Meet The Disrupt NY 2012 Hackathon Hackers

It’s been about eight hours since our big Disrupt Hackathon kicked off, and all of our intrepid hackers have been busy letting the code (and the caffeine) fly ever since.

I managed to tear a few of them away from their work (these folks are pretty motivated, so it took a bit of doing) to tell us a little bit about themselves and what they be trying to crank out during the wee hours of the morning.

Devon Peticolas

Devon is a senior at Rutgers University (and the newly-minted president of the school’s undergrad CS club). As you might imagine, he’s no stranger to hackathons either — he can’t quite put his finger on it, but he’s probably in the “double digits” at this point.

He’ll be spending the night working on a mobile web app that allows users to find their friends in a crowd through sort of a hot-and-cold approach — if all goes well, a phone will vibrate when it’s pointing in the direction of a user’s friend, and will vibrate even stronger as the two people get closer to each other.

Peter Verrillo

Peter is the CEO of a company called EnHatch, and during the day he works on creating apps to help promote, demo, and sell medical devices for use in surgery.

He and his team specialize in creating those 3D apps for the iPad, but he’s looking to spend his time at the Hackathon bringing that 3D experience to the iPhone. The app he’s working on tonight deals with slightly less gruesome fare — instead, it aims to walk users through the process of putting together Ikea furniture.

“If Ikea had a good app, this would be it,” he told me.

Dasara Kushi

This is Dasara’s second Hackathon (her first was a photo-centric event), and this time around she and her partner Ronn have decided to spend their night building a web app that uses a computer’s built-in webcam to analyze a user’s face and suggest places for them to go in real time.

“If you look sad, it’ll tell you to go to a comedy club,” said told me.

Their project makes pretty extensive use of the faceAPI, but there’s still plenty of work to do — they’re both still looking at pulling in new data from different APIs, to make the service more robust, but thankfully the night is still young.

Jared Zoneraich

Jared is a 14-year old hacker who attends Bergen Academy, and he’s quite excited to stay up and have fun here at his very first Hackathon. His project of choice? Nothing less than an ad delivery service, of course.

“If I weren’t doing this, I’d be doing homework,” he said.

His hacker idols include Mark Zuckerberg as well as seasoned iPhone cracker George “geohot” Hotz, who just so happened to attend Bergen back in the day as well.

Pavan Krishnamurthy

Pavan and his teammates are cranking away on an iOS app that will tell you what sort of music people in different cities are listening to – a noble and clever goal. Cities that tend to listen to faster-paced music on Rdio are labelled ‘hot,’ while more laid-back cities (Chicago in their mockup) are tagged with the “chill” label.

His team’s mockups look pretty darned solid, but we’ll soon see if the finished product lives up to their ambitions. When he’s not hacking, Pavan works at Bloomberg and (like Jared) looks up to Mark Zuckerberg as his own hero hacker.

Jon Gottfried

Jon works for Twilio (during the day) and dons his hacker cape when night falls. He and his buddies are working on a system for A/B testing Amazon products tonight — not the sexiest idea the in the world sure, but that system is only part of his team’s plan.

They hope that their testing system can be used to determine consumer desires, and use that information to whip up a subscription service — Thingscription — that’s focused on delivering those goods to people on a regular basis.

Octavian Costache

The royally-named Octavian (or Vivi, as he’s also known) and his teammates are working on a second-screen app that provides users with additional context they watch Game of Thrones, which is probably one of the geekier endeavors we’ve spotted today. Need to figure out why that guy just got stabbed? Or some lesser-known facet of some clan’s convoluted family tree? Keep your eyes peeled on this guy.

Incidentally, he is totally in love with the Khalisi (because of the dragons, not the other thing) and his Twitter is Okvivi.

Karina Ruzinov

Karina goes to Rutgers (there’s a pretty large contingent of Rutgers kids, it would seem) and is spending her summer interning for Refinery 29. She studies Computer Science and Math and she says the student parties are real ragers.

She and her team are working on a app that helps people come up with names for their Hackathon projects. It’s not quite ready for primetime yet, but when it is, it aims to inspire people by providing synonyms and rhymes for words that embody their particular project’s spirit.

Victoria Mo

Victoria is a Master’s Student in Computer Science at Columbia University and her tech role model is none other than Google’s Marissa Mayer.

She and her team are working feverishly on an app that helps users find the hottest clubs in town (and not the hottest clubs in Ontario, as it sounded when we first heard the pitch). They aim to accomplish that by posting images and videos of the clubs’ exteriors so people will be able to quickly determine how popular a particular venue is.

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