Great ideas, great people, great connections all over a Gig network at the Red Hot Hack

The First Annual Red Hot Hack was a resounding success and we want to thank everyone who made it work – the local Red Wing hosts who made all of the technology work, brought tasty food and arranged beer specials, the volunteer judges and coaches, visiting Glenn Ricart and Tim Walsh and of course the attendees. Great Projects

The event produced five great projects among four teams (click to see their final presentation):

  1. Contextador – designed a browser extension that strives to create better informed citizens by providing context to news by pulling out basic info such as publisher, date and keywords AND invites experts to help provide access to “more info” by tagging high quality articles to be added to the “basic info” based on keyword
  2. PDF Previewer – created an app that opens a preview of PDF quickly. It allows users to see the contents of a PDF document without opening it. This works especially well with a Gig network when the bottle neck in such a process is the time it takes a computer to open a PDF, not the time it takes to serve a document from the cloud. (Video shown below.)
  3. Echogy – designed an app that lets end users see upcoming events by on a map, lets local businesses submit events and piggyback events (such as a special on root beer floats at the malt shop during a Little League game) and provides a way to easily develop a buzz online and off through better event promotion.
  4. SuccesSage – designed a website that connects students with potential mentors and job opportunities. Students and potential mentors sign up but students would also be able to track connections and pass them onto other students.
  5. Team Babble - designed on an Open Source app that translates speech to text and back to speech in multiple languages. It worked – briefly.


Great Awards

Three awards were presented:

  1. Contextador won for best presentation.
  2. Team Babble won for best concept.
  3. PDF Previewer won overall. PDF Previewer was developed by a team of one – Scott Josephson of Sharp PLM, who was interested in making it available as an open source tool. Scott developed the PDF Previewer quickly and was also a member of the Contextador team.

All attendees were given honorary membership to the Red Wing Ignite coworking space, which means they can come take advantage of the Gig network anytime.

Great Connections

We had about 50 people attend over the course of the weekend. About half were from the Red Wing area, most of the rest came from the Twin Cities. Most folks arrived Friday night where we got to know each other, heard about our good ideas and learned more about US Ignite and the power of Gig access from Glenn Ricart. Saturday we got down to brass tacks. People formed ad hoc teams based on project ideas and started hashing stuff out. The flip charts were flying, a lot of talk about strategy and tactics and a few hard core teams just dove into the code. We worked ‘em hard but people didn’t seem to mind. We broke for lunch and dinner and arranged for a tour of the Red Wing nightlife. Sunday, the team got ready to prepare and at noon the competition began.

After the competition there was a lot of business card sharing, congrats and a few “let’s do it again next year’s!”