Zak Wegweiser

CODE FOR GOOD - JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 2018 WINNER

What is Code For Good?

Code For Good is a invite-only competition that allows hackers to use their coding skills to make a difference. In this program, we collaborated with other coders to develop innovative technology solutions for non-profit organizations. Check it out at JPMorgan's website!


Challenge

Our challenge was to create an app that sells donated items and directs the proceeds to charities. We worked with United Way to create a mobile marketplace natively for both iOS and Android that allows users to easily login with Facebook or Google and sell any of their older belongings. All they have to do is take a picture and the app will identify the object, recommend a price, and list it for sale! The seller then chooses which charity they would like their proceeds to go to and they are done.


Inspiration

We were inspired by existing apps like Amazon and eBay to create a marketplace style app. Our app allows sellers to upload images and information about their products, but we do all the heavy lifting.


How it works?

A super exciting aspect of our app is that it uses machine learning to suggest a price for a product just given a picture of that product. We do this in two steps. First we use the Google Vision API to label the image. We take those labels and search through Google shopping to see how similar products were priced. Based on that information, we are able to suggest a reasonable price for a variety of products.


Challenges we ran into

There were a plethora of challenges we experienced over the course of this 20 hour event.

  1. Each member of the team wrote their portion of the back-end service in a language they were comfortable in. It was tough to combine the services written in different languages to all work together, but as we collaborated we were able to make it work smoothly.

  2. One of our biggest challenges was speed of the analysis of each product. We had to make sure the image sent to the back-end was compressed enough for higher speed, while being clear enough for object identification.


Accomplishments that we're proud of

We got to make a difference with JPMorgan, United Way, and the amazing non-profits that came!

On behalf of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas I would like to congratulate you on winning the Code for Good Dallas Challenge. You listened to the challenge, you organized around a solution, and you developed a solution. You far exceeded your fellow competitors.

There’s a difference between a football game and a Code for Good hackathon - when teams put their energy, hearts and minds into solving problems, it’s not just the team that wins; society wins. It’s because competition is the base of innovation. Without competition, there is no incentive to change, to do things in a better way. Hackathons such as this one, foster competition and innovation in a way that propels society at large forward. One team may have won the hackathon, but we all won… you won.

Steven Kravit | CTO | United Way of Metropolitan Dallas

What's next for us?

We get to continue working with United Way to build out this app from beyond a prototype! We are excited to see where this takes us, and hope we can continue to be invited to Code For Good so we can help make a difference!