By Lacey Stepter
Special to the Sun
The 59DaysOfCode contest was a huge event; especially for the Kern Valley Zone Justin Powers and Chris Zuber, the creators of Fire Vision. Their idea would ultimately get them the first place win and a check for $10,000. The 59DaysOfCode contest is more like a marathon where teams or individuals are given 59 days to create, present, and execute their ideas. There was a $50 entry fee and there are two different tracks in this contest. There is the new-concept category which is where you take your idea and build it from scratch. Then there was the in-progress track for those who may have partially began a project months or, maybe even years ago and decided they wanted to finally finish it and make it a reality. Every idea was creative in its own way, being a judge could not have been an easy task. The grand Expo was where the top contenders showcased and presented their ideas to the public. From there each category would have three top finalists. The prizes for each category were: first place received a $10,000 check, second place in each category received $5,000, and third place for each category took home $2,500. There was also a People’s Choice award for a $1,000 check. There are six total finalists and they would all take home prize money. They had five minutes to present their ideas to three judges and then be asked one question by each judge.
Kernville based Fire Vision took first place in the new-concept category. Team Still Ticking took home second. Third place went to team MADE with Athleta winning the People’s Choice Award. Team Fire Vision created a drone that would give firefighters and civilians’ real-time wildfire information in order to prepare for coming wildfire seasons. That’s the biggest problem for firefighters and this could ultimately save lives. Team Still Ticking is an app created by Team Stria for Nick Burrus, who is currently on the heart transplant list. This app would send vital information to a person’s doctor that includes blood pressure, energy, and depression levels. These are all issues that would normally have to be seen by your doctor, but with this app, it will track that information. Team MADE, who created the Athleta app, was created for students by students. This team of high school junior and senior athletes created the app for any athlete from a small town such as Lake Isabella, Delano, or Tehachapi, in order to get the recognition they deserve and to be noticed by professional scouts. They hope that good athletes will no longer be overlooked with the help of their app.
For the existing-concept category, first place went to Maintrak. The second place went to SAIF-ERP, and third place went to SYLVSTRR. Maintrak was created by a heavy equipment mechanic. The app keeps track of all heavy equipment that are in need of scheduled maintenance by reminder. For the agricultural and oil industries, this could be a huge win by saving them thousands of dollars a month. SAIF-ERP is an app for the government and airline surplus parts industry. It would help them to keep inventory, as well as, provide reports for parts already evaluated. Thus saving time and ensuring the part is received within two days. Which is a great deal of time in the industry considering that planes have to be out of commission for those days waiting on parts. SYLVSTRR was created by software engineer Mason Pawsey. Essentially, this is his senior project at CSUB. This app analyzes data through keywords to better generate consumer sentiment from customers of companies who compare the data across varying geographies. For example, say you would like to open a restaurant and want to know who likes pancakes or who does not in a specific area. For politics, if a user wanted to know what areas of the United States are not so supportive of a political campaign you could use SYLVSTRR to focus on the targeted demographics for the votes. The 59DaysOfCode is a nonprofit organization that focuses on entrepreneurship and this is the first year they’ve ventured out of Fresno for an exposition in Kern County. There are 25 to 30 real-life enterprises that got their start through the 59DaysOfCode competition. This year’s top sponsors were Kern Venture, Bitwise, Seed Corp, K.I.T.E., Tel-Tec Security Systems Inc., and Kern Schools Federal Credit Union. Congratulations to Justin Powers, Chris Zuber and all who won. And good job to all the competitors. There were so many creative ideas and everyone should be proud for what they have accomplished.