On their way to this year’s Boston I/O Conference, four students conceptualized Tufts first Hackathon. Having noticed how many students were working on side projects, but were too distracted by schoolwork to focus on them, they decided to provide 24 hours of pure coding and designing, full of free food, caffeine and swag. In student startup speak: Pure bliss.
“We wanted to come up with a hackathon to bring people and their ideas out,” says Tufts student Adrienne Dreyfus, who’s been working alongside Alden Sampson, Marshall Moutenot and Russell Stern to get this Hackathon off the ground.
Nearly 100 people have registered, and although it was open to all Boston students initially, Dreyfus says they received such an overwhelming response from the Tufts community, the participants are primarily from Tufts now.
Kicking off tomorrow night at 5 p.m., the Hackathon will begin with talks from Jeff Seibert, co-founder and CEO of Crashlytics; Andrew Lau, entrepreneur-in-residence at RedStar; Chris Traganos, senior web developer at Evernote; and Ming Chow, a Tufts lecturer in the Department of Computer Science.
Students will be placed in teams and paired with mentors, who’ll help them as they hack through the night to be ready for pitches and awards on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The team who develops the best Evernote API integration will — get ready for it — win a trip to Silicon Valley to attend the Evernote Truck Conference later this summer.
Presented by Evernote, the Tufts Hackathon is also being sponsored by Crashlytics, Thoughtbot, Microsoft, New England Venture Capital Association and GitHub, providing plenty of opportunities for the students participating. Even better, because of the support the team’s received from the sponsors, Dreyfus claims they’ll probably start hosting a Hackathon once a semester.
Although registration for this Hackathon has closed, the public’s welcome to attend the pitches and awards ceremony. “We encourage people to come in and see what people are working on,” Dreyfus says. Because the students involved will most likely be carrying their side projects on, Dreyfus admits they could use all the advice they can get.
“We’re going to have people talking about side projects they don’t really talk about,” Dreyfus says. What she hopes, however, is that others who haven’t considered doing projects outside of school use this Hackathon as an inspiration to start.
Between the speakers, advice, free food, swag and opportunity to fly to Silicon Valley, what better inspiration could there be? For anyone interested in attending, click here for more information.