Developers Make a Difference at CleanWeb Hackathon

Kin Lane
Jan. 27 2012, 12:00PM EST

The CleanWeb Hackathon wrapped up this weekend in New York City, with the goal of building apps that explore sustainable business models leveraging the mobile and social web, challenging developers on what they can do in 24 hours with utility, transport and smart grid datasets, and APIs.

Two energy related APIs were on hand to help developers build applications on their platforms:

  • Genability, provides tools to gain insight into electricity usage, with detailed, accurate and up-to-date tariff and energy pricing data, that is searchable by zipcode and other criteria.
  • Tendril Connect, enables developers to create a wide variety of energy applications that leverage the Tendril Connect platform to monitor and control devices in the home and to provide consumption and pricing information to the consumer.

The event kicked off Friday night, and by Saturday teams were hard work, and by Sunday afternoon 15 apps were presented, with 5 notable ones:

  • eMotivator – a portal where individuals are rewarded for reducing their electricity consumption
  • Green Carrot – Inform consumers of their energy usage; compare usage and share insights with friends on Facebook
  • CleanGPA – Computes normalized residential energy consumption; users compete with friends, family, and community and win titles and badges
  • Econofy E-Star – Energy efficiency comparison shopping for appliances and more
  • NYC Municipal Buildings Faceoff – Ranks NYC municipal buildings by energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions

Both Genability and Tendril energy APIs were used in several apps, but developers also took advantage of other energy related data sets, including municipal data from NYC Open Data.

Even though there was a range of prizes given out the event, the hackathon was more about ideas and making a difference than about taking home the prize. The CleanWeb Hackathon shows the viability of the hackathon model not only outside of Silicon Valley, but in niche verticals like alternative and green energy.  The success of the event should inspire other organizers to apply the same model in their industry, to bring together innovative companies and developers to make a difference

Photo Credit: Tendril

Kin Lane I am a programmer and entrepreneur, with a focus on the business of APIs. I study how APIs are changing the business landscape, and the rise of API driven developer ecosystems. I share my insights by blogging on API Evangelist and ProgrammableWeb, and put into action as API evangelist for CityGrid.

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