This morning I stopped by Rutgers B-School in downtown Newark for final presentations at Blerdology’s hackthon. For those who haven’t been following along, Blerdology is a social community of blerds (n: the science of black nerds), and they run events and hackathons nationwide. Blerdology swooped into Newark this weekend, attracted some of Jersey’s local talent, and even snagged Mayor Cory Booker to come by and chat on Saturday.
Hackathons and other startup events are not unknown to Newark–thank you NJIT–but Blerdology may be a sign of a new trend for Brick City as independent tech communities start to thrive and sustain themselves outside of college campuses. Kind of like what’s going on in that other city across the Hudson.
So it was interesting to chat with one of the event’s sponsors, Brick City Development Corp, in the form of Emily Manz. Manz tells me that the city of Newark–working through BCDC–does have plans to encourage more startup infrastructure-incubators, etc.–to take root here. Go Newark. I also learned from Anthony Frasier that there is a Newark-based tech meetup event, called, naturally, BrickCity Tech. Anthony is the founding organizer. If Hoboken can have its Hoboken Tech Meetup (now New Jersey Tech Meetup), why not Newark?
Back to the hackathon. There was a modest, but credible turnout of hackers that eventualy coalesced into several teams. By the time of final presentations, Campus Bord and Loud Whisper had moved furthest along in their development. Both of these hacks, by the way, are reactions to growing frustrations and disillusionment with Facebook and its new policies on
ransoming reaching followers.
The judges gave the winning hack to Campus Bord, which is a kind of virtual bulletin board for universities. It was a built, by the way, with WordPress, some plugins, and a bit of PHP and Ajax to glue it together.
Final shoutout to Blerdology’s Kat Calvin and Amanda Spann for organizing it all.
Photo Credit: Build in Brick City