We recently entered the 2016 MOBILITY LIVE HACKBACK sponsored by TAG in partnership with MobilityLIVE, a partnership between GSMA and Metro Atlanta Chamber. This hackathon benefited United Way Atlanta.
Currently, the United Way Atlanta Board of Directors consists of 49 community advocates that meet 6 times a year to drive the most important United Way initiatives. They needed a better way to facilitate communication between board members and leadership teams by replacing their current process of printing out an extensive board package for every meeting for 49 board members. The solution would need to be a secure portal accessible from smartphone, tablet, and desktop. There are multiple documents per board meeting and the executive admin (Jeanette Holloway) needs a method to upload documents without IT involvement. They also needed an online voting feature.
This wasn’t a hackathon in the traditional sense of coding for 24 hours straight. This was a more event driven with a kick-off at General Assembly on Oct. 4th, conference call on October 10th and 17th. Additionally, webinars with Alexa developers were provided to encourage hackers to integrate Alexa into their solution.
- Keep it Simple
- Daily team video calls
- Interviewed Jeanette Holloway, United Way Executive Assistant
- Developed an Alexa Skill from facts and content from the United Way of Greater Atlanta Annual Report 2014-15
We created a WordPress site with a Board management plugin. This created special logins with appropriate permissions for board members. Our solution also includes a board meeting calendar, and integration with Dropbox, Slack and Polling features. Our solution combined a responsive site with the existing Dropbox app, making this solution accessible across 3 screens, tablet, smartphone, & desktop.
We automated updates to the existing United Way external Board List with headshots and bios.
The United Way was open to innovative ways to reach their target audience. We realized that writing a custom Alexa Skill for the Amazon Echo could provide a competitive advantage to raise awareness with potential donors. According to this infographic, the typical Amazon Echo owner earns over 100K per year. Thus, we created a custom Alexa Skill to raise awareness for the United Way.
How we came up with our team name
I created a slack channel called #teamname. Everyone put in their suggestions. We event took suggestions from team name generating websites including http://www.wordlab.com/name-generators/team-name-generator/
It came down to “TPS Reports” and “Hacking Juggernauts.” Steve Youngblood suggested “Hackernauts,” and eureka, we had our team name. HACKERNAUTS
Watch our Hackathon entry video
Detailed Alexa Skill Demo Video
Finalists were invited to compete in a live presentation during Mobility Live.
Final teams were: Team Perspective and Team Hackernauts.
Honestly, Team Perspective, led by Brian Srikanchana did an amazing job with their child well-being heat map. I walked out of the competition with no idea who had won.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Team Hackernauts declared the winner during the Mobility Live Star Awards ceremony.
Thank you TAG, Metro Atlanta Chamber, GSMA, Mobility Live 360, Amazon Alexa, and United Way for putting together this amazing Hackathon! Thank you to my teammates for your dedication, hard work, and commitment. Thank you judges Hillery Champagne, Natalie Evans, Joey Womack, and Orinzal Williams. Win or lose, this was an amazing learning experience for all teams. Shout-out to all teams that entered. We watched all submission videos and were completely impressed at each and every one! Team Mapping the Way, if you see this, please reach out to us as we would love to collaborate with you in the future.
Most importantly, we learned about the amazing work that the United Way Atlanta is doing in our community.