Northern Michigan University alumni and students were well-represented in the top three teams at the regional Code Michigan event held on campus earlier this month. The statewide competition was held in three locations: Marquette, Detroit and Newaygo.
Civic coding is the act of creating software that promotes government transparency, citizen engagement, government efficiency, public policy and economic development. Prizes at each event were $5,000 for first place, $1,500 for second and $500 for third.
The first-place winner at the local event was the team of NMU alumnus Jim Argeropoulos, Edward Vielmetti, Lynn Makela and Chris Marr. They developed the Marquette Gravesite Locator app, which enables citizens to search for graves on their computers or smart phones.
Second place went to NMU alumni Andrew Berzely and Chris Burda, who developed the Mi FishTale app. This mobile tool offers anglers a way to track, compare and share their latest catch. By making it easier to track the Master Angler Wards, the app would assist the DNR in population counts and fishing trends.
NMU students Joel Whalen, Ben Harris, Matthew Trefilek and Dallas Johnson comprised the third-place team. The group developed the Snowplow Tracking app, which would allow citizens to look up the heat map of snow plow routes in the past few hours and plan their commute accordingly.
The first-place finishers from each regional event advanced to compete for the grand prize of $10,000 and 30 minutes to pitch their winning idea to the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund. The grand-prize winner, from the Newaygo event, was SnowFi, an app that offers a birds-eye view of snow plow activity and road conditions.