MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis tech community is coming together virtually to address some of the city’s most pressing challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This situation has given us an opportunity to connect with people in different ways,” said Mary Ann Dawson, Assistant Director of Operations and Marketing at the FedEx Institute of Technology.
During the week, three tech teams used data to develop new community resources.
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“You saw a community willing to donate its time and its effort for something in the end that’s going to become viable resources for a lot of people for a broad spectrum whether it’s K-12 or the local community at large,” said Rami Lotay, FedEx Institute of Technology projects and facilitation manager.
One team created the Mid-South Good Deeds virtual marketplace which is an online site connecting nonprofit to potential donors. Another team created Level Up Memphis, an online portal from laid-off hospitality and restaurant workers to share their experience and skill set with potential employers.
“You break down your skills with what you can do, how you can do it so say you are a line cook then you indicate numerous skills and good at multitasking because of this experience,” said Claudio Donndelinger, FedEx Institute of Technology emerging technology research specialist
The winner of this hackathon is a group called Tech-Share901. The team created a system for people to donate computers, laptops, and devices to students in need at Douglass High School
Lotay said this project focuses on one SCS school but addresses the broader issue of fixing the city’s digital divide.
“Now they have direct access to equipment that can directly impact low income and the focus of this was low income, underserved communities,” said Lotay. “This way they can ensure they get the material they needed to be successful in school while also being required to stay home in this case.”
Tech-Share901 is already in the process of working with the school district to get this project up and running so they can start accepting donations.
And the other two teams are expected to have their online portals activated by the end of this week.
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