Anna and Alex recently traveled to the University of Michigan to kick off and judge the Michigan Hackers IMPACT Hack-a-thon. Taking first place was Chargii, an iOS and Android app with hardware that can effectively manage a user’s electricity consumption. The 5 person team, made up of sophomores: Brad Hekman, Josh Franz, and Nathan Shields, freshman Aubrey O’Neal and senior Tobias Franz, developed the app, hardware and marketing video in only 20 hours.
The video is awesome – check it out:
The Chargii team credits their success to their diversified team and the amount of time they invested in hashing out all the pros and cons for the different ideas they had. They actually had three concepts to chose from and the team explored them all, at length. At one point, the team nervously looked around and saw the other teams already coding and building but they were still debating. Their thoroughness paid off though as they were able to discount the other two ideas and the concept of Chargii emerged with a clear end product in mind.
Part software, part hardware, the team mobilized based on their strengths to execute the vision. Brad, Nathan and Josh coded. Josh also scavenged for hardware (at 1AM) while Aubrey and Toby developed the marketing and video presentation.
By Saturday, the team was bleary eyed and excited, but when they went to make their final presentation the demo wouldn’t cooperate. A good lesson in always be prepared, the team used their video to carry the presentation while they scrambled to make the demo work. They pulled it off in the remaining 3 minutes and walked away with both first place and the prize for most technical hack.
Next up for the Chargii team? Likely more hack-a-thons since the taste of success was pretty sweet right out of the gate. They entered in the 1,000 Pitches contest and are looking to see how far they can take their idea. (Here’s a link to their latest demo). Looking ahead to summer plans already, the team is using Readyforce to connect with companies for internships. Smart group.