Campus & Community

Stevens Hosts Hoboken Climate Hackathon to Drive Technology-Based Solutions

Stevens Venture Center announces top innovations to help Hoboken combat climate change—ranging from tackling food waste to using blockchain technology

(Hoboken, N.J. – Feb. 19, 2021) – Driven by a culture of technology and innovation, the Stevens Venture Center, Stevens Institute of Technology’s startup incubator, hosted and announced winners for the first-ever Hoboken Climate Hackathon. The week-long event challenged participants to build solutions to help solve climate-related problems in the city of Hoboken. Hoboken’s waterfront location makes it particularly susceptible to the risks of climate change including rising sea levels.  

Entries used technology to provide a wide-range of sustainability solutions, including an app to reduce food waste, a system to educate residents on Hoboken recycling and a service that uses blockchain to make environmental protection compatible with economic growth in the city.  

More than 80 people participated in the event including undergraduate students, graduate students and industry professionals. Students came from 12 different universities including Stevens, Oxford, Columbia and Universidade Federal Fluminense. Entries were judged by a group of stakeholders in the Hoboken community including industry leaders, government officials, and Stevens’ faculty.  

The first-place winner was Potluck, an app that would allow local businesses to offer excess food at a discount for community members to purchase the meal as a grab-and-go order or chose to donate it by sponsoring a meal for a local nonprofit. The Potluck team, which aims to reduce food waste while fostering community growth, was made up of three students from Stevens:  Aparajita Rana ‘22, Susmitha Shailesh ‘22 and Olivia H. Scott ‘22.  

The runner up was Waste Less Atlas, an app that would serve as a comprehensive recycling guide for Hoboken residents. It focuses on educating users on the cost of improper recycling, sharing up-to-date information on disposal centers and green businesses in Hoboken, and on connecting residents through a social component with public forums. The Waste Less Atlas team included Jared Donnelly ‘24, Alexandra Wong ‘24, Kevin Costner ‘24, Jolene Ciccarone ‘24 and William Parente ‘24. 

“The Hoboken Climate Hackathon allowed Stevens to bring together participants from across the world in order to provide technology-infused solutions that benefit our home city,” said David Zimmerman, director of technology commercialization. “It is tremendous to see the innovative ideas that these teams come up with in a short timeframe. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the city of Hoboken to see how we can work together to bring some of these great concepts to life.”  

The hackathon was organized by Stevens students Frank Pinnola ‘22, Hayden Daly ‘21, Maor Mashiach ‘23, Justin Trugman ‘19, Sal DiMaggio ‘22 and Mohammed Elmzaghi ‘21. 

“Hoboken’s location on the Hudson River puts it at the forefront of the issues created by climate change, but also gives it the opportunity to be a leader in mitigating its impact,” said Pinnola. “It was exciting to collaborate with city leaders on this event and to see the game-changing solutions that participants came up with. I look forward to seeing how some of these will be used to benefit the city.”  

 – Stevens –

About Stevens Institute of Technology 

Stevens Institute of Technology is a premier, private research university situated in Hoboken, New Jersey. Since our founding in 1870, technological innovation has been the hallmark of Stevens’ education and research. Within the university’s three schools and one college, 7,300 undergraduate and graduate students collaborate closely with faculty in an interdisciplinary, student-centric, entrepreneurial environment. Academic and research programs spanning business, computing, engineering, the arts and other disciplines actively advance the frontiers of science and leverage technology to confront our most pressing global challenges. As Stevens celebrates its 150th anniversary, the university continues to be consistently ranked among the nation’s leaders in career services, post-graduation salaries of alumni, and return on tuition investment. 

Stevens Media Contact: Katie Koch, [email protected], 201-216-5139