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Washington University team builds out prototype to win first GlobalHack

The winning team at GlobalHack 1, The Force, gets its check from TopOPPS founder Jim Eberlin,

A team of current and former Washington University students—aka The Force—hacked their way to $50,000 at the first-ever GlobalHack event held this past weekend. More than 200 developers, designers and entrepreneurs dropped into St. Louis’ Union Station from Friday night until Sunday afternoon to tackle a singular task: create an app for sales-management company TopOPPS.

Each team had to create an application that scores and weighs sales opportunities in Salesforce according to an algorithm, then displays the ranked opportunities in a graphical user interface.

Gabe Lozano, co-founder of the event and CEO at LockerDome, told Silicon Prairie News that the team built out all of the UI/UX, integrated it with Salesforce and created a prototype-grade algorithm within the 48-hour window. As a result, TopOPPS is going to expand upon the team’s work for the earliest versions of its software.

TopOPPS founder and CEO Jim Eberlin used the event to publicly launch his startup and wasn’t disappointed.

“An opportunity to have hundreds of the nation’s best developers working on your product non-stop for 48 hours is priceless,” he said in a release. “In one weekend, we saw more innovative ideas and had access to more tech talent then most companies see in a year.”

The weekend-long event also brought a surprise for one team. Without any prior plans to do so, TopOPPS awarded $10,000 to the second-place team, made up of Missouri University of Science and Technology students and a software developer for St. Louis County.

Overall, Lozano said he couldn’t be much happier with the results.

“Participants appreciated competing head-to-head against all-star developers from across the country on an even playing field,” he said. “Most enjoyed having a single common project and receiving feedback from an actual customer, as opposed to leaving the event results up to a theoretical exercise.”

GlobalHack 1 was just the first of a number of events to run in St. Louis—the next is set for sometime in May, in conjunction with Arch Grants. There will be a hackathon every quarter with $50,000 prizes, all to be topped off by an annual conference in the city that will award more than $1 million.


Credits: Photo courtesy Techli.

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