Typically, when you hear the term "hackathon," you picture computer geeks sitting in a large room, rifling through untold number of passwords or other avenues to break into secret websites or files during a competition.
That's not exactly the case with the first Logistics Hackathon, an all-day technology-driven work session, on Saturday at the Merchandise Mart. About 90 software developers, other technology professionals and students from around the region are expected to develop solutions using technology to improve the commute around the Chicago area.
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Since the city and suburbs are home to several transportation and logistical companies that keep the economy rolling, the participants are expected to keep that going despite gridlock, construction and other longtime problems.
"They're going to help us use more technology to be more efficient ways of doing business," said Basil Weaver, senior manager of supply chain solutions for Des Plaines-based DSC Logistics, a sponsor of the event.
The event is led by World Business Chicago along with partners and sponsors from the logistics and tech communities, such as 1871, the Chicago Department of Transportation, and the Value Chain Center of the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University, among others.
The transportation solutions then will be eligible for a $1,000 first prize and other cash prizes, and a chance to present those ideas to executives at Coyote Logistics and Here, a Nokia business unit, he said.
"We'll be bringing a lot of data and digging right into that data from industry and government," said Weaver.
Some winning solutions actually could be used to help relieve congestion in the area, he said.
"You never know until you try," he said.
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