Last weekend over 100 people participated in the Powerhouse’s SunCode Hackathon. Participants spent hours hacking solar software ideas, designing breakthroughs, coding chaos, exploring their solar imaginations, and making awesome happen. Some even won $10,000 in cash. Sheela Sanei, pictured above closest to the window, was one of the Hackathon's participants. This is what she had to say about it:
What is the first thing you’d tell someone about this hackathon?
A Hackathon is an incredibly energizing and inspiring experience. It helps bring reality to entrepreneurial-ism and proves that simply putting pen to paper can lead to real impact. The sense of paving the way of innovation is palpable. Why isn't SunCode every weekend?
Hooray for Powerhouse and the dawn of a renewable energy era!
In your own words, please describe what a hackathon is:
A Hackathon is a short amount of time to think critically about how to creatively and practically solve problems and map out a framework for execution. The best outcomes are those that test feasibility of an idea on a high level and that result in a working prototype on a small scale.
Why did you attend?
I attended SunCode for many reasons: the opportunity to have a developer help bring one of my ideas to life, to network, to work with a fresh team, to augment my knowledge of where the solar industry is today, and, arguably most importantly, to challenge myself on what I could accomplish in one day without boundaries and alongside other fresh motivated minds.
How did you come to attend the SunCode hackathon?
I first heard about SunCode during an all-hands meeting at Powerhouse and asked how I could sign up. Tickets for business people were limited so I really appreciate Marie Washer going out of her way to make that possible. I attended the Powerhouse all-hands meeting one day while I was working on a personal project in the UtilityAPI space. Thanks, UtilityAPI!
What did you do at the hackathon?
I worked with a great team (pictured) to develop a tool to predict annual energy usage of specific single-family residences. The idea was that the tool could be used for lead generation. I was pretty impressed at our ability to develop a model with a reasonable error band and with a great interface in one day. I have endless admiration for Max and Paris--our fearless developers.
The best part is that our concept is just the core of an idea that could expand at a fairly low cost to do many other things that reduce customer acquisition costs for solar installers.
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