(INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., June 15, 2019) Tonight the Indy Chamber announced the winners of its 6th annual Indy Civic Hack presented by AT&T Indiana at Launch Indy, located in the Union 525 tech venue in downtown Indianapolis. The hackathon enlists teams of volunteer participants from Indy’s tech community to use public data and their own ingenuity to help solve civic challenges posed by state and local governments.
The challenges presented at this year’s event centered around two critical barriers to economic mobility: the re-entry of formerly incarcerated individuals back into society, and access to post-secondary educational opportunities. Leadership from the Indiana Department of Correction and the Indiana Management Performance Hub enlisted participants to develop a tech-driven solution to connect formerly incarcerated populations to much-needed resources upon release. Indy Achieves, the educational initiative of Mayor Joe Hogsett and the City of Indianapolis, asked participants to create user-focused pathways for the course registration process at Ivy Tech, taking into consideration core requirements, flexibility around work or personal responsibilities for adult learners, and more.
“We are honored to provide a platform for Indy’s tech talent to leverage their unique skills to move the needle on community progress,” notes Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber. “Beyond the individual apps and digital tools built this weekend, Indy Civic Hack highlights the importance of embracing creative solutions to address complex challenges in our region.”
Teams worked through Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, fueled by plenty of coffee and energy drinks, and informed by Q&A sessions with challenge sponsors and community experts. Submissions were uploaded by 3:00PM Saturday, pitched to judges, and finalists announced that evening.
“In the years I’ve been connected to Indy Civic Hack, I continue to be amazed by the innovative solutions built by its participants,” said Scott Moshier, VP of Data Solutions for IT Transformers, Inc. and longtime coordinating partner of the event. “Judging these teams gets more and more difficult each year, but this is a welcome challenge knowing the ideas borne in this process have real-world application for many underserved populations.”
The Better Student Plan team of Hussein Alawami, Steve Benchik, Jonathan Dharmaraj, Ivan Lavrov, and Marina Hakim took the top prize for the Higher Education Challenge, creating a student portal focused on progress toward graduation and accomodating complex schedule creation.
For the second year, Level Up Development took the top prize for its challenge selection. Their solution to the Re-Entry Challenge allows formerly incarcerated citizens to have a technology-independent solution for accessing the resources they need. Their solution includes a platform that encompasses a mobile application, as well as a multi-channel voice assistant to cover a wide variety of interaction methods. Level Up’s team members included Alex Merrifield, Steven Shaw, Jon Weber, Ty Hudson, and Zach Rozycki.
Indy Civic Hack is coordinated by the Indy Chamber and supported by the State of Indiana, the City of Indianapolis, TechPoint, and its sponsors AT&T Indiana and Launch Indy.