Curiosity Lab Hosts T-Mobile’s HBCU Hackathon

Contestants at the T-mobile hackathon.

Curiosity Lab is proud to be a facility that brings groups together to develop groundbreaking technologies and ideas, encouraging creativity and collaboration through innovation. We’re always looking to partner with companies that have similar missions and love to support their events. Last month, Curiosity Lab was honored to team up with our founding partner, T-Mobile, in hosting their 3-day HBCU Hackathon, bringing individuals together to celebrate technology, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Contestants at the T-mobile hackathon.

Representing the future of innovation, college students from all over the nation gathered at Curiosity Lab for the weekend of February 24-26 to participate in the first annual T-Mobile HBCU Hackathon in Peachtree Corners. Students entered the Hackathon in teams of up to 5 and were encouraged to have a well-rounded group with varying experience in computer engineering, computer science, finance and business. Participants were asked to develop and pitch creative and impactful technology solutions or prototypes aligned with T-Mobile’s un-carrier experience using on-site tools. This Hackathon specifically focused on connected technologies, such as wearables, watches, phones and IoT development kits, and encouraged participants to keep in mind the 5G and connected experience.

A total of 6 teams competed to win, with first, second and third-place teams receiving varying prizes including:

  • 1st Prize – $4,000 for the team to split and phones for each team member.
  • 2nd Prize – $2,000 for the team to split and share and Beats earbuds.
  • 3rd Prize – $1,000 for the team to split and share.

Throughout the weekend, T-Mobile mentors and engineers visited with each team repeatedly to ensure students received any guidance needed. In addition to the actual Hackathon event, T-Mobile provided workshops and career panels throughout the weekend for these bright minds to learn more about 5G, telecom and T-Mobile careers and internships. Students were also given the opportunity to network and build relationships amongst themselves and with T-Mobile leadership.

Teams worked on their projects Friday evening, all day Saturday and the morning of Sunday. Sunday afternoon, students presented their projects. A panel of 10 incredible judges with varying expertise reviewed the students’ submissions, judging each project based on the following criteria:

  • Use of Technology: Did the team integrate technology into their solution?
  • Functionality: Was a working, functional prototype demonstrated? How well does the solution perform and meet the purpose described?
  • Creativity: How creative was the team in developing a unique and innovative solution for the challenge?
  • Scalability/Potential Impact: Does this solution have the potential to have an impact at scale? Is it relevant to the team that created it?
  • Design & Usability: Is the intended functionality easy to use? Does the design augment the solution’s utility?

T-Mobile judges and staff were blown away by these bright minds and their presentations.

Team with a ceremonial four thousand dollar check.

Coming in first place from North Carolina A&T was Michael Miles Brown, Isaiah Stokes, Ra’Shad Foster and Wilhelm Robinson, with their project Chore Warrior. This project was designed with the intent to make chores fun for everyone. The team took home four thousand dollars to split, and all received new T-Mobile phones.

Team with a ceremonial two thousand dollar check.

Placing second in the 2023 Hackathon were Yazeed Hasan, Hanni Altousy, Kevin Bartholomew Jr. and Loui Altous representing Tennessee State, Georgia Middle State and Southern Connecticut State University. Their project named Travel Tracker notified parents if their child has entered a moving vehicle, inspired to fight the growing number of child abductions each year. The group of four took home two thousand dollars to split, along with a new pair of Beats earbuds for each member.

Team with a ceremonial one thousand dollar check.

Coming in third place, closely behind the Chore Warrior and Travel Tracker, were Calvin Njuguna and Amy Doukoure from Georgia Institute of Technology. Their project iFeel and imHere brought together mental health and independence among children, where children can alert parents about how they are feeling while away from home. The brilliant team brought home one thousand dollars to split.

A laptop computer and contestants at the hackathon.

Perhaps even more exciting than the event itself, was the purpose behind the HBCU Hackathon. As the technology and innovation space continues to grow, it is of high importance to celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion within the workforce. The team at Curiosity Lab couldn’t be more thankful for the T-Mobile partnership that made this event possible. Congratulations to all of our Hackathon winners for a job well done. We can’t wait to see what forms of innovation you bring to the world!

Read more about the Hackathon.