HudsonAlpha, Urban Engine to host hackathon in February 2019

Registration is now open for the 2019 HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge

Huntsville, Ala. – The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is teaming up with Urban Engine to host the second HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge February 22-24, 2019.

This life sciences hackathon brings together students and professionals who attempt to solve challenges using an emerging technology, and apply it to biotech and the life sciences.

“The HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge is a great opportunity to introduce genomics, genetics and biotech to existing and emerging leaders in computer science and technology,” said Adam Hott, EdD, digital applications lead at HudsonAlpha. “I’m looking forward to this unique event and am excited to see what new ideas unfold.”

Hott and other HudsonAlpha researchers and educators will be in attendance to offer their expertise for each challenge.

The inaugural HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge took place in November 2017 and brought in more than 100 participants. Team “AlphaTek” took home the prize for “Best in Show.” The team tackled blockchain technology to make medical record and genome data accessible to clinicians. Using a genomic sequence, AlphaTek generated a public key and private key that could be distributed to patients.

HudsonAlpha also awarded first and second place prizes to high school and college/professionals teams ForensX, GeneView, Secure Record Hive and Double Helix VR. Click here to watch highlights from the 2017 HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge.

Urban Engine, a Huntsville-based nonprofit that accelerates innovation through programs and resources including CoWorking Night and 32/10, is collaborating with the Institute for the 2019 HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge.

“Innovation acceleration programs like the HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge play a critical role in the startup ecosystem because they pave the way for innovators to pair skills and ideate. This seeds our economy with the potential for new technology startups to emerge,” said Urban Engine Executive Director, Toni Eberhart. “The program also presents a unique opportunity for students and creative professionals to learn about HudsonAlpha and biotechnology. We look forward to seeing the cutting-edge solutions developed by its participants.”

“Workforce development is a critical part of what we do here at HudsonAlpha,” said Carter Wells, vice president for economic development at HudsonAlpha. “Events like the HudsonAlpha Tech Challenge give us the opportunity to interact with the future life sciences workforce and inspire them to pursue a career in the field.”

Challenge participants must be 16 years of age or older. It is recommended that they have taken an advanced biology, genetics, or a biotech related course, or have professional experience in those fields to better grasp challenge concepts.

Participants do not have to be part of a team to register. HudsonAlpha and Urban Engine will assist in the creation of teams at the kickoff event February 22, which will help individuals identify the best fit according to their interests and skills.

Click here to register.

For more information on sponsorships, rules, challenges and more, visit

About HudsonAlpha: HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to innovating in the field of genomic technology and sciences across a spectrum of biological challenges. Opened in 2008, its mission is four-fold: sparking scientific discoveries that can impact human health and well-being; bringing genomic medicine into clinical care; fostering life sciences entrepreneurship and business growth; and encouraging the creation of a genomics-literate workforce and society. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. Designed to be a hothouse of biotech economic development, HudsonAlpha’s state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. The relationships formed on the HudsonAlpha campus encourage collaborations that produce advances in medicine and agriculture. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education, and includes more than 30 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

About Urban Engine: Urban Engine propels the growth of Alabama’s economy by connecting aspiring entrepreneurs and established business leadership to educational resources, talent,
and community. Urban Engine contributes heavily to Alabama’s innovation ecosystem by cultivating a dynamic workforce, professional development through creative autonomy, and the
entrepreneurial gumption to launch and build thriving businesses. Founded in 2015 through its various programs and events, Urban Engine activates its mission by offering over 150 free innovation education events annually including CoWorking Night, 32/10 and OpenHuntsville that focus on high-growth technology startups, professional workforce development, and innovation
competitions. Urban Engine is a registered, IRS Designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Media Contact:
Margetta Thomas