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ITU Student Government Hosts First Build & Pitch Hackathon

Innovative graduate students from around the globe gathered at ITU on December 2nd, 2016, to rack their brains, share ideas, and build solutions for today’s problems in ITU’s first annual Build & Pitch Hackathon. ITU’s Student Government Association (SGA) sponsored the event as a way to encourage students’ team skills development, innovative collaboration, and to provide an experience for students to “pitch” their ideas. The first-place winners, “Team Any Gym,” won $1,000 from the SGA for their software solution geared toward fitness-oriented customers on-the-go. Second prize of $600 went to “Team StudyMate,” whose app focused on helping students manage classes, assignments, grades and announcements. The $400 third prize went to “Team Kobe,” for their voice-controlled robotic innovation.

The 9-hour hackathon included a welcome from ITU President Dr. Gregory O’Brien, and a keynote speech by Olusesan Ajina, the Co-founder of tech start-up, CleepCam, one of ITU’s internship co-op partners. The judging panel included Professors Tom Tafolla, Michael Kimball and Mamoun Samaha. The event wrapped up with a project expo, award ceremony, and networking opportunity where guests could mingle.

The event was spearheaded by Suhasini John Gadam, the SGA’s Career Services Representative. “An event like this requires a tremendous effort and support from various departments and people,” Gadam said. She attributes the event’s success to the dedication of all of the SGA volunteers and the immense support from Dr. O’Brien, the University’s Academic Leadership Council, faculty, and Student Services staff.

ITU Provost, Dr. Barry Ryan, following a presentation by Gadam, commented, “I am very impressed with the professionalism of our Student Government Association in organizing this unique event. Congratulations to the participants, volunteers, and to the SGA leadership for a job well done.”