A New York Hackthon

I was asked to be a replacement judge for The FinTech City that Never Sleeps hackathon! This two day hackathon took place on Friday to Saturday in New York . It was brought by a startup accelator Startupbootcamp FinTech New York (@sbcFinTech) and sponsored by Byte Academy

 (Blogger conflict of interest disclaimer- I briefly advised one of the startups at Startupbootcamp for two weeks in data science and I gave a couple of free talks at meetups organized by Byte Academy)

Overall the theme of this hackathon was how to use innovation in technology for the biggest industry in New York (finance). Ergo the curious but rather catchy term fintech. Technology in Finance! Wall Street for the good of main street! One curious and common refrain was how millennials trust their mobile and Uber more than Banks or financial advisors.

My observations were- engineering talent in New York continues to lag behind California. Access to both money and design  makes New York a serious contender for usurping Silicon Valley’s mountain glory.

A serious advantage New York has over California is water. A serious advantage California has over New York is the sunlight.

The hacking kids in this hackathon were bright and innovative. Hacking is both a social experiment as well as practical need to think and innovate in stagnant industries like Finance, Fashion , Theatre, Social Empowerment and Entertainment. A healthy dose of reality shall ensure hackathons become the new more productive passtime of the children of America.  Star Trek Next Generation!

This one man team /guy won the best technical award and took all his prizes.


The judges pose


These guys (ideal karma !) won the overall hackathon

Screenshot from 2016-06-16 12:47:53


For details see http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-fintech-city-that-never-sleeps-hackathon-tickets-25550744966 or more tweets me at https://twitter.com/holydatascience


I really enjoyed judging the hackthon in New York, which ironically is still my favourite city because of the libraries, trees and well pretty people besides the lovely Hudson in the summer.  It was nice to be back in New York since 2009 when I came over for the first Big Data meeting ( by AsterData later acquired by Teradata).

Afterthought- What is built by a human can be and should be hacked by another human. That is the only way we are going to be continuously improving as a species and as one world. Hacking is important to simplify a complex world where resources are precious and the costs of error huge 



Author: Ajay Ohri


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