Hacks4Heath – Health and Nutrition Hackathon Recap

From Sept. 23 until Sept. 25 2016, Hub101 was buzzing with developers, designers, startup enthusiasts and entrepreneurs from a variety of backgrounds coming together for Hacks4Health. Participants were tasks with tackling one of the three major health and nutrition issues including hunger, food deserts and mother/infant care through a company they had the weekend to create.

Hub101 partnered up with the USDA, VSolvit, Dole, NASA, Larta Institute, Kaiser Permanente, Dell, Iron Bow, Tech Coast Angeles, The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and Clean Living Club for this weekend! 

Teams of people previously strangers to one another formed around ideas to change the world. They were Third Saturday, Remedi, Food Box, #LeftoverShare, MamaU, Füdi, Survival Story, Allele, Will this Make Me Fat? and Wellness For All.

Third Saturday empowers communities to improve health and food access by putting on free programs every third Saturday of the month on high school campuses. There are family activities, free health clinics by approved medical practitioners and food banks. The planned date during the month corresponds to times in which lower income families struggle the most financially.

Remedi is a revolutionary app that tracks your personal medication schedule, and tells you where it is available cheapest in your area. You can input the distance you wish to travel for the medication and the price you wish to pay, and the app will find the best fit. Future services include automatic refill installments and delivery.

Food Box works to better connect food banks with big chain markets who have thousands of food items about to expire. By creating a massive data base, stores would have easier access to the locations and types of items needed by each food bank with an end goal of less food waste and more food in the hands of those who need it.

#LeftoverShare has a social media platform design with the mission of educating people about the intensity of the food waste problem. Shocking statements that put into perspective the food we throw away in the United States drives a great social purpose with the aim to do good.

MamaU is a reward-driven pregnancy education and governmental resource center for new expecting mothers. With the app, mothers have access to videos, articles and seminars in their area to help them along their journey and earn points towards reward coupons. Users can also make partnerships with other mothers via a direct chat forum.

Füdi featured the slogan “Right food, Right people, Right time” and worked to connect perishable food donations with local food bank organizations. Individuals post pictures and information to their Giver profile and are given a tax deduction estimate as well as how far they wish to take their product. Receivers, or food banks, can then approve or deny the donation via email.

Survival Story takes a unique approach to eating healthy, designing a survival game where a player is stranded on a deserted islands and must grow the most nutritious foods to live. With limited resources, players must choose to plant and cultivate only foods that will provide the highest nutrient values until they can be rescued.

Allele takes the stance of healthy eating based on DNA. If other health plans aren’t specific enough, Allele tests and analyzes your DNA to customize a supplement/food diet specific to your personal needs/deficiencies.

Will this Make Me Fat? is a fun new app that gives users a star rating about if a food will indeed make them fat or not. Simply searching for a food item will give you nutrition info on the fly and before that first bite.

Wellness For All features all the perks of a personal nutritionist and chef all without leaving your home. With their new plan, subscribers will have three meals, snacks, coffee, juices and bottled water every day delivered to their home. Each item is tailored to the subscriber’s specific allergies and health concerns.

After three grueling days and 40 working hours, a winner had to be selected by the panel of six judges.

#LeftoverShare took third place, winning a $1,000 monetary prize. With Cal Lutheran International Student, Mia Quing on the team! 

Fudi was tied for third place, winning a $1,000 monetary prize.

MamaU took second with a $2,500 prize and six months of professional mentorship to develop the company further. Robert Kyler is the President of the Cal Lutheran Entrepreneurship Club and Brianna is the Vice President, way to go! 

 

Finally, Remedi took first place with a $5,000 grand prize and one year of professional mentorship. Each winning team will also receive six months of free Hub101 membership and the opportunity to pursue internships at sponsor VSolvit.

The winning team, Remedi, consisted of Cal Lutheran University Entrepreneurship Club officer, John Ikudaisi, Undergrad Research Assistant at USC Priya Bhatnagar, Kevin Diaz and Jarvis Flores. Diaz and Flores were both completely new to the Hackathon lifestyle.

 “I’m completely new to the industry. I’m just trying a Hackathon to see what it’s like and then finding a great team. It’s a great experience,” Diaz said. “I’m kind of a shy person, but I got to really open up and it feels like a second home even though it’s the first time I’ve ever been here.”

 With their winnings and mentorship opportunities, the team hopes to take the concept of Remedi forward.

 “As the weekend went by, we got stronger ideas now that we know there is a big market for this,” Bhatenagar said. “I can see the idea going forward.”

And even though the weekend offered little sleep and very few showers, everyone on the team was happy to be there.

 “It’s a rollercoaster, the whole weekend, but when you get to the end and you see everyone’s pitches and the work they’ve put into it, you realize why we came together,” Ikudaisi said. “We’re grateful we won first place. My team and I could not have won without a great mentor like Greg Monterrosa.”

Second place winner MamaU team member Brianna Bryan, even though familiar with entrepreneurship culture, was new to the process of a Hackathon.

“I really didn’t know what to expect and really did it for the fun and for the idea,” Bryan said. “The experience was a whirlwind.”

Bobby Jones, chief data officer for the United States Department of Agriculture, worked closely with Hackathon participants to supply them with USDA data sets and instructions on how to use data.gov, the federal registry.

 “This is probably my eighth Hackathon across the US. With the actual participants, the enthusiasm and the level of engagement was absolutely remarkable,” Jones said. “I’ve been to several Hackathons, but this one reached a level that I hadn’t seen to this point.”

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mechatronics Engineer Michelle Easter judged the ten teams and helped to select the winner. According to her, Hackathons are worth putting together as it offers great opportunity for entrepreneurs everywhere.

“It’s super inspirational to see these teams come together […] with the goal of coming up with a good, practical solution that’s going to help Americans to help themselves,” Easter said. “It’s such a good environment. It’s really important to have a space like this for young innovators.”

Special thanks to Cal Lutheran Alumni and Head of Marketing at VsolvitChristopher Kapuscik for being an instrumental part of this hackathon. Way to go Christopher! =) 

Check out our facebook album for pictures of the event.

Hacks4Health returns to Hub101 Spring 2017. Stay Tuned! 

Operated by Cal Lutheran University in Westlake Village, CA, Hub101 offers coworking, incubation and community for entrepreneurs and small business owners to start, grow, and scale their startups with the help of mentors, coaches and service providers.