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Intouch Techies Solidify the Rise of Silicon Prairie, Winning Big at HackTheMidwest 2013

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Most of us at Intouch know the things that make Kansas City great: BBQ, The Plaza, The Nelson Atkins Museum, Liberty Memorial, beautiful fountains, great baseball…ok maybe not great baseball but certainly fun. Anyway, you get the point. Our beautiful city boasts a long list of unique attributes of which we can be proud. Over the past year, this list has expanded as Kansas City has become quite the tech mecca (thank you, Google Fiber), including a host of startups, competitions and events featuring new technology.

Last weekend, several Intouchers participated in the HackTheMidwest 2013 challenge, held at Sporting KC Park. Over two days, more than 150 developers gathered to swap app knowledge and compete against each other to create the best software project. If competing against the savviest developers and designers in the area wasn’t challenging enough, teams had to create and complete their project within 24 hours.

After the teams of two to five completed their applications they were judged by a group of expert panel members and peers on four main qualifications: completeness, user interface, originality and usefulness. Many amazing apps were developed, but a few stole the show. Intouch, I am very proud and excited to share, was a winner in multiple categories!

Two of our Intouch teams brought home awards for their work on apps called Sherlock and Disaster Relief Hub. The first, inspired by the Watson super computer, won in two API categories: Alchemy and OpenTok. This app featured a Jeopardy-like game with Sherlock as the main player. Sherlock was built by Abid Rahman, Elyas Shaiwani and Jeremy West.

Disaster Relief Hub
Disaster Relief Hub

Our second winning app, Disaster Relief Hub, took home the win in the category of SendGrid API. This innovative project, developed by Matt Dunn and Ivan Markov, was built as a way for people to communicate during a disaster, as it allows users to let each other know they’re safe, find disaster victims and even send money to those in need.

Other Intouchers joined the competition independently and performed remarkably in their respective categories. This year marked the third hackathon within one year in which Intouch was involved and won. Check out our past blog posts on HackTheMidwest 2012 and Compute Midwest 2012.

Check out all the HackTheMidwest 2013 winners. Congrats to you all!

And a special "thank you" to organizer Michael Gelphman and all the sponsors who made the event possible.

(Team: Ivan Markov, Jeremy West, Jeff MacFarland, Elyas Shaiwani,
Abid Rahman, Caleb Cauthon, Matt Dunn, Phaneesh Gururaj)

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