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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

BroncoHack 2018:

students from the winning team and judges

students from the winning team and judges

Fueled by Yerba Mate and Driven Students, the Hackathon Was a Success

Gayatri Krishnan

The winning team and the judges of BroncoHack 2018

One of the organizers of BroncoHack 2018, Gayatri Krishnan is a student at Santa Clara University. Views are her own.

Organized by the OMIS Student Network (OSN), BroncoHack is Santa Clara University’s annual hackathon that encourages students from colleges and universities in the Bay Area to examine the social injustices present in our world and to try their hand at reversing them through the power of applied technology and programming. With the support of our incredible sponsors, including the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, BroncoHack was a huge success, and included over 100 innovative students who brought their ideas to life over the course of 24 hours.

After a delicious lunch, the hackathon kicked off at noon on Saturday, April 21st, and students dispersed into the various break-out rooms of Lucas Hall. As the afternoon went on, the OSN board had the opportunity to talk to participants about their ideas and answer students’ questions.

Then, after dinner, we served late night ramen and provided Yerba Mate to fuel the minds of the attendees as they hacked through the night.

At noon on April 22nd, the judging began. Our three judges this year were Karla Callahan, Board & CEO of Vizyontech; Michele Samorani, professor in the MIS department at Santa Clara University; and Jon Mullen, founder and CTO of RightHook. All three judges, extremely qualified and knowledgeable about both business and technology, graded each of the 15 teams that participated.

The first place team included Varna Vincent, Kunal Bidkar, Pramod Nanduri, Jai Karvir, and Anup Amanagave, who created an aid for blind individuals, called “Vision.” They used a Raspberry Pi and a camera to detect the amount of space between an individual and the object directly in front of the individual. The application of this technology is endless. Someone who is blind could attach this device to a walking stick, for example, and would always know how much distance there was between him or her and an object.

The second place team included Matthew Mistele, Kade Harmon, Yuya Yabe, and Jiabei Luo. Their project is called “Nativendor,” and it is an easy-to-use digital marketplace that connects craftspeople in poor areas of the world to buyers in developed nations. The project works with small production companies by creating a product page, helping them set a good price point, and connecting them with customers. The product is hosted on both a mobile iOS and Android app, as well as a web app.

The third place team included Alvin Lee, Wei Kang, Htet Naing, Jia Zhen, and Wang Xien Dong. Their project, “Kodo,” helps combat loneliness by providing a platform for people to interact with a chatbot that speaks and acts like a human. Kodo helps people feel better, offers advice, and ultimately serves as a bridge that connects to real people who understand the users’ needs.

We look forward to more participants and more exciting projects next year! To learn more about BroncoHack, visit

May 3, 2018

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