After developing an app to solve a real-world problem in 36-hours, four Hampton University students won first place in the Tech Challenge and third place overall at the Black Enterprise Smart Hackathon.
Ernest “Xavier” Horton, Coleman Scott IV, Tauren Bass, and Jeffrey Grant, were the computer science students who participated in the hackathon at the TechConneXt—an annual tech summit in Silicon Valley—competing against 15 other HBCU teams to create a unique app designed to address real business needs.
“The hackathon itself was exhausting, but we learned a lot of new technologies that we had not used before,” said Horton, college junior and two-time Google intern, in a news release. “We were able to utilize our skills and knowledge acquired at Hampton in different ways to meet the challenges that were presented to us.”
The final product was judged on viability, user-friendliness, and platform effectiveness. Each team member was awarded 25,000 American Airlines miles for travel, a new MacBook, wireless headphones, the Echo Dot, and a travel backpack.
“We know that our students have a strong software develop foundation so they were able to learn and integrate various APIs into their application,” said Computer Science Professor Dr. Chutima Boonthum-Denecke. “There were engineers from American Airlines assisting students during the hackathon. Those AA engineers were impressed by how skilled our Hampton students are and how much they were able to accomplish with little help from them.”
Horton alongside the two other juniors on the team, Bass and Scott, competed in the Google DC Hack Competition earlier this year where they won first place.