UH Students Win Top Prizes At UH-AT&T Hackathon
First place winner UH student Clay Nakamura with Ben Nelson, AT&T Product Marketing Director.

The University of Hawaiʻi held the fourth annual AT&T UH Mobile Tech Hackathon, March 10–11 at Sacred Hearts Academy. The event drew 148 participants. Cash prizes totaling $7,000 were distributed in eight categories.

The 24-hour hackathon is designed for those interested in coding mobile apps, web apps, or hacking hardware solutions. Members of Hawaiʻi’s tech community joined to network with students and others interested in technology to see what they could build overnight.

The teams had a mixture of creative talent and development skills. They created their web, Android or iOS apps from conception to implementation. Each team had three minutes to present their finished mobile app to the panel of judges.

The goal of a hackathon is to create a sustainable environment for aspiring and seasoned developers to deploy a mobile app with a website backend that is fully hosted in the cloud. The event also aims to spur innovative ideas and help entrepreneurs and startups build new prototypes and some early market validation.

David Chin, UH Mānoa professor and chair of Information and Computer Sciences, said a hackathon could produce the next titan in the tech industry. “Imagine what that will do to Hawaiʻi’s image and standing, not to mention boosting the salaries in local tech jobs and stemming the brain drain to the mainland and foreign countries,” Chin said.

Hackathon winners

two men holding a big check

First place winner UH student Clay Nakamura with Ben Nelson, AT&T Product Marketing Director.

UH Mānoa student Clay Nakamura won the best app grand prize of $2,500 for developing an app that takes recommendations from r/listentothis subreddit, downloads the songs and plays them using a Rasberry Pi. He also won $1,000 for the best entertainment and gaming app. The other winning teams split the additional cash prizes totaling $3,500.

DJ Reddit awarded Grand Prize—Overall and Entertainment/Gaming 1st Place

  • Tyler (Clay) C Nakamura, UH Mānoa student

Gapcha awarded Entertainment/Gaming 2nd Place

  • Brandon Bards
  • Joelle Torneros
  • Tony Gaskell, UH Mānoa graduate
  • Sean Nakamura, UH Mānoa graduate
  • Joseph Carlson

Demeter won Best Use of M2X and Best IoT 1st Place

  • Terry Palomares, UH Mānoa student
  • Jonathan Robello, UH Mānoa student
  • Torsten Vaivai-Soderberg, Kapiʻolani CC graduate
  • Austin Haruki, UH Mānoa graduate
  • Brian Mayeshiro

Makaʻala won Best IoT 2nd Place

  • Davis McKay

Multipass awarded Most Technical

  • Aisis Chen
  • Bradford Baris, UH Mānoa graduate
  • Andrew Yamamoto, UH Mānoa student

Village won UI/UX

  • Gina Watanabe, UH Mānoa student
  • Il Ung Jeong, UH Mānoa student

AT&T sponsors the hackathon in partnership with the UH Information and Computer Sciences Department and the Pacific Center for Advanced Technology Training. Other key partners include DevLeague, Hawaiʻiʻs premiere software development boot camp, the High Technology Development Corporation, and Sacred Hearts Academy.

For more information, read the UH Information Technology Services story.

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