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First Annual UVI Hackathon To Showcase Innovations In Technology

Hackfest/Hackathon - Design, Build, Launch

More than two dozen UVI students will demonstrate innovative technological solutions to everyday problems in the community during the first annual UVI Hackfest scheduled for Feb. 6 – 7 at the Administration and Conference Center (ACC) on the St. Thomas Campus.

Hackathons are events in which computer programmers, software developers and innovators of all types collaborate intensively on software projects.  The students will work around-the-clock to devise innovative solutions to different problems affecting Virgin Islanders, according to Dr. Timothy Faley, the Kiril Sokoloff Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at UVI.  Solutions can be in the form of web page development, software, or mobile apps, Dr. Faley said.

“The concept was born in Silicon Valley,” Dr. Faley said.  “Tech companies such as Facebook, Linked In and Google hold hackathons monthly, working around the clock to generate new ideas.”  In fact, the idea for UVI Hackfest was born after three UVI students returned from participating in an event at Google headquarters in November.

Students will gather in teams on Friday, Feb. 6 and brainstorm ideas. Each team will work around the clock to execute their ideas.  On Saturday evening, a panel of judges will issue awards to the winning team.  Entries will be judged on usefulness, creativity, imagination and execution.  The top team with the most innovative technological idea will receive $500.

UVI Hackfest is coordinated by UVIDEA, a student innovation and entrepreneurship club.  Formed in 2014, the club is composed of students across a variety of disciplines who brainstorm ideas about entrepreneurship. 

St. Croix-based technology company NEARiX, is the sponsor and promoter of UVI Hackfest.   “NEARiX is proud to be involved in the vanguard of Virgin Island technology history,” said Leon Hughes, founder and CEO of NEARiX.  “The first of many annual events, the UVI Hackathon 2015 represents the growing potential of great minds and companies alike throughout the Virgin Islands.”

Members of the public are invited to attend Saturday evening’s awards ceremony to see the winning idea.  That event will take place 5 p.m. in the UVI Administration and Conference Center.

For more information contact UVI’s Public Relations Office at (340) 693-1057 or pr@uvi.edu.