Smart Cities Hackathon - 1st Place

Our team won the South Florida Tech Hub Hackathon against 20 teams. It was hard work but what an experience!

First place, $2.500 prize: Hurricane Helper

Hurricane Helper’s progressive AWS-based web application is called EDNA – Emergency Disaster Network Application. EDNA is an online platform that streamlines disaster management by using a national volunteer network in a cloud call center.

  • Tips

    • Don’t be greedy. More members on your team means you can get more done and build something impressive - we had the max at 8. It was an 8-way split, but I don’t think we would have won with 4.
    • Focus on what makes your app special. Don’t worry about the login screen and user management, you can fake that for the presentation.
      • The goal of a hackathon is to pitch the idea and create a Proof-of-Concept.
    • Exploit existing skills - not everyone needs to be a developer.
      • You need someone to work on the pitch, someone to present, and someone to keep notes.
      • I had experience with Amazon Connect and experience leading a team, so I took that role.
    • Check in often. We had a standup every 90 minutes to check progress.
    • If something isn’t working, it’s OK to pivot to an alternative.
      • Initially, we were designing an Express API but the time to design and implement was taking too long. In the end, we used a single serverless function in AWS Lambda.
    • Include business metrics in the presentation!
      • We included an estimated cost of our platform vs a commercial contact center.
      • The decision-makers are typically not technical and don’t care about the tech, they care about the business results.
    • Have fun and don’t take it too seriously.
      • We called our submission EDNA, and our key persona was Grandma EDNA. It’s OK to work in some humor and be a little tongue-in-cheek.
  • Team Members

    • Ivan Bliskavka - Lead
    • Derek Donev - Backend
    • Erik White - Frontend
    • Mike Tobin - Dev
    • Michael Roth - PM
    • Holden Gibler - Presenter
    • Taylor Gagne - Backend
    • Alex Ciccolella - Pitch Deck
  • Links