A look at Disrupt NY Hackathon 2016

A look at Disrupt NY 2016


May 13, 2016

About the Hackathon

The TechCrunch Disrupt NY Hackathon 2016 took place May 7-8 at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Around 650 engineers gathered to build new products in just 24 hours. Teams then presented their projects to a panel of judges and thousands of people. Previous competitions have resulted in successful products like GroupMe, which sold to Skype for $80 million. Here’s a look at a few of the projects from this year’s Disrupt NY Hackathon.


Four individuals got together to build TheHelpingHand.club, an app that benefits homeless people. The project uses Uber to drive homeless individuals to nearby shelters, soup kitchens, and hospitals. If you see someone in need, then you can tap an icon in the app to call Uber to drive them to one of those locations. As co-founder A. Adesina Lalude of Germany says, “Sometimes you encounter people begging for money and you’d like to help them, but you don’t necessarily want to give them money.” TheHelpingHand.club is a great way to offer assistance to homeless individuals and help them stay off the streets.

The Eliza App

Another team made up of a junior at Vassar College and a senior at Lehigh University spent 24 hours at the Hackathon building the Eliza App. This app helps track individuals’ mental health. You simply talk into the app, and it translates the voice memo into text. The text is then analyzed and an infographic is produced, letting the speaker know if they “sound happy and calm, mostly, or maybe stressed and in need of support from friends and therapists.” The goal is to get individuals talking about their mental health, but over time, the app can be used to track mental health progress. Also, the information gathered in the app can be shared with a licensed therapist who can use the data to see what may or may not be working and plan counseling sessions accordingly.

The Disrupt NY Hackathon 2016 winner: AlexaSite

The 2016 winner of the Disrupt NY Hackathon was AlexaSite. This useful product makes it easy for designers to update websites using their voices. Small adjustments can be made without having to delve into CSS. The technology uses Amazon’s Alexa API, and it is compatible with Squarespace websites.

Check out other winners like the accident prevention technology for drivers and an app that comes up with recipes based on the ingredients in your fridge.



TheHelpingHand.club uses Uber to direct homeless people to shelters


The Eliza app makes mental health tracking as easy as talking to yourself