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Rocklin’s AppMatrix employee volunteers win Hacker Lab competition

Team worked 54 hours without a break
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After a very full work week developing and delivering mobile media technology solutions for business clients worldwide, Rocklin-based AppMatrix, Inc., employees then dedicated an entire weekend volunteering those same skills toward developing a cutting-edge technology solution for fire and other first response teams – and took home an overall Hacker Lab first place award for their innovative and ambitious efforts.

Competing against 13 other technology teams at Sacramento’s first, “Startup Weekend,” hosted by the Hacker Lab, the AppMatrix team worked more than 54 hours April 5-7 developing the new “Mobile Instant Command Control” technology solution to address the outdated “whiteboard” system currently in place for responding firefighters. The MICC is a mobile application system that will allow firefighters and other first responders to act, respond, record and process critical data and information more proficiently, effectively and quickly, thus saving valuable time – and potentially lives – through its increased efficiency and technical/information access.

The MICC product’s sole goal is not exclusively to make it easier for firefighters to respond to emergencies; it will also capture, record and store valuable data about the emergency site and response situation that would have previously been wiped away from a standard dry-erase board and lost forever. Therefore, the MICC will also help facilitate more effective training for first responders to apply to future similar situations.

The AppMatrix employee volunteer team that took the MICC project from an idea on Friday, April 5, to a completed technology solution and award-winning new, startup business on Sunday, April 7, included Tim Dement, senior executive vice president; Doug Ridley, design manager; Prinzly Ngoutom, mobile engineer; Jason Knight, mobile engineer; Chris Markell, Web services engineer; Paul Plescov, lead designer; and Shawn Owens, chief operating officer. The team also included Cole Stratton, the North Bay Fire Department deputy chief (as the primary consultant ensuring the MICC would meet all first responder needs and support common firefighting procedures); as well as Curtis Owens, a University of California, Davis, graduate and technical volunteer.

The Hacker Lab’s first “Startup Weekend” competition followed the standard format of a “Hackathon.” The event kicked off April 5 with registration at 6:30 p.m. After time to mingle, at 7:30 p.m. every person with an innovative and entrepreneurial idea presented a pitch to a crowd of coders, designers and business developers. The best pitches then drew a team from the crowd, ideally made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds and complementary skill-sets. The new team members then worked together over the weekend to bring that vision to fruition – building not only the product itself, but also a viable business plan. On Sunday, the teams presented their final product to a panel of expert judges, who ultimately chose an overall winner.

For winning the Hacker Lab’s “Startup Weekend” competition, the MICC/AppMatrix employee volunteer team was awarded two months of free “co-working” at local spaces, a “showcase pitch” with The Founder Institute, a three-hour mentorship consultation with Sac Angels, a year of Adobe Creative Suite and two passes to sit in on a Sac Angels dinner meeting.

“We are so proud of our employee volunteer team,” said Tim Dement, AppMatrix Ssenior executive vice president and co-founder. “They learned about, and then wanted to immediately address, the critical, technical needs of firefighters in the field with an innovative and practical mobile application solution. Although these guys work really hard all week, they enthusiastically gave up their weekend, enduring great sleep deprivation and stress, to work as a team to make the MICC concept a reality. And while we are thrilled and excited to have won the ‘Startup Weekend’ competition, we are even more excited to move forward with the new technology, and begin beta-testing MICC with firefighters in the field very soon.”

AppMatrix, Inc., comprises of technical experts developing rapidly evolving mobile technology marketing strategies, processes and content delivery. AppMatrix’s core competencies include the design and development of feature-rich, native mobile applications across multiple platforms and devices that comprise the vast majority of today’s marketplaces (i.e. Apple, Android, Blackberry, Windows, etc.). For further information regarding AppMatrix, Inc., visit www.appmatrixinc.com.

Sacramento’s Hacker Lab is a grassroots, nonprofit movement of people who are uniting to advance technology by providing a community space for education, mentorship, high-tech tools and training. The Hacker Lab hosts more than 200 events and competitions (such as “Startup Weekend”) annually, and is open to the public. For more information on the Hacker Lab or its upcoming events, visit www.hackerlab.org.