Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor Turner Hosts the 6th Annual Houston Hackathon This Weekend, May 19-20

May 18, 2018 -- This weekend, hundreds of Houston-area techies and civic-minded creatives will pack the Cannon HTX in West Houston to solve the City’s biggest challenges at the 6th Annual Houston Hackathon hosted by Sketch City.

The Houston Hackathon begins on Saturday, May 19, at noon with final presentations starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 20. The Cannon HTX is located at 1336 Brittmoore Rd.

2018 Hackathon Graphic

The City is expecting a strong turnout from citizens, corporate participants and members of the Houston technology and start-up community.

The Hackathon is a free, 24-hour event to find new solutions to government and community challenges. Last year, more than 400 coders, designers, entrepreneurs, students, activists and other civically-engaged individuals participated in the Hackathon developing products to serve the public good.

This year’s Hackathon comes amid growing momentum from the local businesses community, tech leaders and policy-makers to make Houston a top innovation hub in the next five years.

“Hackathons play a critical role in Houston’s innovation ecosystem by growing our technology community at the grassroots,” Mayor Turner said. “Everyone who participates comes away with new skills, ideas and networks that will continue to fuel our innovation pipeline into the future.”

The power of hackathons and the broader civic technology movement was on full display in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. “While it was still raining, Sketch City and others in the civic technology community were creating solutions to aid our rescue and relief efforts,” said Mayor Turner. “These products saved lives, put resources in the hands of those in need and are now being used to assist other communities after disasters.”

Past Hackathons have resulted in the deployment of successful applications such as Budget Bootcamp, a visualization of the City’s budget, RollOut!, a mobile application that reminds residents it is time to roll out their garbage can, and the recently launched Adopt-a-Drain program where more than 1,000 citizens have registered to clear debris from storm drains throughout the City.

"Houston’s diversity drives innovation, and you can experience it in real-time at the Hackathon where our people, ideas, industries and backgrounds converge," said Jesse Bounds, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Innovation, which oversees the City’s participation in this event.

The City of Houston partners with Sketch City, a nonprofit community that advocates for civic technology and open data, to host this annual event. “We love bringing together talented people from different backgrounds,” said Jeff Reichman, founder of Sketch City. “It’s pretty amazing what they can accomplish together, both at the hackathon and long after the weekend is over.” Sketch City also hosts weekly and monthly hack nights throughout the year to design community-centered solutions work and provide a networking forum and continued learning for technology advocates.

Further details about the City of Houston Annual Hackathon, as well as registration information, are available at www.houstonhackathon.com.