Give Back Hack

Rob Steiner 2017-04-26
Give Back Hack

Another Cleveland weekend… oh, wait. It’s GiveBack Hack weekend for Cleveland! GiveBack brings together some of the brightest minds in the area for one purpose; create an idea that can better the Cleveland community. We have the weekend to get as far as we can with the idea, then pitch it to a panel of judges. The judges will decide on a winner and award them some really awesome prizes. Prizes like a one-year dedicated space in the local incubator, funding, and a bunch of small goodies to get the idea to fruition.

Unfortunately, I didn’t come with a great idea (Voting ruled mine out…), but I managed to join the Parents in Motion (PIM) team! The idea was ride hailing service like Uber\Lyft, but for young kids. I know, I know, the red stranger danger alarm is ringing… Stop. If the alarm can’t stop, check out requirements to become a school bus driver. Easy? Scary? But they are trusted. PIM was going to make their drivers pass an even more rigorous check, with multiple background checks and in-person interviews. These drivers were going to be ultra-certified and possibly handpicked by other parents.

Logistics was a little bit confusing… Someone who would use PIM is most likely very busy juggling jobs or possibly injured, thus their kids are suffering with lack of transportation. Both of those circumstances mean, little to no money income or time. Paying for an Uber like service for your kid could add up quickly, or driving around kids might not be an option. Our team landed on a few options to fuel the economy of PIM. Such as tokens that could be purchased or earned, or simply a “pay it forward” model. Improvement was needed, but not fulfilled in just our weekend!

Technology was pretty solid and making a prototype was solid. I was the only developer and had two days to put together something for demo purposes… I was struggling. Utilized the Ionic Framework with TypeScript, CSS, and rxJS to put together a fast example. Had it compiled by XCode and pushed to a device within a weekend. People had their doubts, but I delivered (I had doubts too… lol). Unfortunately, I didn’t make much progress on developing the backend of the application, but the frontend was looking great.

Overall, the experience was awesome at the hackathon. Met some awesome people, shared a really great experience with everyone, and watched so many bright minds create some awesome ideas. I can’t wait for next year, I will be attending yet again and bringing all the developer prowess.