On Saturday, November 16, 2019, the Skandalaris Center partnered with Adalo to host our first-ever No-Code Hackathon. The Hackathon was developed to give students an opportunity to build an app in one-day. Students were tasked with identifying a need, pitching the idea to the attendees and developing an app as a solution to the problem posed at the beginning of the day.
For the Adalo team, Saturday's Hackathon was a great example of how the St. Louis entrepreneurship community comes together to support each other.
"It has been amazing to see the support St. Louis provides to entrepreneurs and it feels much more inclusive than starting a business in San Francisco", shared Jeremy Blalock, a UC Berkeley grad who moved from San Francisco to St. Louis to help the Adalo team take their no-code app development platform to the next level.
Adalo was founded by WashU alums David Adkin and Ben Haefele, with the help of Jeremy Blalock, to achieve the mission to "Empower everyone to innovate everything." Adalo is a platform that makes creating apps as easy as putting together a slide deck. The Adalo platform seeks to help anyone turn their idea into a real app without having to hire expensive developers. The name Adalo is inspired by Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, and embodies the team's focus on empowering everyone to create new apps.
For Adalo, the accessibility of their platform was illustrated at a recent No Code Conference in Silicon Valley. There they were able to showcase this groundbreaking process of app development and how it was more inclusive than traditional programming.
The Adalo team hopes that events and opportunities like the No-Code Hackathon will open app development to populations that are often underrepresented in app development that requires coding. "WashU is where our passion for startups began. By removing the code barrier, students can turn their ideas into real working apps into just a few hours using Adalo", stated Ben Haefele, who during his time at WashU pitched at IdeaBounce and served as a Skandalaris Summer Intern.
Nineteen WashU students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines participated in the November 16th No-Code Hackathon. Three winners were selected based on how their app solved their problem and how much progress they were able to make in six hours using the Adalo platform.
Kuai Yu was awarded first place and a $350 cash prize for InCite, a way for legal professionals to easily lookup complex legal citations. Two teams tied for second place and each earned $100 cash prizes. The first team, comprised of Samantha Sansone and Oliver Cohen, developed DSC WashU Internal Planner, a project management app for WashU's developer student club. Maria Gandarilla Ocampo also won second place for My Mandated Reporter Pocketbook, a resource guide to help people in designated roles report suspected child abuse.