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17 01
January 17, 2014
The world's largest student-run hackathon will be coming to Detroit for the first time this weekend. MHacks III is third in a series of hackathons. The inaugural MHacks, a 36-hour, Red Bull-fueled coding competition that kicked off last February at the University of Michigan, featured about 500 high school and college students working in small teams to build, or "hack," websites, mobile applications and other software programs, said Lucy Zhao, an executive member of MPowered Entrepreneurship, one of two UM student organizations that created the event. Zhao said MHacks II drew more than 1,200 national and international students to Michigan Stadium in September. The upcoming MHacks III, which will take place Friday through Sunday at The Qube on Woodward Avenue, will also have around 1,200 participants with a few traveling from as far as Poland to compete, she said. "We wanted to move it to Detroit to show the city is more than just the bankruptcy headlines, and to encourage the talented individuals to stay and work in the city," said Zhao. The event is being sponsored by Detroit-based businesses, including Quicken Loans and Opportunity Detroit, she said. Zhao said most students enjoy MHacks because it allows them to take the coding skills they learn in school and use them to produce a physical product such as the self-sorting, single-stream recycling and trash receptacle that took first prize in the September competition. The grand prize for winning this weekend's hackathon is $5,000, she said.
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