A few weeks ago, a few friends and I hosted the Second Baltimore Hackathon at the Ad.com (AOL) office in Tide Point. It went really well. We gave out over $3000 in prizes to six deserving teams. Over 70 participants came in from as far as Bronx, NYC to compete.

Our prizes were organized into 6 categories:

  • Technical Complexity: This prize went to Radical Radar, a couple guys from Northrop Grumman who made a radar using coffee cans as the transmitters. They also had the analysis graphs live uploading to a web page.
  • Smart Design: My favorite project of the weekend, Cartridge is a HTML 5 gaming platform where you can write and play your games. Eventually, they plan to position themselves as a platform as a service, heroku-style system for game developers. My favorite feature was the github fork-like “remix” you could do to any other public game.
  • Aesthetics: This prize went to Color Palette. They created an iPad app that allowed easy creation of a color palette with simple gestures. Look for it soon on the app store.
  • Civic Service: To give tribute to the city we love, we created a Civic Service prize category. The winners were well deserving. Led by an employee of Ad.com, a team of high schools from nearby Digital Harbor High School developed a phone calling and meeting platform with advertisements, designed for the low-income customer.
  • Hacker/DIY: This was kind of a catch-all category that really found a gem of a recipient. Ahmed Abbas made 4 different Arduino shields for multiple uses in a single weekend, including one for WiFi and a digital camera complete with LCD screeen and camera.
  • Crowd Favorite: The winner here was deserving and expected. Most of the crowd hailed from the Baltimore Node. So seeing the winner was a group of members was not a surprise. They made a very nice door entry system complete with RFID’s, webcam, logging, and web interface, a great solution to the keyed entry system they have now.

This was my first hackathon, and I thought the projects were very well done. Congratulations to the winners and good luck converting those prototypes to businesses! Check out the website for more information. We owe a big thanks to all of our sponsors and participants. I hope to see many of y’all next year!