CEND Hackathon Winners Announced

by / Monday, 30 March 2020 / Published in stories

On March 25th, at 2 PM PST, over 80 participants from around the world – ranging from Berkeley to New York City to France and India – hopped on a Zoom call to participate in the 2020 CEND COVID19 Hackathon, to address many issues coming from the pandemic. Some participants came with nearly fully-formed ideas, ready to hit the ground running as soon as the hackathon started in hopes to bring some attention to their projects. Others came in with an eagerness to help in any capacity they could, ranging with skillsets in engineering, coding, molecular virology, public policy, and beyond.

Submissions were due 24 hours later – which meant participants were up all night, “hacking” away at the complex problems the world is facing. Teams worked on projects ranging from a plan for national level pathogen surveillance at airports to an online visualization tool to view current healthcare capacity resource available related to COVID-19 infection.

The winning teams were announced just after 5:30 PM. The judging committee, comprised of individuals from backgrounds in venture capital, biotech, engineering, and public policy, ended up choosing two teams as the winners: COVID-ALERT and COVentilator.

COVID ALERT’s project was a low-cost at-home covid diagnostic test based on a nucleic acid amplification reaction RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcription-Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification) assay. Coventilator designed a low-cost, open source ventilator that runs for under $300 to develop. Both teams were given a generous cash price donated by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub and a guaranteed interview spot for the CITRIS Foundry Business Development Accelerator program. They are also being granted access to the CITRIS mentorship network.
Two other teams were recognized by the CITRIS Foundry and given guaranteed interview spots and access to the network. These were Team Quarantine and Sound Approach. Team Quarantine presented a medical device using deep ultraviolet light as a tool for healthcare and consumers to safely mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak, and future biological threats. Deep UV can be used to safely disinfect aerosolized viral particles, surface biological contaminants, and more. Sound Approach proposed a Point of Care Ultrasound Screening System for COVID-19, as a rapid method to decide whether an individual should self-quarantine.
We are incredibly excited about the projects that came out of this Hackathon and look forward to seeing where all of the teams go!
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