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Groundbreaking Indiana-Texas Civic Hackathon Challenge Declares Grand Champion

Posted by chamberadmin on March 27, 2015

Groundbreaking Indiana-Texas Civic Hackathon Challenge Declares Grand Champion Central Indiana Father-Son duo victorious in #hackINvsTX Challenge

Hackers from Indiana and Texas united for the first of its kind digital hackathon challenge that crossed state lines. Tech developers from Indiana and Texas squared off in a competition to create the best digital application to serve citizens and a father-son duo from Indiana came out on top.

The technology departments and sponsors of both states have worked together over the last few months to plan and launch this unique, interstate hackathon challenge. The contest was open to any individual or team of developers charged with creating the best application using publicly-available open data, code, and technology. A national panel of judges reviewed all the entries and selected the grand prize winner.

Red Alert Indiana, the Indiana father-son duo of John and Isaiah Schevola, was chosen as the event's grand champion team. John and Isaiah created a dynamic web form that directs citizens affected by emergencies or natural disasters to the proper agency or non-profit to receive assistance. The app guides users through a checklist of potential services based on their needs, and it streamlines the data intake for service providers by sending and storing customer contact information in a database.

"We were excited to be able to participate; just working on a project with my son was a rewarding experience," said John Schevola. "It didn't really even occur to us that we could win when we submitted, and now, we not only won the Indiana challenge, but also won against Texas to claim the grand prize. It has been a whirlwind."

Entries were scored by a national panel of judges that included Kevin Mulhall, Enterprise Technology Specialist at Intel; Doug Robinson, Executive Direction of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO); and Jesse Romine, Director of International Sales at Socrata.

"This Hackathon has been a great event to foster openness and interaction between government and citizens," commented Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. "One of our administration's priorities is to encourage small business growth and development. Both of our Indiana winners will have the opportunity to work with the State and further develop their applications. The technology sector has evolved into a major economic development sector for Indiana. Tech-focused events like this will support and encourage more growth."

Todd Kimbriel, Interim Executive Director of the Texas Department of Information Resources, was also pleased with the results of the hackathon. "We congratulate the winning team of Red Alert Indiana. What a great honor for all teams to participate and develop meaningful applications that help us better serve our communities. We learned a lot from this challenge and look forward to growing our Texas Open Data portal so that state agencies and civic developers can collaborate on more solutions for the people of Texas."

The challenges offered by from each state included:

Indiana Department of Environmental Management: Create a centralized, streamlined, and secure platform for receiving, tracking, and collaborating on permit applications. Significant time in creating permits is lost in the hand offs between the agency and its stakeholders. Any system that assists in streamlining the processes and is transparent for users will benefit all.

Indiana Department of Homeland Security: Develop a method to register and create a checklist of available/needed services for Hoosiers visiting a one-stop-shop after a disaster.

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services: Provide children's guardians with criteria-focused, map-based results on the available licensed child-care operations in their area.

Texas Department of Transportation: Develop a mobile application based on the www.my35.org approach that enables commuters to plan their travel more effectively along with the portability that comes with an ever-expanding mobile device market.

About Indiana
The State of Indiana partnered with the Indy Chamber and TechPoint to run the competition for Hoosiers via their Hack Indiana Series. The series is a three-week hackathon designed to invigorate an entrepreneurial culture and equip participants with marketable skills while encouraging relationship formation and camaraderie across states. The Challenge will engage students and professionals already actively contributing to the Indiana tech space and will potentially lead to seeding new ventures and job-creators. For more information, visit
www.Techpoint.org/Hack-Indiana-Series.

The Indy Chamber is the voice of progress and improvement for the Indianapolis region's business community. With membership of nearly 2,300 businesses representing 230,000 employees in the Indianapolis region, the Indy Chamber is leading the effort to strengthen the business climate, improve the state of education, revitalize neighborhoods and enhance the region's workforce. For more information about the Indy Chamber, visit IndyChamber.com.

TechPoint is the voice and catalyst for Indiana's technology companies and overall tech ecosystem. The team is focused on: connecting the community through events, sharing the stories of companies and people on techpoint.org, attracting valuable talent, connecting our most promising companies with capital and customers. For more information, please visit
www.techpoint.org.

The Hack Indiana Series is sponsored by the following organizations: AT&T Indiana, Indiana Interactive, Interactive Intelligence, KSM Consulting, SAP, iLAB, Kronos, Netlogx, Perscio, Ball State University, Indiana University, IUPUI, The University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. In-kind sponsors include Launch Fishers, The Speak Easy, The Bureau, and Eleven Fifty Coding Academy.

About Texas
The State of Texas partnered with Texas NICUSA, a subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC, to facilitate the civic contest in Texas. Texas NICUSA builds, operates, maintains, and markets Texas.gov, the State's official website, and hosts data.texas.gov, the State's official open data portal.

Texas.gov is a collaborative public/private partnership managed by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR). Texas.gov helps state and local government entities web-enable their services and operates without tax funds through a partnership between the state and Texas NICUSA, LLC. Since its launch in 2000, Texas.gov has securely processed more than 201 million financial transactions and collected more than $30 billion on behalf of participating entities.