16 hours, 16 projects: A look at what teams created at the sixth Baltimore Hackathon

From crowdfunding career moves to crowd control drones, here's a look at how participants set out to improve city life via software, hardware and civic tech.

Derek Fields presents Serenity at the sixth Baltimore Hackathon.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Updated at 1:55 p.m., 3/27/19.
Nonprofits. The bus system. Bulletin boards.

Those were just a few of the areas where teams looked to bring new technology at the sixth Baltimore Hackathon. There was even room for music and railguns.

For the event, 60 participants gathered at the University of Baltimore’s Thumel Business Center over the weekend of March 22 to 24 to build projects on 16 teams.

After building for 16 hours, teams presented projects to win $9,600 in prizes. Judges included Frostburg State University professor Oluwadamilola (Dami) Arinde, software engineer Chris Strom, BCIT Digital DevOps Director Jet Lu and TEDCO Pre-seed Builder Fund Co-Manager McKeever Conwell.

Here’s a look at what the teams built:


This team set out to bring crowdfunding to career moves. Through the platform, users can raise money from their network to fund a month of unpaid work that helps gain key experience in a new career. When companies make a hire, they pay back the crowd. The team of Jeremy Neal, Paige Finkelstein, Mike Raykher and Joseph Cureton won first prize in the software projects category.

Rebirth of the Calzone

Larry Gray built a new tool to help get upvoted on Reddit. Gray set out to reverse engineer the process of making a post that proved popular, zeroing in on the name of a post. The technology combines a REST API and machine learning to predict whether a title will get attention. The project won second place in the software category.

Larry Gray presents Rebirth of the Calzone to judges. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Larry Gray presents Rebirth of the Calzone to judges. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)


Jeffrey Yang, Daniel Huang and Havish Netla took on the issue of reliable information sources and fake news with their app. The team used machine learning to create an application to determine the reliability of a news source, and applies a scale to determine bias. The team won first place in the civic tech category.


Bmore Transit Track

The project aims to bring transparency to public transit. Using open data from real-time GPS tracking on every bus and publicly available schedules, the team created a visualization to show if a bus is early, late or on-time over the course of a route. This project won second place in civic tech, and was voted audience favorite.


Derek Fields presented the drone that can be used for crowd control during a frantic situation at a large event. The drone has an LED ticker with illuminated lettering that can display a message directing people to a safe exit or to watch their step. The project won first place in the hardware category.


Quierra Wells spent the weekend making earrings, and gained experience in digital manufacturing. Using Fusion360 and 3D modeling, Wells created nine 3D-printable products. The effort earned second place in the hardware category.

Quierra Wells discusses MakerBae at the Sixth Baltimore Hacakthon. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Quierra Wells discusses MakerBae at the sixth Baltimore Hackathon. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Music Thing

Phil Edwards created a touchscreen keyboard that brings the sound of a digital piano to a phone screen. Edwards picked up skills by adding a “multitouch” function that allows several notes to be played at once.


Creating a virtual bulletin board, this project allows users to digitally “drop” documents at a location. Anyone at the location can then view it. The team suggested use cases from a scavenger hunt to restaurant reviews to classroom use. Giancarlo Bautista, Justus Eapen and Sean Madigan teamed on the project.


Merlin Patterson’s app, debuted at GiveBackHack last month, provides a way for users to donate spare change to charity. Spare temporarily stores and tracks transactions, rounding up to the nearest dollar and setting aside the change. Users can donate to a nonprofit of their choice.

BFB Furniture Connection

Baltimore Furniture Bank collects gently used furniture from universities, businesses and individuals to help people in poverty furnish a home. Jonathan Prozzi created an inventory management system that shows available items, and updates as they find a home.


This project offers a way to learn about events on short notice. Organizers can post a form showing the key details, allowing others looking for plans to opt-in.


Jasmin Callaway and Santiago Lisa set out to create a website that shares crime data in an easy-to-digest way for Baltimore residents.

Ticket Stub Diary

Dave Fine collected ticket stubs from visits to concerts, museums, movies and other memorable visits around the world over 15 years. He created a website that serves as a digital diary to provide a database of the experiences and share.

Innovation Portal

The Baltimore Hackathon was filled with ideas. This team wanted to make sure they live on past the weekend. Through this repository, the ideas presented at hackathons, pitch competitions and inside accelerators around Baltimore can be accessed.

Karina Mandell (right) presents Innovation Portal to judges. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Karina Mandell (right) presents Innovation Portal to judges. (Photo by Stephen Babcock)

Benchtop Linear Accelerator

This team including Robert Cicconetti, Bradford Kuhn and Paul Grodt, set out to build a railgun, which uses electromagnetic force to launch projectiles. The weekend produced “pretty sparks,” and experience shooting high-speed video, as well.

Alturnative to Fear

Seeking to combat the use of fear as a primary motivator to move people to address climate change, Tom Riley is leading an effort to create videos, write essays, and short stories that encourages buy-in to take action.

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