The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced BulbTrip as the grand prize winner of the Second Annual Boston Cleanweb Hackathon, a $10,000 prize competition to demonstrate the impact of applying information technology to tackle some of the world’s most urgent energy concerns.
Held this past weekend at Greentown Labs in the Boston Innovation District, the competition brought together entrepreneurs, thought leaders, computer developers, business and technology professionals with experts on energy and efficiency to develop web-based applications to target some of today’s most pressing resource constraints.
“We’re happy this event has found a home here in Massachusetts, where there is a natural spirit of entrepreneurship, a hub of innovation with a robust cluster of people dedicated to solving some of the world’s biggest energy and water challenges,” said MassCEC CEO Alicia Barton.
Over the course of the 30 hours, nearly 80 participants, representing businesses, students and entrepreneurs creatively challenged their minds to create more than 20 innovative information technology solutions to address energy constraints and compete for over $10,000 in prizes.
A second prize competition, the Data Jam, was also launched at the Hackathon. The Data Jam is a 90-day challenge focused on the creation of impactful and market-ready applications for building efficiency and transportation. The competition is supported by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Department of Energy, the City of Boston’s Greenovate Initiative and EnerNOC and will award $15,000 in prizes later this year.
"These kinds of collaborative efforts help our nation move toward energy independence while spurring new jobs and economic growth," said Nick Sinai, deputy chief technology officer from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy who kicked off the Data Jam session.
“Boston is a global leader in the cleanweb movement and is growing the sector rapidly due to its unmatched ecosystem of new venture creation, innovation and forward thinkers challenging the status quo,” said Mark Vasu, co-chair of the organizing committee. “It is no surprise Boston's event is the largest of its kind, supported enthusiastically by so many.”
BulbTrip received the $6,000 grand prize. BulbTrip’s application, described as Zappos for residential lighting, is an e-commerce site designed to make it easy for homeowners to buy, try and return efficient lighting options and understand the paybacks of them as well.
The $3,000 second place and People’s Choice Award winner was Green Captcha, whose web application uses sign-in technology “captcha” tools that raise awareness and educate consumers about environmental issues. JCube, the $1,000 third place winner provides an energy use and analytics platform for City of Boston school buildings, equating potential energy savings to other budgeting elements like hiring teachers. Other notable applications included MapMyEnergy.com and Sim Energy Boston in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
The top Data Jam team entries are Paddleboard.com, a mobile app for transportation that aggregates travel options and choices by energy use, and Crowd Control, an energy efficiency platform that empowers individuals to eliminate waste and capture high-value energy saving in the buildings where they work. Winning teams are invited to present on the main stage and receive free admission to the VERGE Boston conference May 13-14. Data Jam teams will also receive mentoring and support until they pitch their final, market-ready apps at the launch of the Cleantech Open Northeast Summer Academy in Boston on June 26. Top entries are invited to showcase their solutions at the next Energy Datapalooza organized by White House officials.
The competition judges were: Rob Day, partner, Black Coral Capital; Roberto Ramirez, chief financial officer, MassCEC; Hugh Scandrett, vice president of engineering, EnerNOC; Leo Shklovski, CTO and co-founder, EnergySavvy and the moderator was Matthew Nordan, vice president, Venrock.