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November 14, 2011 - Image 6

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6A - Monday, November 14, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

6A - Monday, November14, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

STUDENT START-UPS
Ann Arbor entrepreneurs
participate in Hacka2thon

As part of Circle K Service Day, Engineering junior Nick Hunter pies LSA junior Chris Cannon at the Ginsberg Center yester-
day morning. All proceeds from the event go to The Eliminate Project, which aims to fight maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Students volunteer in 24-hr.
annual Circle K Service Day

G
s he'

Mai
comm
the ye
oppor
Arbor
consec
The
Circle
annua
from 7
yester
from t
and o
versity
and N
unteer
nonpr
comm
and Ar

roup members LSA senior and Circle K presi-
dent Vivian Yu said she saw the
volunteer at event as a way to bring more
k Dservice opportunities to campus
and make it more available for
t . students.
iters, nonprofits "For people who normally
By KATIE BURKE wouldn't do service, this is one
Daily StaffReporter chance out of the entire year for
them to get involved," Yu said.
The annual event began in
ny students participate in 2005 to encourage community
unity service throughout service participation among stu-
ar, but they only have one dents.
tunity to serve the Ann "(Circle K) saw a need on cam-
and Detroit areas for 24 pus for service to be highlight-
cutive hours. ed," Yu said. "The 24-hour event
University's chapter of is a good way to highlight it."
K International held their On Saturday, participat-
1 24-hour Service Day ing students volunteered at the
a.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Kiwanis Thrift sale in downtown
day. Participating students Ann Arbor. Students picked up
he University of Michigan donations, handed out flyers and
thers from Purdue Uni- worked as cashiers at the inter-
y, Wayne State University national service organization's
orthwood University vol- crowded thrift store. Kiwanis
ed at homeless shelters, International is the parent orga-
ofit organizations and nization of Circle K.
unity gardens in Detroit Ron Gardner, a former presi-
nn Arbor. dent of Kiwanis, said the event

was valuable for everyone
involved.
"I view it as a win-win situa-
tion," Gardner said. "We benefit
from their being here to help us.
They benefit by having a chance
to contribute back to the commu-
nity through their service here."
Later in the afternoon, stu-
dents spent time cleaning and
organizing the student-run
apparel store, The Vintage Twin
on South University Avenue.
Business senior Samantha Elias,
owner of The Vintage Twin, said
she was thankful for the extra
help.
"I need them," Elias said. "It's
such a blessing. The whole store
is a collaborative effort, but we
need the muscle."
LSA junior Megan Brown, a
member of Circle K, volunteered
for all 24 hours. As the event
entered the later hours, Brown
said the volunteers' collective
energy increased.
"Everyone is really excited
and tired and having a good
time," she said.

At three-day event,
participants
create mobile
applications
By RAYZA GOLDSMITH
Daily StaffReporter
Sleep-deprived, burgeon-
ing entrepreneurs in the Ann
Arbor area convened yesterday
to put the finishing touches on
start-up endeav-
ors as part of a v k
three-day event
focused on the
development of o
innovative busi-
ness models.
This week-
end, North Quad Residence Hall
and the University TechArb
hosted Hacka2thon, an event
for programmers and entrepre-
neurs, in which about 45 Uni-
versity students and Ann Arbor
residents teamed up to execute
entrepreneurial projects, par-
ticularly on new digital media
platforms. The participants had
only 36 hours - Friday after-
noon to Sunday afternoon - to
complete their projects.
University alum Scott Goci,
the event organizer, said he
came up with the idea because
he wanted to create an event
that emphasized Ann Arbor's
innovation, hence the "a2" in
the name.
"I really wanted this event
to be about pushing entrepre-
neurship from Ann Arbor," Goci
said. "I don't want the next big
company to come from Silicon
Valley. I want it to come from
Ann Arbor."
Hacka2thon was sponsored

by several technology power-
houses such as Microsoft, the
University's Center for Entre-
preneurship, Ann-Arbor based
software development company
Menlo Innovations and API
company Twilio Cloud Commu-
nications.
Goci said he modeled Hack-
a2thon off Startup Weekend
- an entrepreneurship event
hosted in different cities around
the world. The first ever Start-
up Weekend in Ann Arbor was
hosted at the University in Jan-
uary with more than 125 par-
ticipants.
Since Startup Weekend hap-
pens only once a year, Goci said
he wanted to give local residents
additional opportunities to
attend entrepreneurial events.
Goci hopes Hacka2thon will be
held two or three times a year so
people have various opportuni-
ties to attend events that foster
innovative creation.
Engineering sophomore
Miguel Sanchez and his team
won the award for best mobile
application. They created a
social map for Ann Arbor to
highlight event and party loca-
tions on a city map. Sanchez said
he had never participated in a
hackathon before but would like
to do it again.
Another Hacka2thon par-
ticipant, LSA senior Adam
Rice, won best application for
Goosecast - an application
through which users can blog
live events by creating an event
link and automatically upload-
ing pictures and other content
for users to view. Rice said he
eventually would like to run
the non-technical aspects of
a business, and he attended
Hacka2thon to meet people
and gain experience in building

applications.
"I really believe in what wg
have," Rice said of the product
his team created. "It's a really
cool product. I mean, people in
here were loving it. They were
using it in here already."
School of Information stu-
dent Gierad Laput was part of
the group Si-Chi, which created
a program that he described as
a mix between a task list and
Doodle - a web application that
allows groups of people to coor-
dinate schedules. Laput said
the purpose of the project is to
provide teachers with a tool td
track students' progress as thej
fill out online checklists provide
ed by the instructor.
Laput added that he had nevet
participated in a hackathos
before but would love to par,
ticipate in the future because of
what he learned about the start
up process and teamwork.
Michigan resident Min
Chan, who works for a company
that develops applications tha
help people learn Chinese, sai4
she attended Hacka2thon fo
the experience of working on
a start-up in a short period o
time.
"I really like the concept of
taking something from develop-
ment all the way to completion
in three days," Chan said. "That
way we can show ourselves that
we can do something really
fast."
Chan said Ann Arbor's Hack-
athon was unique from other'
she has been to because there
was a focus on entrepreneur-
ship asopposed to justprogram-
ming, which she said created a
more enjoyable atmosphere.
"It's a supportive environ-
ment rather than a competitiv4
one," she said.

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