Kansas City Developers Hack the Midwest


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The following is a guest post from SendGrid Senior Software Engineer Tim Segraves

Recently I had the chance to represent SendGrid at the Hack the Midwest hackathon in Kansas City, KS. Seeing as I work remotely in Lawrence, KS, this hackathon was almost in my backyard so I was excited to attend.

This was the second annual event and this year it was held at Sporting KC Park on the west edge of Kansas City. The soccer stadium was a very unique spot for a hackathon and most attendees I talked to thought it was awesome. The event was organized and put on by KCITP, a grassroots tech community in the Kansas City area. Michael Gelphman did a great job heading up the event and keeping things organized.

Hack the Midwest Sporting KC Park Venue

The event kicked off Saturday morning at 9am and the teams had 24 hours to build their projects. In total there were 29 projects that were demoed the next morning built by groups of people ranging in size from 1 to 5. Food and drinks were provided so the teams could focus on building their projects.

A big thunderstorm hit a few hours after the event started and there were still people sprinting out through the rain to get supplies they’d forgotten in their car. They didn’t want to wait for the rain to stop to keep working on their projects.

Sunday morning the demos started at 10:30am and each team got 3 minutes to present their hack. Each sponsoring company got to judge the winner of the best use of their API and there were 3 guest judges who awarded prizes to Best in Show, Most Entertaining, and Most Challenging Tech.

Disaster Relief Hub -- Best SendGrid Hack at Hack the Midwest

The “Best SendGrid Hack” went to Disaster Relief Hub by Matt Dunn and Ivan Markov. The used the SendGrid API to make sure mission critical emails reach recipients during natural or manmade disasters.

Other notable apps were MooD, an app which gauges the overall sentiment of a Twitter user with a very unique UI and Call Me Maybe, which allows you to have important emails read to you via a voice call while you’re commuting or other times when you can’t read your email.

You can check out the rest of the hacks on the Hacker League site.


Adam DuVander speaks fluent "developer" while serving as Developer Communications Director. He helps SendGrid connect to coders of all stripes. Previously Adam wrote for Wired, Webmonkey and edited ProgrammableWeb, the leading resource for APIs.

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