Heartfelt hackers help Hoosiers halt hassles
Steve Hodges is happy that he and his teammates won $1,500 cash and a whole host of prize package perks for winning one of the five different challenges from the Indy Civic Hackathon. What he’s really proud of, however, is using his skills as a developer to help the community.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to apply our professional skills to help solve real problems faced by our community,” Steve said. “We worked on an interesting problem, and I think we are proud of what we were able to accomplish in the short time available. It’s fun to win, but it was more meaningful to us to make a real contribution to the city.”
Steve’s team, Cleaver Designs — affectionately named after a typo in the hackathon rules — created ReIndy, a platform for both government officials and private investors to determine which Indianapolis areas and available properties they want to target for redevelopment.
ReIndy goes way beyond the initially specified challenge of creating an interactive heatmap. The Cleaver Designs team mashed up open data provided by the city of Indianapolis with other data sources, elements of personal taste, and known investment-risk tolerances to provide the user an easy-to-understand reinvestment score. Instead of sorting through piles of spreadsheets and search results, ReIndy users will simply adjust a few preferences sliders — like property value trajectory, value compared to neighboring properties, and walkability of the area — and tap a button to find their ideal reinvestment locations.
The full Cleaver Designs team includes: Adam Darrah, Steve Hodges, Jimmy Ondecko, Ian Runyon, and Eric Sendelbach.
“I think we succeeded because we wanted to understand the problem faced by the Department of Metropolitan Development, and kept focused on a solution to that problem throughout,” Steve said. “Strategically, we wanted to do something different with the government data we were provided; instead of just plotting data points on a map, our software interpreted all that data, mashing it up into something easily digestable: a Reinvestment Score for every area and property in the city.
“Aside from the actual building of a solution, the event is a great way to meet other professional software developers as well as young talent, plus city officials and others in the community who support the tech industry.”
FEATURED IMAGE CAPTION: (left to right) Cleaver Designs teammates Eric Sendelbach, Jimmy Ondecko and Steve Hodges pose with their check after being named the winner of the City of Indianapolis Challenge #1 in the Indy Civic Hackathon.
Indy Civic Hack, the second event of the Hack Indiana Series powered by the Indy Chamber and Techpoint, posed challenges from Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), the City of Indianapolis, and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to the region’s top coders and developers in an effort to highlight the use of technology for civic good.
Participating Indy Civic Hack teams met for a full-day hackathon on Saturday, June 6, at Eleven Fifty Coding Academy to begin their concept and pitch ideas to a panel of judges. A maximum of three teams were chosen for each challenge to continue application development for another week to provide a more complete solution to the challenging organizations.
Stay tuned for stories about the other winners, which will be published here at techpoint.org in the coming days.
More about the Hack Indiana Series: The Hack Indiana Series, powered by Techpoint and the Indy Chamber, is an extended hackathon designed to invigorate an entrepreneurial culture and equip participants with marketable skills while encouraging relationship formation and camaraderie in the community. The Challenge will engage students and professionals already actively contributing to the Indiana tech space and will potentially lead to seeding new ventures and job-creators.
The Hack Indiana Series is sponsored by the following organizations: AT&T Indiana, Indiana Interactive, Interactive Intelligence, KSM Consulting, SAP, iLAB, Kronos, Netlogx, Perscio, Socrata, Ball State University, Indiana University, IUPUI, The University of Notre Dame, Purdue University, and the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. In-kind sponsors include Launch Fishers, The Speak Easy, The Bureau, Local Initiatives Support Corporations of Indianapolis, and Eleven Fifty Coding Academy.