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Recap: Affect the Cause Hackathon

Carolyn Jensen
August 12, 2019

Our inaugural Affect the Cause hackathon is in the books – and we’re already looking forward to doing it again!

Scroll down for brief descriptions of the ag-tech solutions that designers and makers from Foundry and Conservis hacked away at for a few days in the friendly confines of Finnegans Brewer’s Den.

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Bounty Hunter – Food waste for consumers: What’s in my fridge? App to scan grocery receipts, create countdown clock for perishable food based on shelf-life logic, help consumers throw away less food – also offer cooking options and recipes.

GrainGo – Spent grains marketplace: Home brewers end up with a vat of spent grains after every batch of beer; put spent grains used to make bread, feed livestock – create a marketplace for spent grains used by bakeries and NPOs, keeping it local. Awarded: Most Innovative.

H2Optimize – Water conservation/management for growers: Water reminder app helping farmers track usage, tied to local water basins and benchmarked against growers in the same region – accountability by social pressure, with stricter guidelines in arid climates. Awarded: Most Ambitious.

Trash to Cash – Food waste contracts for growers: One producer’s waste can be useful to others in the ag biz. Foster matchmaking to guarantee that one party’s output can be another’s input, furthering sustainability and reducing waste.

MicroPlots – Urban crops: Better utilize small plots, like boulevards that go unused, to become micro crops – mostly of low-maintenance crops like tomatoes and cucumbers. Map view of crops made publicly available, picked locally by others as needed, reducing shipping and transit. Awarded: Best Demo.

Optical Character Recognition – OCR of delivery receipts: Mobile app to parse text from a photo of a delivery invoice, extracting data (grower, date, crop) to populate and save delivery receipts – good for tracking shipments while gaining efficiencies for both farmers and truckers.

Voice Recognition: App for growers, like Alexa for farmers to help them easily get a summary of their fields, cost per acre/profits, storage/capacity via voice activated queries. Also, voice-activated actions to accomplish simple tasks, voice reminders to start scheduled activity. Awarded: Most Impactful.

WaterMe – Water conservation/management for home gardeners: Improve upon water waste in existing home garden auto sprinkler systems. Beyond turning off when currently raining, track more variables like how hot it’s been, along with historical weather patterns.

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We’ll report further on these initiatives should they make it to market, as many teams came away poised to further pursue their ideas beyond our hackathon. Thanks to all who brought their energy and talent to the first-ever Affect the Cause, to Brett Brohl for lending his expertise, and to Finnegans for being incredible hosts. Special thanks to our friends at Conservis for taking this leap with us – and investing in our people as the innovative idea-makers that they are.

Meanwhile, there’s always more social good to be done and we’re open to any-and-all suggestions for industries, verticals, and problem sets we ought to focus on at our next Affect the Cause hackathons. Should we at last solve healthcare? Save the whales? Save Ferris? Tweet us your ideas at @FoundryMakes – thanks!

Got a big idea? Let's see what we can make of it.

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