• Eric May

Hackpalachia Recap

We recently completed the first ever Hackpalachia event at the Ohio University Russ College of Engineering in Athens, Ohio on September 28th, 2019.


The Develop Appalachia team put a lot of hours into making the event happen, and we were very pleased with the results and turnout. I wanted to give a quick numbers recap for our supporters:


  1. 61 Students attended the event from all levels of undergraduate and graduate

  2. Over $7,000 raised from sponsors/contributors

  3. 10 mentors from companies attended the event.

  4. 3 Employers were on site recruiting students.

  5. 3 states represented: Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia

  6. 7 universities: Ohio University, Ohio State, Cleveland State, Hocking College, Northern Kentucky University, West Virginia University Parkersburg, and Virginia Tech

  7. 15 Teams formed and pitched ideas.

  8. At least half of the students had never pitched an idea before based on an informal survey.


The following is a list of teams, along with a description of their idea that they pitched.


  • Masen.Jar: Building relationships between entrepreneurs and investers

  • The Bob Hacks: Local event sharing

  • Object Disorientated: App development focused on connecting individuals with charities and community service opportunities

  • Destroyers: Helping the homeless

  • CHAD - Coffee, Hacking, And Doom: Lithium-Ion Battery Longevity

  • All Business: Defeat grocery expiration dates

  • bobcat++: Web scraper for social media

  • dataminers: Non-profit to help pre-k through 6th grade kids learn data science

  • BUDS: Hub to connect students, investors, and universities to foster innovation

  • Splorers: Waze-style app for pedestrians and hikers

  • Drynk: Home cocktail mixer

  • BARPM: Material & Material - a platform to distrust the materials industry

  • Hileman Industries: Indoor navigation mapping and guiding with LOOMO

  • Green: Help people recycle with better identification for recyclable materials

  • Team IDK: Tool for understanding how many people are in a crowd

Our winners were:


1st Place: BARPM

2nd Place: IDK

3rd Place: bobcat++

Honorable Mention: All Business

Crowd favorite: Drynk

JPMorgan Chase Hack for Social Good winner: Team Green



Our goals for next year are to increase the size of the event and the outreach to universities in the Appalachian region. We were happy with the number of attendees from Ohio University and Cleveland State, but disappointed in turnout from Hocking College, Marietta College, West Virginia University, and a few other universities that we reached out to as well. Going forward we're going to look to improve the event, possibly extend the duration, and work on sourcing funding for students to attend.


If you are interested in being involved next year or on other initiatives, drop us a line at info@developappalachia.org.

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