Hackaday - World Create Day $300,000 Cash prizes for ideas that change the world.

Following my recent transition with Hackaday, I'm excited to announce I'll be leading Austin in our 2016 Global Hackaday Prize challenge. 

Of course you do, it’s why you got out of bed this morning. And it’s why we’re deliriously excited to be hosting a Hackaday World Create Day event at Silicon Labs in Austin on April 23.

This is a global gathering, with similar Meetups happening around the world where tinkerers, makers, hobbyists, and professionals will have the chance to come together for a mega-brainstorm. 

The goal is simple enough; change the world. In addition to giving the tech community an avenue to connect, this event will serve to familiarize attendees with Hackaday, its mission, and offer a platform for entry into the Hackaday Prize design competition. In its third year, the Hackaday Prize seeks new and innovative ways to address technology challenges. Participants receive a new themed challenge every 5 weeks, and at the end the top 5 projects can win $5k all the way up to $150K for first place. In addition to the cash, the winner will also receive a residency with the SupplyFrame Design Lab to take their idea even further.

Need some inspiration? Check out the nearly 400 submissions already received, ranging from quadcopter bicycles to thermoelectric solar generators. The challenge kicked off on March 14 during SXSW and runs through April 25.

If you’re interested in joining us for the event, the details are below:


To submit an application online go to:


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hackathon, events

IoT #Smartcity #ConnectYourCity #Hackathon #SanFrancisco

This weekend, the City of San Francisco hosted it's first #IoT Hackathon sponsored by Texas Instruments, SigFox, Accenture and Microsoft at the Innovation Hanger

Teams collaborated on projects focused around the opportunities in the Internet of Things technology field. Teams explored ideas in the following categories: 

Utilities: Water, rainfall, leaks, methane, air quality, gas, waste/trash, smart meters/electric.

Transportation: Parking sensor, bike tracker, traffic/congestion, public transportation, security, speed.

City Services: Tracking assets, capacity, count people, indoor navigation, airport

Infrastructure: Bridges, Man-holes, Seismic, lane tracking, lighting

New Innovation: Polling, wildlife, Tree Health, Moisture, Health monitoring, tracking, education.

As this was my first #IoT Hackathon, I decided to #Hack together a smoke detector using low power specifically for #TinyHackerHouse. The #Hack detected smoke and sent an email notification to the city to report possible fire in the event that it was unattended. I used Texas Instruments Launchpad along with their MSP430 board and SigFox infrastructure.

The event was a great experience connecting with SF Hackers and doing what hackers do best..solving the worlds problems. Looking forward to the next one.


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events, volunteer

HackingEdu #Educational #Hackathon #San Mateo Event Center, CA

1,300 students, 1 weekend, 204 projects, this is one of our biggest student hackathons ever. We had coaches from UC Davis, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz and UC Berkley to collaborate on solving problems in #Education.

There were keynote speeches from Sam Altman President (Y Combinator), Sal Khan (Khan Academy) Conrad James, (About.me)

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hackathon, TinyHouse

Scope of Project TinyHackerHouse

Project TinyHackerHouse is a self sustaining micro house which allows for the freedom of living a life completely off the grid anywhere. This includes a micro organic farm for growing fruit and vegetables, a tesla powerwall solar technology infrastructure and multi configuration room for different situations. But most importantly the ability to live a life allowing the freedom of living, traveling and working remote.

This is a house built by the community, for the community. It engages an existing network of Hackers and Makers into the entire process of building a TinyHome.

The winner will receive an opportunity stay in TinyHackerHouse at the next HackingEdu Hackathon in 2016 and be part of the core team as the project evolves.

Please like our facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TinyHouseMovements

and join the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TinyHouseMovement/

If your interested in the Amazon gift card competition, please complete this form and I will be in touch once I have selected a winner.  http://bit.ly/1MLvC1u

$50 goes to Best hack idea

$100 goes to best hacked prototype.

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Initial Design concept for TinyHouse

This is my initial design concept for project #TinyHouse using #Google #Sketchup for the model. What's unique about this design is it the entire structure can be sent to a CNC router like the one sold at Laguna tools. Once the design passes all of our (evolving) requirements, it can be 'sliced' translated into #gcode, the common term used here to describe this process is called 'nesting'. This essentially converts the design into instructions for the 'Computer controlled Machine' router using a process called #StereoLithography to cut pieces out of a sheet of wood. All the cut outs can then be assembled using 'tongue and groove' joints to build the structure. The initial design allows the core architecture to be constructed without the use of ANY additional nuts and bolts as they will ALL be cut out of the same sheet of wood. Stay tuned for more exciting developments as we progress.

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Introducing Project TinyHouse

As a Hackathon and Makerfaire evangelist I spent the last 5 years as a volunteer advocating at the forefront of these two movements. Working in these two areas has really been fundamental to rediscovering many of my old passions of designing and building things End to End rather than specific components. 

This entire year, I've been trying to figure out what should be the theme of our next hackathon, something that can leverage the community I've built and really allow us as a team to collaborate and work through all kinds of challenges together strengthening our relationships on a whole new level. How do we explore and apply design thinking into a real world challenge?

As a Maker and huge fan of the outdoors, 2 weeks ago I pitched the idea of building TinyHouse project to see if there was any interest. A couple of members Brad and Ryan jumped on board and it's been really exciting brainstorming and discussing ideas back and forth about all the intricate details.

So we're putting together a crowdfunding campaign to support this effort and I hope we'll get some solid support for this project as we will be sharing our knowledge and experience to change the world in so many ways, this is just the beginning of something truly amazing. 

We're actively looking for any assistance preparing our campaign, whether it be funds or skills. Please reach out using this link http://goo.gl/forms/HG4bDP99O3 Thanks!

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events, hackathon, volunteer

Nasa International Space Apps Challenge

12811 Participants, 133 Locations, 949 Projects

This weekend I entered the International Space Apps Challenge. Connecting with participants around the globe, I decided to take on the challenge of designing my first #wearable #device.

Challenge: 'Design wearable clothing and accessories that could be useful for the engineers, technicians and scientists involved with ground processing spacecraft and rockets and / or researchers, both on and off world, doing lab or field work.'

I used an Environmental and Biometric Sensor Puck with Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) made by @siliconlabs . By placing your finger on the large sensor at the base of the device, your heart rate can be measured and broadcasted to a connected Android or iPhone via BTLE. 

In the next phase I will be connecting the app to the #Spotify API to recommend music based on your pulse.

The sensor is also capable of capturing UV Index, ambient light, relative humidity and temperature. This data can be housed in a database and correlated with other sensory information as part of a big data project to provide realtime predictive analysis in different physical and virtual environments. As the technology evolves, Artificial intelligence could be so accurate as to allow for this information to prepare a human for a situation before their brain has had a chance to understand what's happening.

I designed 3d printed housing using #Solidworks which is a 2 piece detachable strap and sensor housing, allowing for use on multiple locations of the body.

The International Space Apps Challenge is a two-day #hackathon where teams of technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, developers and students across the globe collaborate and engage with publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenges.


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It gives me great pleasure to share the one of the most exciting stories in #OrangeCounty and welcome our very own newest #OCHackerz startup Team #SnapJet.

2 brothers from New York who moved to #OC and literally built the world's first slim, portable, open-source instant film printer company in their bathroom have now successfully raised $210,449 in their Kickstarter campaign.  

Check out their Kickstarter Video below:

So what is SnapJet? SnapJet is a portable printer for your smartphone. It scans your screen, and prints out a high resolution color image on Instax Mini or Polaroid 300PIF film. SnapJet lets you print on instant film like never before. In addition to regular photos, you can print out anything from beautiful artwork to crisp, sharp text. 

You can learn more about their campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/snapjet/snapjet-a-slim-portable-open-source-instant-film-p

and pre-order a SnapJet printer at http://snapjet.com/

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volunteer, Teaching, Apps

Volunteering at Boys and Girls club Tustin

Following 8 months of volunteering at the Boys and Girls club in Tustin, teaching electronic circuits. robotics, entrepreneurship and mobile app design, I am working with the Head of the Technology Center. Today was my official welcoming announcement to 100+ kids and I was greeted with a the most amazing 15 second ovation.

I don't think I've ever had such a heartfelt experience in my entire educational or employment life and after 4 years of exploring my passions to get here, I now realize I'm in the right place. With the kids entrusting their faith in me, I am committed to delivering them on the promise that I will convert every one of them into entrepreneurial thought leaders that change the world through living their dreams. Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you to #OCHackerKidz watch out!

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Teaching, talks

Gave a talk to students at Coasline Community College about CyberSecurity, Hacker/Maker Movement and future career opportunities in technology

Today I was invited to give a talk to 150+ college students at Coastline Community College on the topic of CyberSecurity. I highlighted a couple of different 'Hacking' techniques such as #SocialHacking to help them think outside the box and understand that security doesn't always revolve around technology. 

I had an opportunity to demo some of the innovative #opensource hardware technology that we were working on at OCHackerz to inspire them to learn more about potential career opportunities of the future. Judging by the intense Q & A session after, I feel they were really excited to explore this area further. Mission accomplished!

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firesidechat, events, entrepreneurs, startups, freelancing

Fireside Chat with Co-Founders of #SnapJet sponsored by #OCHackerz #Elance and #Techspace

As part of my efforts at #Elance-oDesk, I organized a fireside chat inviting 2 friends Ismail and Isaac from my #OCHackerz group who started #SnapJet at www.WorkLab.cc #makerspace. The discussion provided a detailed analysis into their experience, the tools and techniques used for managing freelancers across the world on #Elance to build a physical product locally.

I also invited my friend Paul from #OCTalkRadio to broadcast our first live streaming radio for the event so people across the globe could listen in.

Thanks to my partners at #Techspace for allowing our 'extreme makeover of their space and hosting us, it was a great success.

Here's a link to the #Eventbrite http://bit.ly/1wgp84g

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events, hackathon, startups

OCHackerz #OpenHack Hackathon March 2014 #Eureka Building, Irvine, CA

I produced and directed a 48 hour #ochackerz hackathon event at #EurekaBuilding #Irvine. The theme of this Hackathon was exploring the #OpenSource Arduino platform for #Hardware. We had a touchscreen arLCD which allowed for applications to directly interface with the micro-controller through touch interaction. We also assembled and configured a #3dprinter provided by @airwolf3d to print parts for some of the projects requiring physical parts.

Here's a Link to the Eventbrite

I reached out and attained sponsorships/partnerships with local businesses such as #eurekaoc, #elance-odesk #qgits #inventables #SpaceX #lyft #earthlcd #faststartstudio #bergwind #factoryenova #xpalpower #generalassembly    who supported our event and made #OpenHack possible.

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hackathon, events

OCHackerz #OpenHack Hackathon - Marshmallow challenge

During the first part of the hackathon, my friend Danni Nguyen and I presented the Ice-Breaker challenge. Each team was given an arms length of tape, arms length of string, some pasta and a marshmallow. The objective of this challenge was to build a structure using the materials provided to support the marshmallow. The team that raised the marshmallow the highest distance wins, in this case team 3.

The objective of this exercise is to learn and understand how to work in a team. It forces teams to collaborate in a pressured competitive environment to quickly understand each others strengths and weaknesses and manage your time effectively. 

One of my observations here that planning to far in advance isn't the best strategy.


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hackathon, events

OCHackerz #OpenHack Hackathon Projects

Some of the #arduino projects presented included: A digitally configurable scale for weighing coffee beans, robotic proximity sensor, world clock, binary clock with 3d printed wristband, gaming controller, and an access control point for commercial buildings. 

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press, volunteer

OCHackerz #OpenHack Hackathon PR Campaign

I used my Marketing, PR and Journalism skills to Hack my way into the front page of the #OCRegister local newspaper promoting 5 local technology businesses, 6 new startups and developing sponsorships / partnerships with SpaceX, GA, Eureka Building, Inventables +more. 

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startups, hackathon, Apps

StartupBusSF 2014 #SXSW #Austin #Texas

This is Startupbus SF 2014. 8 buses from Mexico, South, Mid West, West Coast, South East, North, North East, America travel 3,000km to build a startup on a bus and launch in San Antonio, TX. Special thanks to my company Elance who sponsored my seat on the bus. I added so many respected entrepreneurs to my network including Robert Scoble, Guy Kawasaki and others.

In 3 days. My team and I launched www.Trade-Off.co

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startups, Apps, events


Trade-Off is a place for people, from all over the world, to trade their skills with others in their local community without the need for currency. Online or from their mobile.

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Apps, hackathon, startups, events

VolunteerMatch won 1st place @Hack4la

VolunteerMatch is a geolocation based mobile application that connects non-profits to volunteers through SMS messaging. I designed the wireframes, used jquery mobile to build out the menu, screens and functionality. My teammate helped with the Twillio API integration for text messaging.

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Initial Wireframes for the OCHackerz site

I designed these initial wireframes using Balsamiq to better understand information and order of elements that needed to be incorporated into the OCHackerz site with justification of why. 

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events, entrepreneurs

Organizing a camping experience during SXSW in Austin

Unfortunately Startupbus was a 1 way trip and brought us to Austin, TX, but it was on us to figure out our return trip. With less than $200 in my account and the fact that most hotels and airbnb were all charging $100+ per night during the festival, I had to get really creative about how to survive out of state for another week. 

I put a call out to my networks and connected with a friend of mine John Alexander who was piloting a camping experience for musicians that were stranded unable to get last minute accommodation. 

During our discussion we talked about Startupbus and the journey to Austin and our new startup www.trade-off.co which we just launched. He kindly offered me a place to stay for the duration of my trip in exchange for helping to organize activities to and promote RVSherpa, his new RV Camping experience startup. 

I immediately jumped at the opportunity as I'm a big fan of camping and we bartered services. I made a stopmotion video, hung posters up around the town and had the pleasure of hanging out with many of the musicians and campers that stayed with us., we had breakfast together, sat round a fire in the evening and shared stories and made daily trips into town thanks to our friends at Amala foundation that were kind enough to lend us their bus. Love it when a plan comes together! 


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