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HackWSU hosts students for 24-hour tech innovation blitz

April 21, 2016


Tech-savvy students from high schools and universities across metro Detroit and Windsor will convene on the Wayne State University campus May 21 through 22 for a 24-hour hackathon hosted by WSU’s Blackstone LaunchPad student entrepreneurship center and the College of Engineering. During the 24 hours, students will write web-based software, create mobile apps or design computer programs addressing a need or innovation of their choice. HackWSU is the official pre-launch event for Detroit Startup Week, held May 23 through 27.

The event is open to Detroit-area college (undergraduate and graduate) and high school students, who will work together in teams to compete, problem-solve and learn more about the craft of software development. The event will feature two tracks: one for beginners and one for more experienced developers. In addition to the competition, there will be breakout sessions, as well as a weekly series of workshops leading up to the event to help students build their skills. The pre-event workshops, which began April 16, will introduce students to hardware and software platforms such as Ruby on Rails, HTML 5, CSS 3, JavaScript, Photon, Swift and Raspberry, and will be led by Wayne State faculty and instructors from Girl Develop It, Iron Yard and Loveland Technologies. 

"HackWSU is one of the many ways Wayne State is working to develop our next generation of tech talent," said Aubrey Agee, Blackstone LaunchPad’s senior program administrator. “Students will have an opportunity to showcase their skills and creativity while meeting some of the major players in Detroit’s tech revolution. Our aim is to help students see how much opportunity there is for innovators right here in Detroit.” 

HackWSU takes place at the Wayne State University College of Engineering, 5050 Anthony Wayne Drive in Detroit. The event begins at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, and concludes at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. Participants will work through the night. Pillows and sleeping bags are recommended.

HackWSU’s lead sponsors and organizers are Wayne State’s Blackstone LaunchPad and College of Engineering, with additional support from WSU’s James and Patricia Anderson Engineering Ventures Institute, the College of Engineering Office of Community Engagement, Rocket Ventures, New Horizons Computer Learning Center, Revela, and NITS Solutions.

To register, view the weekly workshop schedule or find more information, visit hackwsu.com.

Blackstone LaunchPad offers career guidance, resources and mentorship to entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors at Wayne State University. Blackstone LaunchPad’s mission is to show Wayne State University students that starting a new venture is a legitimate career path and attainable reality. Since 2011, WSU’s Blackstone LaunchPad has helped launch more than 150 student ventures.

About Detroit Startup Week

Startup Week™ brings entrepreneurs, local leaders, and friends together over five days to build momentum and opportunity around Detroit’s unique entrepreneurial identity. Detroit Startup Week is led by entrepreneurs and hosted in entrepreneurial spaces all over Detroit. Tracks include technology, entrepreneurship 101, mobility, music, food-preneurship, design+art, civic innovation, neighborhood collaboration and the Internet of things. This Techstars initiative can be found in dozens of cities worldwide. Detroit Startup Week is powered by Chase and made possible by Opportunity Detroit, Telemus Capital, Detroit City Distillery, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) and Greektown Casino. Learn more or register at detroit.startupweek.co.