First National Sponsors 48 Hour Hackathon

Zach Revense

Omaha (KPTM) - First National Bank ended a 48 hour long hackathon Sunday evening.

Code One challenged computer savvy people living in the Midwest to create a web interface that asks its customers how to improve the services it provides.

"Definitely the time crunch is the main issue here," said University of Nebraska Omaha student, Ajay Medury.

He and his two teammates have had little sleep since the competition started Friday night. But they say they've kept to a strategy.

"The idea is to make it as simple as possible," Medury said. "Make it as visual as possible."

There were 12 teams in groups of two to four people. The winners will be chosen October 5 and split $10,000.

"I'll probably save it for a rainy day," said Medury, if he were to win.

The idea came from First National Bank executives and Straight Shot; a local company that give tech startup businesses seed money and helps them develop in a 90 day mentor program. Straight Shot is trying to bring Silicon Valley to the prairie.

"We know we need to develop more technical talent in the city," said Straight Shot managing director, Faith Larson. "One way to do that is to offer really cool challenges, so our students can see that the big companies are doing really great things too. And that it would be a great place to work because they're being so innovative and progressive."

First National is one of almost 30 companies that work with Straight Shot. They hope that projects like this one will create an atmosphere other startups want to be part of.

"You need the universities engaged with startups at Straight Shot, with the large companies here to really develop an all around ecosystem," Faith Larson said.

They project that this won't be a onetime thing, and could even prompt multiple events a year.

For now these teams are waiting patiently for who's application will be chosen.