Last weekend’s Cleanweb Hackathon made it into the WSJ’s venture blog, as these events continue to get bigger and bigger as more companies, investors, and techies discover the immense possibilities of the cleanweb.
The event featured a talk by Facebook’s (FB) sustainability director Bill Weihl, formerly of Google. “I think a lot of people would probably be surprised by how many people in their social network [such as Republicans driving electric vehicles], actually do things that they may have considered fringe,” said Weihl. Facebook is a new sponsor of the Hackathon and has become highly active in the area. (See previous discussion on Facebook’s efforts here).
Over 200 hundred people, including teams of IT software engineers, equipped with datasets and APIs, along with pizza and coffee, spent over 28 hours to develop novel solutions to pressing problems. Competitors found data from various sources, including Tendril Connect’s API, NYC OpenData, OpenEnergyInfo, Facebook’s Open Graph, The World Bank, Foursquare, and Twitter. Cleanweb Hackathon judges selected three winners:
- Green Building Banner, a Google Chrome plug-in that brings energy data to consumers
- Lean Green Stormwater, an online tool which allows facility owners to calculate stormwater charges and savings under various stormwater mitigation investments
- Parkifi, a mobile app that helps users find a New York park with a Wi-Fi hotspot
This week, Cleanweb Hackathon moves to Austin’s SXSW ECO, which is a three-day conference addressing the need for a concerted, cross sector approach to solving the recognized challenges facing the economy, the environment and civil society.