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Local tech talent shines at Hawai’i Code Challenge

Posted on Oct 26, 2017 in Capitol Connection, Featured

Take a roomful of talented young coders. Match them with state departments who want to improve services. Then give them a month to produce practical solutions the state can actually use to benefit the whole community.

Gov. Ige with the UH students who won $5,000 for taking 1st place at the Code Challenge.

Gov. Ige with the UH students who won $5,000 for taking 1st place at the Code Challenge.

The result is — drumroll, please — the Hawai‘i Annual Code Challenge (HACC), the brainchild of Governor Ige, and implemented by Todd Nacapuy, the state’s chief information officer, and his Enterprise Technology Services staff. The Sept. 23 event drew 20 teams who presented their solutions for real-life civic issues and competed for several thousand dollars in prize money. Sponsors included local businesses, the tech community and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“The HACC proves we have the talent and imagination right here in the islands to find solutions to government challenges,” said the governor, who served as one of the judges. “It’s a way to shape the next sector of Hawai‘i’s economy by connecting the next generation to future tech careers.” The winners included:

First place – “LoveMilkTea,” a UH student team who created a UH Mānoa campus wayfinding mobile app.
Second place – “FidgetSpinners,” another UH student team who developed a mobile-friendly Hawaii Revised Statutes app.
Third place – “The Progress Bars,” a community team who devised a user-friendly solution for Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ grants.
Top High School Team – “No Internet,” a Waipahu High team that wanted to help the Office of Elections with volunteer scheduling.
Top College Team – “ArchiTechs,” a team that also developed a scheduling solution for the Office of Elections.

At the event, Nacapuy also made a recruitment pitch for local talent to fill tech jobs in state government — one of the governor’s priorities to improve public access to services and information. “This is becoming the biggest hack-a-thon in the state,” Nacapuy said. “We’re making history!” For more details, visit

Read more in our November issue