Hack the Indian
River Lagoon

View the submissions and winners
of our inaugural hackathon!


Build awesome stuff. Learn something new. Help save the IRL. Hack the IRL is a 36-hour hackathon designed to inspire real tech solutions for the most biodiverse estuary in North America. Located right along Florida's Indian River, Hack the IRL will bring together students, technologists, and entrepreneurs of all ages to hack through the biggest environmental issues facing the Indian River Lagoon.


5pm November 2nd -- 1pm on November 4th


Groundswell Startups. 2412 Irwin St. Melbourne, FL 32901

Hack the IRL will bring together students, technologists, and entrepreneurs of all ages to hack through the biggest environmental issues facing the Indian River Lagoon.


Day 1 | Nov 2 show details

5:30pm Check-in
6:00pm Sponsor Expo/ Mixer
6:00pm Real Thread - Screen printing
6:00pm Dinner
7:00pm Dr. Duane E. De Freese, Ph.D.
Introduction and Kick-Off

9:00pm Hacking Begins
9:00pm Nicholas Dickens
DNA and Water Sampling in the IRL

10:30pm Jacob Waites
Interaction Design, Prototyping and Brand Design

Day 2 | Nov 3 show details

12:00amMidnight snack
8:30am Breakfast
9:30am Shane Close
Lean UX & Design Challenge

10:30amDr. Duane E. De Freese, Ph.D.
The State of the Lagoon

1:00pm Jamie Joyce
The Art of Exploitation through Social Issues

2:00pm Chuck Jacoby
Conditions in the IRL and Datasets

5:00pm Bryan Jenks
Build fast, scalable cloud apps with near-zero downtime using Redis.

6:00pm Dinner
7:30pm Darren Griffith
Programming for Alexa

9:00pm Games - Rocket League, Overcooked

Day 3 | Nov 4 show details

12:00am Midnight Snack
8:30am Breakfast
9:00am Hacking Ends
10:00am Judging Expo
1:00pm Closing Ceremony
2:15pm Bus Departure

Events & Sponsors


What's a hackathon?

A hackathon brings together tech enthusiasts and professionals from diverse industries to identify and solve problems through technology - usually all in the course of a weekend.
If this your first hackathon, don’t worry! This is a great place to start building. We will have mentors here to help you every step of the way. We will have prizes for newcomers too.

What's the IRL, and why does it need our help?

The Indian River Lagoon is a group of three lagoons on Florida's East coast. As the most biodiverse estuary in North America, it's home to thousands of unique plant, animal and marine life. The IRL is sort of like the ocean's nursery - serving as a spawning ground for hundreds of fish species.
Unfortunately, the IRL is in rough shape. Due to years of pollution, aggressive algal blooms, over-development and the introduction of invasive species, the IRL is no longer the biological powerhouse it once was.
We want to do our part to help save our lagoon, all while doing what we love. Hack the IRL is on an epic quest to help solve some of the biggest environmental, economic and recreational issues facing such an important place.

Sounds cool! How much does admission cost?

Nothin'! Thanks to our industry sponsors, Hack the IRL is completely free.

Nice! But will I need to know how to code?

Nope! Code newbies and seasoned veterans alike are encouraged to join us.

So who can attend?

Anyone is invited! Software developers, designers, and tech warriors of all skill sets, ages and backgrounds are welcome to hack the IRL. If you are a high school student go ahead and apply and we will notify you if any problems arise.

Wait, where will I sleep?

We'll have quiet, dark areas reserved for sleeping, but you're also welcome to crawl into a sleeping bag and crash whenever and wherever your heart desires.

Okay, but what about food?

Don't worry, we've got that covered too. There will be plenty of meals, snacks, and coffee for hungry hackers.

Should I bring anything?

A sleeping bag, your laptop, and any hardware or equipment you may need.

What can I build?

Whatever you can think up! We’ll have mentors to help you with the web, mobile, hardware, design, and any development in between!

How do teams work?

Teams will have a maximum of 4. If you don't have a team, no problem, we will have a mixer to discuss ideas and find a team.

Other Questions?

Please email or chat with us on Twitter.