Software Development

Here are the winners of the inaugural #OpenBracketDE coding competition

Checks were written on the spot. The top team won $15,000 in cash.

The winning team at the first-ever {OpenBracket. The reception was held at World Cafe Live at the Queen.

(Photo by Rana Fayez)

Delaware’s biggest coding competition wrapped up Sunday, with $20,000 in prizes being doled out to the top three projects.
The event — {OpenBracket — had brought developers from all over the country to Wilmington. Nearly 40 projects were finished, all prompted by one of five challenges introduced Friday night. After a spirited day of coding at the Grand Opera House on Saturday, nine finalists presented Sunday morning at World Cafe Live at The Queen. Following an overall assessment and a technical code review, the winners were chosen. It capped off a months-long process that included an online competition and ran through this invite-only, in-person championship.
“The online competition was algorithmic, based on solving problem sets. This weekend was programmatic, creating full-stack, prototype solutions,” said Tariq Hook, the prominent Zip Code Wilmington instructor who served as the weekend’s emcee and co-organized the event.
The first-place prize of $15,000 was given to Target Marketing Group, comprised of participants Demi Guo from Harvard University, Tiancheng Lou from Google and Calvin Lee and Yan Liu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Their prompt was proposed by Open Data Delaware cofounder David Ginzberg, who challenged participants to create a tool to help small retail businesses choose expansion locations with the help of open data.

The second-place prize of $3,000 went to the team behind the Recommendations Event Discovery ToolScott Wu is from Harvard while the rest of his teammates, Andrew He, Steven Hao and Akshat Bubna, are from MIT. The members of this team were all either 19 or 20 years old.
“We knew each other before this contest, it seemed natural for us to team,” said Wu. “I’ve met a ton of other different people. It’s my first time [in Delaware]. I really like it here.”
Their challenge came from Downtown Visions director Will Minster, who asked participants to create a tool to recommend nearby events for community members.
The third and final prize of $2,000 went to Target Marketing Recommender team members Yinzhan Xu, Haoran Xu, Richard Peng and Mark Gordon. They took on the same challenge as the first group.

The three other challenges that weren’t represented among the winners were as follows:

  • an inventory management tool proposed by SummerCollab,
  • a mobile patient check-in tool proposed by Christiana Care Health System
  • and a matchmaking platform to connect pro bono service providers with small organizations, as proposed by Accelerate Delaware, the startup economic development nonprofit incubated by the Longwood Foundation.

The event was sponsored by Chatham Financial, JPMorgan Chase, Christiana Care, Barclaycard and Capital One, among others. The event was organized by an array of local stakeholders, chaired by local investor Ben duPont and including representatives of Zip Code Wilmington, The Kitchen and
Find all project code here on GitHub. Find Sunday’s presentations here.

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