Nearly 600 Competitors Expected for HackPoly This Weekend

Group Shot of Students at HackPoly 2016

Nearly 600 college students will spend this weekend focusing on innovation and building products in 24 hours as part of Hackpoly 2017.

Organized by the entrepreneurship student organization Poly Founders of Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration, Hackpoly is an annual competition where teams  dream up new products and then try to make them reality in less than a day.

“Hackpoly has become something much more than just a hackathon,” says Rushi Shah, president of Poly Founders and a senior majoring in management and human resources. “It has transformed lives and has become a centerpiece for innovation in the Southern California region.”

Poly Founders received a record 1,500 applications from across the nation for Hackpoly. Corporate sponsors include Northrop Grumman, Unity, UPS, Farmers Insurance and Oracle. Winners of the competition earn the latest tech products such as drones and virtual-reality headsets and time with potential investors.

Creativity is encouraged at Hackpoly, as is teamwork. Last year’s winning entry of a smart trashcan was the brainchild of students from three colleges. Organizers are expecting this year’s competition to be the toughest one yet.

The massive event also will offer tech talks from renowned entrepreneurs like Danish-born automotive designer Henrik Fisker and Yammer co-founder George Ishii, a Cal Poly Pomona alumnus, to help spur the next generation of creators.

Hackpoly begins with opening ceremonies at noon on Feb. 11 and concludes at 5 p.m. on Feb. 12 with the announcement of winners. Event organizers say Pomona’s new mayor Tim Sandoval is expected at the opening ceremonies.

“We are strong believers in empowering the local community,” former Poly Founders president and fourth-year FRL student Simal Adenwala says while introducing marketing materials purchased from campus businesses.

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