Haverhill Hackers Invited to Create Civic Data Solution for $10K Cash Prize

(File photograph.)

Haverhill computer gurus best start limbering up those programming fingers: The first-ever civic hackathon is coming up on Nov. 16-17.

Called “Hack Haverhill,” the 24-hour programming marathon is held at downtown’s UMass iHub from 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 with computer enthusiasts developing code through 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17.

The event, presented in partnership with the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce, Haverhill Public Schools, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission and the offices of Rep. Andy Vargas and City Council President John A. Michitson, aims to develop a digital solution to a problem faced by a local nonprofit or other agency using sustainable software. For a $25 registration fee, hackers of all ages and skill levels may participate in teams of two to five, with the winners sharing in a $10,000 cash prize donated by the J.F Maddox Foundation.

Food, tech support, access to data platforms and high-speed Internet will be provided, and participants are able to remain at the iHub overnight or return in the morning.

Michitson is hopeful the event will put Haverhill on the map and send a message about the city’s advanced manufacturing potential.

“I’m trying to pump up Haverhill for the innovation economy,” Michitson told WHAV, adding that he’s especially grateful for the guidance of new Chamber CEO Dougan Sherwood, who has hands-on experience with hackathons through the Cambridge Innovation Center. “The key is to get new, younger people interested in Haverhill.”

For more information, email [email protected]. Registrations are accepted online through EventBrite.com by searching for “Hack Haverhill.”