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UMD Students to Host Second Annual Bitcamp Hackathon

April 8, 2015
Contacts: 

Jenny Hottle 443-617-2904

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Bitcamp, the University of Maryland’s student-run hackathon, returns April 10-12, 2015 to Cole Field House. The hackathon, which will draw more than 1,200 students, is held as part of 30 Days of EnTERPreneurship, a month-long celebration of UMD’s fearless ideas and innovations.

Teams of programmers, designers and engineers will collaborate on original hardware or software projects for 36 hours. The event begins the night of Friday, April 10, and participants will present their projects to the public during an expo on Sunday, April 12. Throughout the weekend, open discussions will enable students and industry professionals to share their thoughts on how technology will impact the future. 

“Last year’s Bitcamp was all about combining technology with participants’ passions,” said Jose Zamora, Bitcamp’s director. “This year, we’re encouraging hackers to ‘Imagine Tomorrow’ and build what they envision the future to hold.”

Bitcamp organizers will introduce Bitcamp Trails, optional themed paths for the hackers to travel. These fully immersive experiences include hands-on workshops, objectives and access to mentors. In addition, Bitcamp will hold Colorwar, a design competition, for the second time. Students will submit designs for consideration, and the top five submissions are selected to participate in the final round. 

“We wanted to create an environment that promotes exploration and pushes hackers beyond just their project,” said Alex Jerome, Bitcamp marketing director. “The entrepreneurship trail, for example, challenges you to approach your project from a business perspective. Participants will create a business plan and pitch their project to industry experts.”

Bitcamp launched in 2014, following the first-place finish of UMD’s Terrapin Hackers team during the fall 2013 Major League Hacking Season. Bitcamp’s organizers aimed to shift the focus of collegiate hackathons away from competition and place a greater emphasis on discovery and exploration.

The 2014 Bitcamp event attracted 750 students from 100 universities. Students submitted 106 projects to showcase in the weekend’s expo, demonstrating their ability to launch what could be the basis for a new product or company in a compressed timeframe. Sponsors awarded 17 prizes to winning projects, which included a real-time language-translating text message service, a music app that selects songs to match a runner’s pace and a robot that collects data about its surroundings to create a digital map, among others.

Bitcamp sponsors include Oculus VR; UMD A. James Clark School of Engineering; UMD College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences; Bloomberg; Booz Allen Hamilton; Capital One; Credible Behavioral Health; Deloitte; Drakontas Consulting; IBM Design; Leidos; Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences; National Security Agency; Tata; and The Washington Post. A full list of the sponsors can be found at bitca.mp.

Members of the media can register to attend Bitcamp here.