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{OpenBracket coding contest puts $50K on the line to bring devs to Delaware

The inaugural competition has two parts: an online battle on Oct. 15 and an in-person finals in Wilmington on Nov. 5.

This inaugural coding competition will start online and finish in Wilmington. (Logo by The Kitchen)
Full disclosure: Delaware is among the stakeholders producing {OpenBracket.
Wilmington will host a coding competition in November with one of the country’s largest single cash prizes.

Meet {OpenBracket, among the first in a growing slew of efforts to bring top-flight software developers to Delaware. It’s an event with two parts that aims to become an annual tradition.

  • First, on Oct. 15, {OpenBracket will feature an open call, online coding competition on HackerRank, a third-party platform. As many as 10,000 participants will vie for $10,000 cash and subsidized trips to battle for the grand prize.
  • Then, on Nov. 5, 100 finalists from the online competition will square off in a team environment for the chance at that $15,000 grand prize, in an event that we at are helping to produce.

Between those two top prizes, plus awards for second and third place, travel stipends and other support, at least $50,000 will be on the line, according to an official press release.
Sign up to compete
The initiative was kicked off by Ben duPont, the connected Wilmington-based investor and cofounder of Zip Code Wilmington who wanted to help corral the dollars and dealers necessary to push Delaware into the national conversation. Tapping into an informal coalition of various economic development groups that go under the Reinventing Delaware banner, duPont called on Zach Phillips of The Kitchen, Tariq Hook of Zip Code, nonprofit First State Innovation, consultant Kirsten Wolfington and, full disclosure, Delaware, including this reporter.
(Our friends at the Wilmington News Journal wrote about the event here, though we at didn’t make it into the piece.)
The event is largely bankrolled by a collection of notable corporates with substantial Delaware presences. {OpenBracket’s title sponsor is Chatham Financial. Others include Christiana Care, Capital One, WSFS, M&T Bank and JPMorgan Chase. Their interest? Branding Wilmington and Delaware as a place where technologists work, so they can scoop up great talent to compete in the competitive hiring landscape.
That goal aligns with much of the state’s tech, startup and economic development efforts. The challenge is competing in a crowded national landscape of events. The big draws here? Cash prizes, in the short term; then, big corporations with cybersecurity and fintech challenges, a burgeoning East Coast tech scene and easy Delaware living.
{OpenBracket will lead into the second annual Delaware Innovation Week.

Companies: Chatham Financial / First State Innovation / Zip Code Wilmington / The Kitchen /
People: Kirsten Wolfington / Zach Phillips / Benjamin duPont / Christopher Wink / Tariq Hook
Projects: OpenBracket / Delaware Innovation Week

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