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Published on May 2nd, 2012 | by Priti Ambani

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Develop Cleantech Apps at the Boston Cleanweb Hackathon: May 4 – 6

Are you a coder, designer, student or a business professional interested in sustainability and tech? The Boston Cleanweb Hackathon is almost here! Teams from around the region are preparing for a weekend event to create apps to address energy and sustainability challenges!

What is the Cleanweb Hackathon?

It is an exciting weekend competition that is hitting different cities in the country with the first and second editions held in San Francisco (Fall 2011) and New York (Winter 2012). It typically runs through a weekend where hackers spend 24+  hours coding and developing some awesome apps that merge the cleantech, social media, design, web and mobile worlds to create powerful solutions.

The race begins on Friday May 4th with a Kick-off party at the Venture Cafe, Cambridge Innovation Center, and launches in full on Saturday, May 5th at Greentown Labs, a clean energy incubator in Boston’s Innovation District. Participating teams will have thirty hours to create a compelling web or mobile application that applies information technology to an area such as smart grid, renewable energy, resource utilization, or transportation optimization.

Suchi Sharma, cleanweb entrepreneur and one of the co-founders of the Cleanweb Hackathon explains, 

“The Cleanweb meme has been gathering steam since 2009 and is building in momentum in response to a growing resource crisis . According to a recent report from McKinsey, existing technologies can be intelligently used to satisfy nearly 30% of the total global resource demands in 2030. Cleanweb technologies coupled with new business models enable us to more efficiently consume existing resources enabled by social and mobile connectivity. Big Data technologies allow us now to capture efficiency and optimization opportunities at scale.”

Suchi’s own Cleanweb startup Watts at Work (to launch soon) provides information and analytics that enables business to make smart decisions to save money and reduce energy consumption. Suchi adds,

“Cleanweb Hackathon was founded in response to this planetary resource crisis by a group of Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs. The hackathons aim to empower and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to provide cutting edge technology based solutions to pressing resource issues.”

Sponsors, Judges and Prizes

From its inception in San Francisco, the competition has grown with every city. The sponsor lists include impressive names like Black Coral Capital and Venrock, PR specialists like Big Fish and a number of energy players like Genability. And the prize pool is big! The Hackathon will give away about $12000 in prizes to the winners.

Judges announced so far:

  • Israel Ganot, President, Co-founder and CEO at Gazelle
  • Tom Pincince, President and CEO at Digital Lumens
  • Rob Day, Partner at Black Coral Capital
  • Swapnil Shah, CEO, Co-Founder at FirstFuel
  • Hugh Scandrett, VP Engineering, EnerNOC

Can you still enter the Hackathon?

Yes! Check out the site for more details and register on Eventbrite!

All competitors must participate as part of a team. Teams should be composed of (2) to (5) participants. Recommended team size is (3) participants blending a mix of technical, business, and creative talents. If you are looking for a team the organizers recommend utilizing the HackerLeague event site to recruit team members or find a team to join. Or you could also find a teammate at the May 4th kickoff event for registered competitors. Participants are encouraged to utilize the HackerLeague platform to form teams, suggest ideas, collaborate on concepts, or review and discuss data sets and APIs.

The organizers have compiled an impressive set of challenges attendees may tackle from organizations such as MASS DOER. Attendees may also bring their own challenge to recruit teams and build solutions. A number of API’s and datasets are available for app-building

Looking for some inspiration? Check out Sunil Paul’s fantastic Cleanweb presentation from SXSW!

So what are you waiting for? Get your hack on. Complete event details here!

Stay tuned to Ecopreneurist as we cover the event and bring you results from this exciting competition this weekend!



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About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+



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