Developers teamed with non-profit organizations to create impactful technology solutions last weekend at the Causathon Hack for a Cause hackathon in Santa Monica, CA held at General Assembly. This 24 hour hackathon was organized by Brand Knew, the creative agency and technology accelerator.
Brand Knew’s Zach Suchin welcomed attendees and introduced the eleven non-profit organizations during Saturday’s opening ceremonies. Developer teams were then announced out of a drawing to select their preferred organization for collaboration.
Once all teams were matched, a huge countdown clock appeared and hacking began. Sponsors were on-site helping developers and awarding prizes. The prize for the best app using the Mashery API Network: up to (3) Acer 720 Chromebooks.
After the opening ceremonies, I presented my workshop, “How to Build a Mobile App with the Mashery API Network.” I called on a volunteer, an IOS native developer, to help me build the new Beats Music HTML5 app in Intel XDK. With my direction, he registered for a Mashery account, obtained his Beats Music API key, made an API call using Beats Music Playground, and built the Beats Music app in Intel XDK. This demonstration was completed in just minutes in front of an audience.
I also assisted participants with Hacker League, the hackathon management tool used by Causathon, which included help with team formation and design techniques using Hacker League templates. Descriptions of Causathon projects with nicely crafted app screenshots can be found here on Hacker League.
Contestants worked on their non-profit organization apps, and raffle prizes for participants were announced and awarded throughout the night and into the next day.
The Mashery prize was awarded to the awesome five member team that created “HEART-IT.”
This penpal app allows users to share photos and e-collages with friends, and send messages to other users and build friendships around the world. The Beats Music and Rotten Tomatoes API were used in this app for users to share their music and movie interest with friends. This team paired with Children Mending Hearts, an organization dedicated to empowering disadvantaged youth through educational and art programs that build empathy and global citizenry.
I want to thank Russell Meyerowitz and the Brand Knew team for organizing this awesome event. And thanks to all the participating LA developers and volunteers.