hackathon has the potential to spur the next wave of innovation in the clean tech economy that is filled with well paying jobs for New Yorkers,” Dan Cullen, Regional Director of the Workforce Development Institute (WDI), said in a statement.
In fact, Albany was recently named as one of the top three places in the US to find a job in technology.