Hackathons are still a fairly new concept, but the basic goal is to bring groups of people together to solve challenges through the power of design and technology. There will be four hackathons in 2018 that will include challenges around gaming and music.
In partnership with the Milwaukee Public Library and the Milwaukee Game Developer Meetup, there’s also a game jam planned for teens. A game jam is basically a hackathon for video games. It is a gathering of people for the purpose of planning, designing and creating one or more games within a short span of time.
The first hackathon will take place on June 9 at 88Nine studios in Walker’s Point. And, another is slated for November, during Milwaukee Start-up Week.
More details will be announced later this year.
Introducing 88Nine Labs: a series of tech talks and hackathons in Milwaukee to connect our technology and creative scenes—and merge diverse voices and talents from both.
It was born from an idea from Radio Milwaukee’s digital director, Tarik Moody, after spearheading a hackathon in the fall of 2017.
88Nine Labs aims to gather people of all backgrounds, ages and professions who have a shared interest in tech to further the understanding of ways we can bridge creativity and technology.
The tech talk series will include speakers from across the country who will share their stories and experiences related to equity, inclusion and representation within the tech and music industries. All tech talks are free to attend. Meet some of the speakers:
On June 19, Keisha Howard will be our next speaker. Keisha has been a video game enthusiast since childhood. Growing up “geeky” resulted in her developing interests that were very different from her peers on Chicago’s South Side.
Keisha’s communications background and passion for business innovation led her to the information technology industry—specifically social media, video gaming and geek culture.
After discovering that a considerable part of the industry’s consumer and professional demographics was not being represented, Keisha created Sugar Gamers. It began as a women’s advocacy and networking group for consumers and professionals, but eventually blossomed into an organization that advocated for all demographics who were underserved or not being represented (such as minorities, and people from the LBGTQ+ community.)
Through Sugar Gamers, Keisha been able to monetize her interests in technology and connect people in the IT community with other like-minded individuals, raise awareness of the under-representation of women in the gaming industry and lobby to make sure corporations factor the needs of female consumers in their new offerings. Keisha’s work with Sugar Gamers has made her a minor celebrity in pop culture, affording her national television appearances on show’s like the SyFy Channel’s “Robot Combat League” and allowing her to meet pop culture icons like George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, and Stan Lee, the chief architect of Marvel Comics.
While her work with Sugar Gamers has taken her all over the country, Keisha has never lost sight of home. A native Chicagoan, Keisha uses the skills and the contacts she’s made through Sugar Gamers to empower the women and teens of Chicago as an event organizer, mentor and speaker, as well as operating a digital branding agency, The BlazeBreakers.
On May 8, our first tech talk guest was, Alicia Carr, the first self-taught African American woman to develop her own app that helps sexual assault victims. Alicia will talk about her journey and her experiences as a woman of color in tech. 88Nine Labs’ Coded for Greatness is presented by Northwestern Mutual with support from Aurora Health Care and 88Nine’s Cultural Commons.