Entrepreneurs, creators and techies partake in multi-city hackathon

Entrepreneurs, creators and techies partake in multi-city hackathon

April 29th, 2015 by Mitra Malek in Business Around the Region

Justin Tirsun, center, Lou Kramer, left, and Seun Erinle participate in the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund kickoff at the Chattanooga Public Library.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

More than two dozen Chattanooga-area techies will buckle down this weekend for a first-ever multi-city gigabit hackathon.

GigHacks CHA is expected to include designers, developers, writers, marketers, business-development specialists and entrepreneurs. It's not meant just for experts or professionals, said Mozilla community catalyst Lindsey Frost. "Hackathons are learning events."

If you go

* What: GigHacks CHA
* When: Friday-Sunday
* Where: GigLab at the Chattanooga Public Library, fourth floor
* Cost: Free to participants. Register at gighacks-cha.challengepost.com. Sunday demo, 3 p.m., free to public.

The 48-hour event, which is free to participants, is still open for registration.

GigHacks was created "to help kick off the gigabit age and expand the gigabit app ecosystem," according to a press release from Orange Silicon Valley, which has partnered with organizations in five cities for the hackathon. Locally, that connection is with Mozilla's Hive Chattanooga, business accelerator Co.Lab and the Chattanooga Public Library.

Participants are encouraged to work on projects "that will embrace the significant benefits of gigabit networking," according to Orange Silicon Valley. In practical terms that means building applications that help create jobs or allow people to do more while saving time, money and energy.

"It's not just figuring out what you can do with a Gig," said Mozilla project coordinator Geoff Millener. "That's part of it. The answer is why: How is it useful? These are real products that people can relate to and use."

One local example: Adagio, which describes itself as a mobile application that brings a sound-recording studio to any device using web technologies and the cloud. Jonathan Susman won Co.Lab's 48 Hour Launch last year with a pitch for his startup. Susman is expected to participate in GigHack this weekend.

This weekend's other hackathons are in San Francisco; Kansas City, Mo.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Burlington, Vt. Each city will host its own event, though they all will be linked through a video network to support shared app development.

Co.Lab plans to scout for teams at the event to see "if any will make a compelling addition for GigTank," the nonprofit organization's summer accelerator program, Co.Lab spokeswoman Tia Capps said.

Also, "we want to make sure a conversation is happening about how these products get to market," Capps said.

The app demonstration event is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday on the library's fourth floor and is open to the public.

Contact staff writer Mitra Malek at mmalek@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406. Follow her on Twitter @MitraMalek.


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