Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) Interim CEO Steve Pike today announced Energy Bee as the grand prize winner of the Fifth Annual Boston Cleanweb Hackathon, earning the team $5,000 for their digital solution that allows consumers to set and track goals for energy use and spending.
Held this past weekend at LogMeIn’s headquarters in Boston, the Boston Cleanweb Hackathon brought together students, programmers, software developers, entrepreneurs and energy experts to develop user-friendly, web-based applications to help consumers and businesses use energy and natural resources more efficiently.
“Sometimes innovation really does happen overnight,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Pike. “It’s always amazing to see the potentially game-changing ideas that come out of this weekend’s Boston Cleanweb Hackathon, and this year is no exception.”
The 2016 Boston Cleanweb Hackathon was hosted by MassCEC and Greentown Labs, and sponsored by Posternak, LLP, the Cadmus Group, LogMeIn and Utility API.
“Partnerships between the public and private sector drive innovations that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs, while creating quality jobs and economic benefits,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “It is vital we support Massachusetts’ growing clean energy industry, which is developing technologies to address our water and energy challenges.”
“The Boston Cleanweb Hackathon has been a catalyst for innovation and industry awareness for several years now. I'm thrilled the local ecosystem continues to rally around and support this event,” said Hackathon judge Jason Hanna, founder and board chairman, Somerville-based Greentown Labs and director of software products at Boston-based Digital Lumens. “This year was particularly great for me because the event was hosted at LogMeIn's corporate headquarters, the place where we first built Greentown Labs.”
For more than 30 hours, more than 80 participants from across the energy and technology sectors competed for $11,000 in cash prizes, creating 11 innovative new projects.
The team at Energy Bee – Chris Kwan, Greyson Griffin, Christina Kayastha and Brian Chitester – developed an app that allows users to set goals for themselves to use less energy and save money, while also allowing users to challenge and compete against friends on who can save the most energy.
Taking home the $3,500 second place prize was TrueCost, an app that lets users counteract the impact of e-commerce purchases. In third place and winning $1,500 was CivicArena, an app that makes it easier for users to connect with policymakers on environmental issues. Receiving the $1,000 Crowd Favorite prize was ElementTech, an app providing utility resource management solutions for residents and small businesses.
The competition judges were MassCEC Interim CEO Pike; Jason Hanna, Founder and Board Chairman, Greentown Labs; Samantha Hammar, Director of Strategic Partnerships, MassIT; and Trish Fleming, Director of Mentoring, North Shore InnoVentures.
The Boston Cleanweb Haccelerator, an additional prize competition, launched this weekend as well at the conclusion of the Hackathon. A two-month-long business accelerator program, the Haccelerator allows Hackathon teams to go beyond the initial competition, developing their ideas to build actual products and to launch real companies. The Haccelerator will begin this week and will award a $5,000 prize to the winner at the end of May.
Funding and support for the Hackathon comes from contributions made by private sector partners Posternak LLP, the Cadmus Group, LogMeIn and Utility API and from MassCEC’s Renewable Energy Trust. The Renewable Energy Trust was created by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1998 as part of the deregulation of the electric utility market. The trust is funded by a systems benefit charge paid by Massachusetts electric customers of investor-owned utilities, such as Eversource or National Grid, as well as municipal electric departments that have opted to participate in the program. The average monthly charge is 32 cents for an average residential ratepayer.