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MyWebGrocer hosted a 24-hour hackathon September 16 at the Champlain Mill in Winooski, Vermont -- the state’s first such event – with game developer John Pile taking first place and $5,000 from Fairpoint Communications for his creation of a grocery shopping game.
“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,” said MyWebGrocer CEO Rich Tarrant, who added that the event was the perfect way to begin settling into the company’s new space in the Champlain Mill. “We hope this event lets people know that Vermont is a great place for the tech community to call home.”
Participants worked on their own or in teams of two or three people using 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.
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, COO of MyWebGrocer.
After deliberations by the judges, Tarrant 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, according to MyWebGrocer.
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.
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.
MyWebGrocer creates and manages digital solutions for retail and CPG 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.