Brick City Entrepreneurs Hack It Out At #BlackHack NWK

Blerdology holds hackathon at close of Newark Tech Week

(Image: Thinkstock)

“I felt there was no technology out there that would actually take my features and my needs into account—my ethnic hairstyling practices, what compliments my skin color, my undertones. There was no technology paying attention to that,” said White.

White came up with SAHSHÉ’s 2-minute beauty quiz questions, while Fombrun, who has an engineering background, came up with the algorithm that does the matching. The algorithm takes the data that users input such as your ethnicity, hair texture, skin shade and skin concerns, and incorporates all of that data—along with your income, where you shop and whether or not you’d prefer eco-conscious products—to match users with the best luxe products for their specific beauty needs.

SAHSHÉ is launching in the spring of 2013.

Capital Cause

Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Capital Cause was in the building, creating a new website for the nearly 4-year-old organization. Mobilizing millennials, namely young philanthropists, to get involved and give back, Capital Cause founder Kezia Williams wanted to revamp their website, giving users the opportunity to give right on the site, as well as having a visible place for special, crowdsourcing projects. Capital Cause has grown since its start in 2009, organizing events such as the Young Philanthropists Industry Brunch and spearheading initiatives like the Giving Circles Project, with 5,000 philanthropists in the D.C. area.

Head blerd Kat Calvin, co-founder and chief executive at Blerdology, helped design Capital Cause’s new website. In the coming year, Capital Cause hopes to expand to Newark, as well as Atlanta, Georgia.

It Takes A Village, Inc. (ITV)

Last year alone, tax payers spent $52,865.00 incarcerating someone, said Nicole Singletary, founder of It Takes A Village, Inc., a prisoner reentry program that’s an academic, trade skills training apprenticeship program. Launching in Newark next year, the 16-month program is geared toward formerly incarcerated, non-violent offenders, training them in hands-on trade skills instruction such as EPA cleanup, storm water management, water infrastructure repair, home remodeling services, and auto body repair. The only requirement of ITV is that the offenders have to open their business in the community that they once terrorized. Singletary describes her program as “the gift that keeps on giving.”

Singletary, a community activist, educator and Berkeley College graduate student, has lost friends and former students to senseless crime and violence in her Newark community, which prompted her to create ITV. “We’re giving and providing that second-chance option for persons that are disadvantaged in the labor department,” she said. She, along with on-staff coders, worked on ITV’s website.

LoudWhisper, LLC

The LoudWhisper app, founded by South Jersey-native Kara Borel, would allow end users to follow different companies and receive deals based on location and categories of interest. For small and medium-sized businesses, the push-notification app allows them to better communicate with their customers by informing them about promotional deals. “You can push that ‘whisper’, which is what we’re calling it right now, to them,” said Borel. “It’s a quite way of communicating, and the end result is you want to create a raucous because you want 5,000 people to get your message.”

Borel worked with the SAHSHÉ founders and Rochester Institute of Technology graduate Travis Johnson to create a logo and website for her business.

Blerd or not, visit the Blerdology website for a listing of their upcoming events.

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