What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “hacker”? A criminal? According to the folks at HackMidwest.com, a hacker is also “a person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and stretching their capabilities.”

Hack Midwest — a Kansas City hackathon held July 18-19 — brought together computer science students and professional designers and software engineers for a 24-hour competition to create a mobile or web-based app. The event provided an opportunity to network and “create without constraints.” Three Intouchers — senior data architect Carlos Acosta, senior developer Nathan Stites and web developer Sabinaya KC — participated for the first time.

Although many of the submissions focused on data analysis, the Intouch team focused on health, “because we’re Intouchers,” said KC.

NEPALADISE and Connect Corpus
Inspired by the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the team wanted to connect the population of developing nations to the first world using information technology (IT). “Technology and communications can help to improve the life of so many,” said Carlos.

Ultimately, their goal was to initiate a tech trend (“NEPALADISE”) in rural sectors of Nepal. Connect Corpus, the app the team created, is designed to allow people living in remote areas to connect to online resources, such as video conferencing, live chat, language translation, and education and training.

KC plans to travel to Nepal this winter — with a team, if possible — to evaluate the current situation and foster connections with local citizens and organizations.

Although their project didn’t take home the prize, the guys agree the event was a great experience and hope that next year they can take a larger team that includes strategic management and Intouchers from account areas to help present and sell next year’s submission. Thanks to those of you who gave up your weekend to participate, learn and represent Intouch!