Students Competing in Dominion Enterprises Hackathon Win $10,000 Prize and Learn Even More

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HackU 5 pitted twelve teams against each other for a grand prize of $10,000 to be distributed among the winning team’s members. Student teams from Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Tidewater Community College, William and Mary, The University of Richmond, and Mary Washington worked during the February 16-17 event to create an idea, execute it and ultimately present a functioning product.

Dominion Enterprises, a leading marketing services and publishing company serving the automotive, recreational and commercial vehicle, real estate, apartment rental, parenting, and travel industries, recently hosted its fifth annual Student Hackathon. Local college students competed as teams to develop and create new tools intended to improve student life.

HackU 5 pitted twelve teams against each other for a grand prize of $10,000 to be distributed among the winning team’s members. Student teams from Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Tidewater Community College, William and Mary, The University of Richmond, and Mary Washington worked during the February 16-17 event to create an idea, execute it and ultimately present a functioning product.

The hackathons have been invaluable to students who get real life experience by working with teams and creating a problem-solving product. William and Mary Assistant Professor Wouter Deconinck said, “The job market in the U.S. is rapidly evolving toward an increasingly entrepreneurial environment. Students have to learn how to turn their skills into marketable products. What better way to develop entrepreneurial spirit than in a hackathon such as HackU 5 at Dominion Enterprises?” During the Hackathon, students were encouraged to attend various lectures to learn new programs and sharpen their programming skills. Dominion Enterprises provided coaches to each team to offer guidance and help remove any barriers to getting projects completed. Proposed challenges were presented to the teams, but they were also allowed to create their own project ideas.

The team from the University of Mary Washington, “Team GOATS,” won the prize for the “Most Open Source Friendly” project with an app called “Yelp! Take Me There Challenge.” They tackled the issue of deciding where to live and won Amazon Echo Dots for their team.

“Best Solution to a Challenge” and RevCon conference tickets went to the other University of Mary Washington team, “The Devils,” for their Spacebar app. a copy detection tool that adds hidden text to a page to prevent code duplication.

The grand prize of $10,000 and “Best In Show” went to a team from William and Mary, “Team Brainstorm.” The team, comprised of Nate Owen, Kelvin Abrokwa-Johnson, Will Theuer and Greg Rogers, created an app called FloorRent. The app not only helps users envision their home by adding furniture but also allows properties to create their own floorplans. Nate Owen said of their app, “We’re very proud of what we produced this year because of how completely we polished what we set out to do.”

About Dominion Enterprises Hackathons
Held three times a year, the Dominion Enterprises’ Hackathon series consists of unique themebased events for internal/employees, students/university, and community residents. Organized by Dominion Enterprises’ Technical Talent Acquisition Group (TTAG), these free, fun events promote Dominion Enterprises as an innovative and progressive employer to attract and retain local talent. While these events are great for recruiting and retention, the real rewards are team collaboration, learning, and experimental development fun. For more information, visit http://hackathon.dominionenterprises.com .

About Dominion Enterprises
Dominion Enterprises is a leading online marketing and software services company offering client solutions across multiple targeted business verticals. Our widely recognized B2C web and mobile portals, including ForRent.com, Homes.com, and CycleTrader.com, generate nearly 30 million unique visits monthly. Our B2B cloud SaaS solutions directly support clients in establishing their online and mobile brands, generating leads, and managing customer relationships. Dominion Enterprises has more than 40 businesses and 3,000 employees in our Norfolk, Va. home office, and across the U.S. We offer a dynamic environment, excellent growth opportunities, competitive earnings and a comprehensive benefits package that includes a generous 401(k). Dominion Enterprises is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse workforce. Dominion is a drug-testing employer.

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Melodi Albert
@DomEnterprises
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