Vermont's First Hackathon Awards $10,000 to Coding Champions

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MyWebGrocer hosts successful event at newly purchased Champlain Mill

“We want to foster the development community in Vermont" - Rich Tarrant, founder and CEO of MyWebGrocer.

On Friday September 16, Vermont-based MyWebGrocer hosted a 24-hour hackathon at the Champlain Mill in Winooski. While hackathons often take place in major metro areas surrounding larger tech companies, this was Vermont’s first ever all night coding event. John Pile, a game developer who teaches at Champlain College, won first place and $5,000 from Fairpoint Communications for his creation of a grocery shopping game.

    The event kicked off on Friday at 6 p.m., and participants worked on their own or in teams of 2 or 3. Participants used one or more of MyWebGrocer’s API’s (including recipe, grocery product, mobile, social and advertising web services) to build anything they wanted within a variety of different platforms, including web, mobile and Facebook. Round-the-clock food and beverages were served from local vendors Leonardo’s Pizza and Boloco.

    Coding carried on through the night and into the next morning, and around 3 p.m. on Saturday projects were completed. Participants presented their creations to the judging panel, featuring local business professionals Rich Nadworny, owner of Digalicious; Julie Lerman, author, speaker and owner of The Data Farm; Cairn G. Cross, co-founder of FreshTracks Capital; Jon Woodard from Wolfram|Alpha; and Tim Kenney, chief operating officer of MyWebGrocer.
    After deliberations by the judges, Rich Tarrant, CEO and co-founder of MyWebGrocer, announced the winners. The $2,000 third prize went to 18-year-old Burlington resident Tristan Davies, who created a mobile app that allows shoppers to scan bar codes of items as they put them into their cart, while keeping a grand total that pulls specific store prices based on geo location of the shopper. Tristan almost gave up; he went home, fell asleep and dreamed about grocery shopping, and then came back with his third place winning idea.
    The $3,000 second place award went to the team “AmazaBoston,” comprised of Bill Wilder, Maura Wilder and Joan Linskey. This team created a shopping list iPad app, using ingredients to determine if items on your shopping list are healthy, environmentally sound and socially responsible.
    The $5,000 grand prize award went to John Pile, Team “Chinook,” who created a grocery shopping game using live pricing and nutritional information. The game’s objective is to feed your kids and find a balance between healthy food and happy kids while staying within your budget.
    Tarrant says the event was the perfect way to begin settling into MyWebGrocer’s new space in the Champlain Mill. “We want to foster the development community in Vermont, specifically in the Mill, as we look for more tech companies to join us in the building. We hope this event lets people know that Vermont is a great place for the tech community to call home.”
    Honorable mentions went to Matheus Lelis and Christopher Bartholomew of Team Stealz Helium, and Ben Corneau and Stephen DiStasi of Team PaperOrPlastic? Other Hackathon sponsors included C2, Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer, Opportunities Credit Union, Insight Technology Solutions and Small Dog Electronics.

About MyWebGrocer:
We are hiring. Please go to our website for a list of open positions.
MyWebGrocer drives digital connections between consumers, grocery retailers, and Consumer Packaged Goods brands. MWG creates and manages digital solutions for clients including websites, digital media, online circulars, email marketing initiatives, mobile applications, social media strategies, and customer acquisition programs. MyWebGrocer works with more than 110 retailers nationally, representing more than 10,000 stores, and 90 major consumer packaged goods brands.

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Alicia DeMartini
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