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Winthrop Hackathon Winners ‘Disrupt’ Companies Through Technology

Quick Facts

 Both first- and second-place team winners included Winthrop students.
 This is the fifth year of the competition.

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — It’s no secret that technology companies have changed the way people do business. For example, Uber has changed the taxi industry; Airbnb has changed the hospitality industry; and Amazon has changed the shopping industry forever.

Referred to as “disruptions,” these innovations provided the theme for the 5th annual WiredHack 17.1 this month. During WiredHack 17.1 students have 24 hours to pick an industry and “disrupt” it by starting up a new company via websites, mobile apps, etc. Students posted up at the Technology Incubator in downtown Rock Hill, foregoing sleep for programming.

As in the hackathon’s past years, teams featuring Winthrop University students rose to the challenge, taking first and second places.

The winners were:

1st place:

Brett Pittman (digital information design, Rock Hill)
William (Taylor) Foxx (digital information design, Rock Hill)
Their fellow teammates included York Technical College’s Michael Joseph D'Avino and Jessica Eppinette from Gaston Community College.

This group created a web application called “Legato,” a music and social platform for musicians that helps bands better manage themselves through scheduling, networking and booking in one convenient location.

2nd place:

Paige Meinke (digital information design, Easley)
Cathy Guilbaud (digital information design, Fort Mill)
Duncan Quirk (computer science, Clover)
Kyle Terns (digital information design, Tega Cay)

This group created a web application as well called “Hand2Heart,” which serves as a social platform and connects people whose needs match the needs of others.

In addition to Winthrop students, students from Northwestern and Clover high schools, the Rock Hill Applied Technology Center, York Tech and Gaston Community College also participated. First-place received $1,500 while second place received $1,000.

Judges were Joel Reyes of Reyestek; Ben Visser of Social Design House; and Stephen Shram of Cimplx. Winthrop, the Technology Incubator and the City of Rock Hill sponsored the competition, and the organizing committee included Assistant Professor of Computer Science Andrew Besmer, Professor of Design Gerry Derksen, Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methods Edie Dille and the Applied Technology Center’s Mandy Wolff. David Warner from the city helped with logistics.

For more information, contact Besmer at 803/323-4825 or e-mail him at

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