Middle Bit: Registration now open for HackISU

Students gather at Iowa State Research Park during HackISU Spring 2018. Photo courtesy of HackISU.

Registration is now open for HackISU, the largest hackathon in the state of Iowa.

During the event, hundreds of college students from across the U.S. pack into the Iowa State University Research Park to build and code projects. Students will break up into teams of up to four and spend 36 straight hours from Friday night to Sunday morning inventing devices and software, or creating new applications. After 36 hours of developing, a group of judges will walk around and observe the inventions in action and award prizes for best hardware and software, along with awards from sponsors.

Winning projects from previous HackISU’s have included a belt for blind people that uses sensors to find obstacles and warns the wearer and a machine-learning program identifying what illness a patient might have based on the specific set of symptoms they display.

Des Moines listed as second best city to work in tech in 2018

Des Moines has been listed as the second best city to work in tech in 2018 according to Smart Asset.

The study looked at data from 190 cities and compared them across metrics like average salary, average cost of living, tech employment concentration, unemployment rate and ratio of average pay-to-tech pay.

“For tech workers looking for stable, secure job opportunities, Des Moines, Iowa is a fantastic city,” read the article. “More than 4% of workers in Des Moines work in tech. Another plus for tech workers is the low unemployment rate. Holder’s of bachelor’s degrees have an unemployment rate of 2.3% here, according to Census Bureau estimates. Perhaps the only major concern for tech workers here is that their pay is not that high compared to the metro-wide average. The average tech worker makes only 64% more than the average worker, an average score.”

This is SmartAsset’s fourth annual study of the best cities to work in tech. Des Moines has made it in the top 10 in three out of the fours studies.

What else is happening?

Illinois

Get Loud Now, which just launched in June, makes an online platform where anyone in the U.S. can pick a postcard, write a message on it and mail it to any elected official, all the way from officials in the President’s cabinet to the local alderman in your city. –American Inno

Missouri

Global Entrepreneurship Week will return to Kansas City this fall with a 5-day lineup of inspiring events and speakers aimed toward helping area entrepreneurs connect to the city’s ecosystem. –Silicon Prairie News

KC STEM Alliance is a collaborative network of educators, business partners and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust workforce of related professionals for the community. –Silicon Prairie News

South Carolina

South Carolina’s Citibot is building a chatbot for local governments. Citibot allows citizens to connect with their local city or county government, report issues, and ask questions in a conversational manner. –VentureBeat