High School Hack-a-thon to Help Lake Erie

CLEVELAND, Ohio (April 10, 2017) – An exciting high school technology competition, presented by The Cleveland Water Alliance, will take place in downtown Cleveland on Saturday, April 29 and feature the brightest and most innovative teens from Northeast Ohio and other regional cities.The Erie Hack High School Hack-a-thon will draw high-school students from Toledo, Detroit, Buffalo, N.Y., Erie, Pa., and Windsor, Ontario, to compete for a grand prize of$1,000.00 around the topic of “Connecting Communities to the Value of Water.” Jeff Hoffman, Cleveland resident and co-founder of priceline.com, will be the event’s keynote speaker.“I believe it's great when high school students engage in activities that teach them innovative tools and shake their foundations before going off to college,’’ Hoffman said. “I am so proud to join the Cleveland Water Alliance to make the Erie Hack High School portion on April 29 a remarkable one-day event for students from the entire Lake Erie region.”Teams of five students from local high schools, including MC2 Stem High School in Cleveland, will spend all day collaborating to come up with solutions for Lake Erie’s water quality issues. It will be held at the HIMSS Innovation Center at the Global Center for Health Innovation downtown.“We’re excited to engage young people about our precious freshwater resource and invite them to create real solutions to Lake Erie’s challenges,’’ CWA executive director Bryan Stubbs said.Registration for the hack-a-thon is free and can be done at: http://www.eriehack.io The event is supported by many, including AT&T, which offers a program called AT&T Aspire that creates connections to drive innovation in education. Aspire brings together AT&T employees, nonprofits and community members to help equip students with the skills they need to lead the digital, global economy.The high school competition is a precursor to our larger Erie Hack Competition and Water Innovation Summit on May 2 & 3 in Cleveland.Erie Hack is a tech-driven international water innovation competition and accelerator program in which participants will present innovative solutions to Challenge Statements around Lake Erie such as algal blooms and urban pollution.Eight teams will compete for a grand prize of $40,000 in cash at the finals in Cleveland. These finalists will include the highest-scoring teams from the quarterfinals in Cleveland and our partner cities of Toledo, Buffalo and Detroit/Windsor. The next four to six highest-scoring teams from any city also qualify. (Teams from Erie, Pa., are also competing.) Total cash and accelerator services awarded will total $100,000, which can be used to launch a company.Teams will present their solutions on Day 2 of the Summit, which will be filled with engaging speakers, such as Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory, and former Priceline.com co-founder Jeff Hoffman. The summit will feature panels on topics such as the role of new innovation and technology and entrepreneurship to solve our water challenges.The Erie Hack is an opportunity to drive innovation in the water technology sector and engage young people in the creation of the emerging “Blue Economy.” The event is hosted and sponsored by The Cleveland Water Alliance in collaboration with Digital C as well as local champions, startup incubators and accelerators, and funders from each of Lake Erie’s major metropolitan areas [Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Windsor, Erie, and Toledo]. Key partners include NASA GRC, the University at Buffalo, Kent State University, Case Western Reserve University, IBM, GE, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland Metroparks, Wayne State University, the University of Toledo, TechTown Detroit, LaunchPad Incubation at the University of Toledo, Thinkbox, HIMSS, Great Lakes Science Center, WEtech Alliance, Innovation Collaborative in Erie and the Blackstone LaunchPad in Buffalo.Key sponsors include the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Cleveland Division of Water, AT&T, GLOS and HIMSS Innovation Center. Significant support also comes from The George Gund Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation and the Burton D Morgan Foundation.The Summit is open to everyone and people can register at Event Brite or at our web site: http://www.eriehack.io. For more information on Cleveland Water Alliance or Erie Hack, follow us at https://www.facebook.com/clevelandwateralliance/ or on Twitter @ErieHack About Erie Hack: This is a tech-driven international water innovation competition and accelerator program that will bring together coders, developers, engineers, data experts, and water professionals to generate creative solutions to Lake Erie’s biggest challenges. The competition, which will award more than $100,000 in cash and accelerator services to up to four winning teams and one high school team, focuses on creating publicly accessible mobile apps, open data and new technology and solutions to elevate the value of clean water and leverage its potential to drive the economy of the Great Lakes Region. About the Cleveland Water Alliance: Established in 2014, CWA is a non-profit organization that seeks to better utilize the economic and job-creating potential of Lake Erie while also urging greater care of this valuable, natural asset. We are among the region’s leaders working to bring together Northeast Ohio’s water providers, business and political leaders, researchers and environmental organizations to establish Cleveland as a nationally recognized center for water innovation.