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Kentucky Hacks its Way to Technology Start-Up Status

Run19Hacks, a 54-hour creative coding marathon set for April 26-28 in Louisville, Kentucky, is a sure sign that the state is serious about hacking its way to world-class technology start-up status. The event is expected to attract the best and brightest “white hats” and tech students, as well as investors and company executives. Hackathons like Run19Hacks have seeded valuable companies, including GroupMe, a mobile messaging app, which was purchased by Skype for $80 million just one year after its genesis at one such codefest. Run19Hacks is part of the Run for the Unicorns Conference & Expo Event that’s set to take place throughout Kentucky Derby Week.

Run19Hacks, produced by Convergence in collaboration with the FanHacks League, is the opening salvo in Kentucky’s bid to become a world-class technology hub. The hackathon will, undoubtedly, entice computer science majors from the University of Louisville to the Engineering Education Garage of the J. B. Speed School of Engineering, where it is being held, as well as coders and other tech savvy individuals from further afield.

Open to all, the game-centered Run19Hacks is meant to encourage input not just from developers and designers, but from end-users such as sports fans – particularly fans of e-sports. Its aim is to highlight Kentucky’s potential as a nursery for startups that are developing extended reality (XR), artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), blockchain and other digital technologies. Run19Hacks will challenge teams to use data, application programming interfaces (APIs) and other content to improve the mobile fan experience, as well as to discover and develop new games and business models.

Run19Hacks will get the Run for The Unicorns Conference up and running. The confab, hosted for designers, developers, disrupters and other denizens of the digital technology space, is scheduled for Monday, April 29, to Saturday, May 4. The six-day event will include a Shark Tank casting call, a VIP investor dinner, a trip along the “Bourbon Trail”, a poker tournament, and a visit to the ‘Run for the Fillies’ race, which features three-year-old female horses and is held on the eve of the Kentucky Derby. The event concludes with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, which, as usual, will be watched by millions all over the world.

For more information on the hackathon, visit www.Run19Hacks.com

For more information on Convergence, visit www.Fund.SilicaNeXus.com

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