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Press Release  
Release Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:50 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Howard University Hosts Student ‘Hackathon’ Competition

WASHINGTON (February 11, 2013) – Representatives from popular technology companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Clearly Innovative will judge student concepts for mobile, game and desktop apps in Downing Hall (College of Engineering), Room 2019, on Friday, Feb. 15.

The event is part of a national campaign, “HBCU Hacks,” which aims to get more students at Black colleges to organize hackathons on their own and to increase the number of successful African Americans in technology careers. 

“There is a significant void in the presence of African-American technology entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and across the nation,” said Legand L. Burge, III, chairman of the Department of Systems and Computer Sciences. “With this event, we are trying to engage a wider audience [in] the app development space and various entrepreneurial opportunities.”

The hacking event will be co-sponsored by the Department of Systems and Computer Sciences and by Black Founders Startup Ventures of San Francisco.

“Many students across majors believe that they do not have the skills to build an app. We believe as hackthons become increasingly popular at HBCUs, students will feel more comfortable building software to help solve problems,” said Hadiyah Mujhid, co-founder and director of outreach at Black Founders. “This is a pathway into tech entrepreneurship.”

During the one-day competition, students will write computer code for mobile, gaming and desktop apps. The concepts for the apps will be based on students’ own ideas. At the conclusion of the 24-hour hacking period, students will present their finished projects to judges from the technology companies. Students with the best apps will win cash and prizes. The competition is open to students from all majors.
To register for the event or for more information, visit

For more information on Black Founders, please visit


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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