Dominion Enterprises Sponsors Latest Hackathon -- HackU-Coding Student Life

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Dominion Enterprises held its tenth hackathon event, “HackU - Coding Student Life,” at its headquarters in Norfolk, Va. on February 12-13.

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Dominion Enterprises held its tenth hackathon event, “HackU - Coding Student Life,” at its headquarters in Norfolk, Va. on February 12-13. The event featured ten teams from six 6 Hampton Roads universities: The College of William & Mary, Tidewater Community College, Old Dominion University, ECPI University, Norfolk State University, and Christopher Newport University. Each team was comprised of five students and three Dominion Enterprises employee coaches. The theme of the event, Coding Student Life, gave the participants an open-ended opportunity to design and build an application that would impact students’ lives.

The winning team, Norfolk State Gold, took home the Best in Show grand prize -- Samsung Galaxy 4 tablets and three months of participation in Hatch Norfolk’s 1000 Four entrepreneur and business incubation program, courtesy of Zack Miller and Hatch Norfolk. Their application, “Roomie,” is a web-based management system for roommates which allows them to easily split and share living expenses and also share social events. The team was comprised of Norfolk State students Christopher Okonkwo, Aaron McFall, Danielle Butts, Desmond Ellsworth and Vamshika Boinapally, and Dominion Enterprises coaches JP Murray, Tyler Swayne and Shawn Drake.

In addition to Best in Show, awards were presented in three other categories:

The Most Innovative Award went to ODU2 (Old Dominion University) for their application, “Cred.” Cred is an app that helps students organize and participate in events, and gamifies the user experience with rewards and badges. The team included Old Dominion students Quientin Headen, Alex Dohrn, Avinash Ashok Gosavi, Bharath Kongara and Raghav Sai Cheedalla, and Dominion Enterprises coaches Richie Ammons, Shawn Melton and Daniel Burgner.

The Best Design Award went to team W&M1 (William & Mary) for their application, “CurbToMe.” CurbToMe lets users browse free items on Craigslist and arrange to have them delivered via Postmates, a paid deliver-anything service. The team members were William & Mary students Hareesh Nagaraj, Ryan Beatty, Ulises Giacoman, Matt Sniff and Joe Soultanis, and Dominion Enterprises coaches Heath Padrick, Mike Marich, and Seth Baer.

The Student Impact Award went to Norfolk State Green for their application “Spartan Start.” Spartan Start is an interactive incoming task checklist for new students which also includes an interactive campus map to help accomplish each task. The team was made up of Norfolk State students Darryl Walden, Lindah Kotut, Ashley Hall, John Ellis and Justin Glymph, and Dominion Enterprises coaches Carl Tarkenton, Jeff Wolski and Kyle Almas.

The competition also featured mentors offering advice and guidance on specific aspects of development. Zack Miller of Hatch Norfolk provided business insights for each team. Alex Proaps, an ODU Ph.D. candidate and president of UXPA Norfolk, provided user interface guidance to each team. Eddie Kawas, a Dominion Enterprises employee, offered technical engineering guidance remotely from Vancouver. Brandon Biegay, also a Dominion Enterprises employee, helped teams hone and polish their presentations.

The judges for the competition were Zack Miller and Alex Proaps who both also served as mentors; Andrew Hamburger, a national account executive with CareerBuilder; Phillip Billups, Dominion Enterprises vice president of product development, recreational brands; and Chris Conway, Dominion Enterprises media specialist and chair of its previous hackathon, “Develop Hampton Roads.”

HackU was proudly sponsored by Dominion Enterprises, Hatch Norfolk, CareerBuilder and Onix, and supported by Chairman Matt Strapko, Co-chair Christopher Ryan, and the Dominion Enterprises’ Technology Talent Acquisition Group.

About Dominion Enterprises Hackathons
The hackathon events are designed by Dominion Enterprises to keep top talent in the Hampton Roads area by reaching out to the community and local universities while creating a fun, innovative place to work. The hackathons are supported and organized by an internal Dominion Enterprises committee called TTAG (Technical Talent Acquisition Group), led by Melodi Albert, vice president of recruiting, management development and training. “HackU - Coding Student Life” was chaired by Matt Strapko and co-chaired by Chris Ryan, both Dominion Enterprises employees and TTAG members.

About Dominion Enterprises
Dominion Enterprises is a leading marketing services and publishing company serving the automotive, recreational and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, parenting, and travel industries. Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, with 3,300 employees in the United States, Canada, England, Spain and Italy, the company provides a comprehensive suite of technology-based marketing solutions, and more than 45 market leading websites. Millions of For Rent® and HotelCoupons.com® publications are distributed across the U.S. each year.

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