NY Maritime Innovation Center Hosts Industry-Focused Hackathon

Winning team "Doc-it" presents their demo to the judges (NYMIC)

Published Apr 5, 2019 3:55 PM by The Maritime Executive

Last week, the New York Maritime Innovation Center (NYMIC) held its first NYC Maritime Hackathon, a 36-hour programming marathon focused on real-world industry problems and datasets. With guidance from shipping executives and mentoring from tech professionals, dozens of software developers collaborated to come up with competing proposals and convince judges that their solutions deserved consideration. 

“We were blown away by how engaged our sponsors and mentors were," said Christopher Clott, director of the New York Maritime Innovation Center. "Each of these industry leaders helped shape the event and success of the projects by dedicating their time and talent to working with the participants—many of whom had no background in maritime coming into the weekend."

Developer teams and their industry mentors focused on real-world issue areas, including cybersecurity, efficiency of operations, safety, the use of machine learning, predictive analytics and anomaly detection, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). All competing teams received 36-hour access to real historical data from industry sponsors and partners, which they used to develop a minimum-viable product (the first draft of a software solution) addressing an industry need. 

Teams presented their demos in front of an audience on Sunday. Their efforts were evaluated by Inna Kuznetsova (Board Member, Global Ports Investments), Kevin Humphreys (General Manager, Wärtsilä), Mike Edgerton (VP, Hudson Trident at HudsonAnalytix), Konstantin Loebner (Founding Partner, TecPier), Gareth Burton (VP of Technology, ABS) and Jean-Paul Rodrigue (Professor of Global Studies and Geography, Hofstra University). 

The first prize went to Team “Doc-it,” which addressed cargo documentation challenges. The team's software tool generates a list of documents required for shipments depending on cargo, source and destination ports. It then checks existing documentation for unfilled form fields to eliminate delays based on missing fields. The team received a cash prize of $1000 and an opportunity to join the NYMIC Ideal X Accelerator Program.

The event was sponsored by well-known maritime industry names, including Wärtsilä, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Seabury Maritime and SUNY Maritime Foundation. Supporting partners included DNV GL, Global Container Terminals, Hudson Trident, Cargotec, NY Tech Alliance and BSY Associates.

The recently-launched NYMIC plans to continue its collaboration with event participants/developers, providing them with additional resources for business development. The center says that it already has relationships with venture capital firms, accelerators and angel investors in the US and abroad, some of which were present at the event and approached project teams after the presentation on Sunday.