Team LightsOut Wins Third Annual Boston Cleanweb Hackathon

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Kathryn Niforos
Takes home $5,000 prize for crowd-sourced energy inefficiency shaming app
Apr 8, 2014 –

More than 70 people crammed into cleantech incubator Greentown Labs over the weekend to create innovative apps and technologies that support clean and sustainable practices.

Teams had 30 hours to build apps from scratch, with 10 teams competing. In the end, Team LightsOut emerged victorious to win the judges vote for “Best in Show.” The app lets users photograph and geotag energy inefficiencies, such as leaving the lights on during the day. The team hopes that the app could drive a conversation about how to better conserve energy. 

LightsOut will take home over $5,000 in prize money and a free entry to CleanTech Open, a startup accelerator, where they may take their hackathon project to the next level and try to turn it into a viable startup company.

“Massachusetts is home to innovation. We’re proud to be here in Somerville to celebrate technologies aimed at tackling the impacts of global climate and supporting the use of clean energy sources,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton, who served as a Hackathon judge. “It’s really exciting to see the innovation community coming together to find solutions to sustainable practices.”

Team MapMyEnergy took second place with an app that organizes real estate listings by energy efficiency, while judges were deadlocked and split third place between Team Barnacle, whose hardware and software project allowed homeowners to use their phones to control the water flow to their house, and Team TravelGreen, whose iPhone app helps users travel more efficiently. Team GreenBean won the audience vote with their smart recycling bin.

All of these teams will take home prize money and free entry into Cleantech Open.

LightsOut, along with most of the hackathon teams, signed up for the Cleanweb Hackathon DataJam, a two-month mini-accelerator during which teams will continue to develop their projects while learned the basics of company formation

“It was inspiring to see how much each team accomplished in just one weekend of work. The LightsOut team is thrilled to have received the top prize amid such stiff competition, and we are excited to advance the project in the coming months,” said Spencer Lawrence, a member of team LightsOut, which also included John Massie, Nathan Tarpey and Braden Lawrence.

This is the third annual Boston Cleanweb Hackathon. The goal of the event is to bring together developers and entrepreneurs to create user-friendly and effective clean web applications designed to help consumers and businesses use natural resources more efficiently via the Internet, social media and mobile technologies. The goal of the competition is to address global climate challenges, support clean energy sources and protect finite natural resources by developing technologies that change the way people live, work, and play.

“The annual Cleanweb Hackathon is a great example of how the region's innovation economy is coming together to solve global challenges in energy and sustainability," said New England Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein. 

The event was sponsored by MassCEC, EnerNOC, Posternak, CrowdComfort, Genability, EnergySavvy, WeGoWise, Greentown Labs, Hailo, Cleantech Open, NECEC Institute, Instacart, Hawaiian Ola, and Enigma.