Quiz time: What would you rather be doing on a weekend?
A) Use your coding skills for a good cause.
B) Party with your friends.
If like us, you answered A, pat yourself on the back. It’s certainly a more productive use of your time and efforts to code isn’t it?
27 coders agreed with us. Braving the elements (yes, it rained again!), these hackers descended upon Tlabs Banglaore, a startup accelerator, to find solutions to disaster management. This themed hackathon, Hack for Nepal, was in honor of the victims of the terrible tragedy that hit Nepal recently.
On Saturday, at 10:00 a.m., participants completed their registrations and the hack officially got underway. It was good to see a few familiar faces from our hackathons past; however, we had a few new attendees. We need to make a special mention of Julian from France, who added an international flavor to the hack. (To the new attendees: we hope you enjoyed the atmosphere and hope to see you in other hackathons we organize-Author’s note.)
Around 10:15 a.m., Prateeksen Choudaury, our front-end developer extraordinaire, introduced the themes around which they would be working, along with some suggestions on how best to tackle the issues faced.
Following this, Prashant Koirala, our co-founder, talked extensively about the challenges facing Nepal. The tragedy especially hit home for him as he hails from Nepal. (Thankfully his family is safe.) He assured the candidates that their solutions will make a difference and that the best products will be connected with the right channels to take the ideas forward.
The structure of the hackathon was different from our previous ones. As the hackathon was only for 12 hours, we realized that the ideas brought to bear on the theme were more important than the actual completion of the project. (After all, the products could always be completely developed at a later stage!) So, post lunch, we organized a peer feedback session where attendees discussed their ideas with the knowledgeable audience.
Here is a list of the participating teams and their ideas:
- V4U. This team worked on an Android application that would enable sharing of information of emergency contacts via internet or SMS.
- Extremisthan. This team from IIT Kharagpur built an app that would give a prompt notification to all users within a certain region. If the user does not respond within a predefined period of time, then he or she is considered to be in danger, and appropriate rescue measures would be taken.
- Bridge. This team worked on an app that would send location details and other important information to disaster rescue teams.
- Keep faith. They designed a system side application using adhoc networks. Their app is designed to minimize battery usage.
- Tubelight. They designed a post disaster victim discovery service that lets organizations find victims and the location of registered users after the disaster. This service is available even with no internet connectivity!
- Kai po che. Their system proves useful in all phases of disaster recovery: pre disaster phase, during the disaster, and post disaster phase. Before the disaster, users supply detailed and personalized information like blood type etc. After the disaster, users send information to NGOs via SMS detailing particular requirements e.g water shortage along with G.P.S. location.
- Shreedar: He built a store that would stock up on products necessary for disaster relief.
- A.2. This lone crusader, Apoorv ideated on an app that would help a person find the location of the nearest donation centers using Android APIs.
Once the peer feedback session was over, the participants got back to work. At 10:00 p.m., participants submitted their solutions.
Coincidentally, this hack saw the pre-launch of our new product. The participants of the hack were the first to submit their projects on this new platform. We will formally launch the product soon, so stay tuned.
Interested in developing your ideas further? We will make sure to connect you to relevant companies to make sure that your idea sees the light of day. For more details contact Prashant Koirala at firstname.lastname@example.org