Software solutions tackling state challenges involving homelessness and jail facility visitation took top honors at the Hawai‘i Annual Code Challenge (HACC) awards ceremony Sept. 24.
The winners were picked from more than 200 coders and innovators who answered the call to develop software applications for real needs involving state departments. Gov. David Ige, who served as one of the judges, congratulated all of the participants on their creativity and enthusiasm.
“You’ve demonstrated to all of us that there is a future for software development in Hawai‘i,” the governor said. “I cannot tell you how impressed we were. We could see value (for these applications) right now.”
The event was the culmination of a month-long hackathon-inspired competition designed to engage the local community in the modernization of Hawai‘i state government. Twenty-seven teams were given a month to develop practical solutions to challenges presented by the departments of Accounting and General Services, Agriculture, Health, and Public Safety, among others.
Two teams — each receiving $4,000 — tied for top honors and will have a chance to interview with Blue Startups and XLR8UH. One, Team Cobra, developed a mobile tool to help service providers identify and track homeless people in need. The other team, Hawai‘i Advanced Technology Society, worked on a method to make it easier to schedule visitations at the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center.
Team Cobra was also selected to represent Hawai‘i at the GlobalHack, an international competition Oct. 21-23 in St. Louis, Missouri. In the student category, Team Imua from Kamehameha Schools took first place and received $1,000 for an application that helps local high schools students in preparing for college. They will have an opportunity to interview with Sultan Ventures.
Todd Nacapuy, the state’s chief information officer, expressed his appreciation to the departments who participated. “They gave much of their personal time and dedication to help the HACC teams gain insight into state operations — essential to the sustainability of the solutions,” he said.
He also recognized the collaborative efforts from public and private sectors who worked with the state’s Office of Enterprise Technology Services to make HACC a success.