Looking For a Few Good Hackers: Salisbury’s New Co-working Space Hosts NASA Space Apps Challenge April 19-21

Space exploration has captivated Americans for more than five decades. The science brought back from missions often generated new ideas that were applied to solve challenges for life on Earth. It is with this entrepreneurial spirit that NASA, government agencies and organizations worldwide will host the second International Space Apps Challenge April 20-21, with events across all seven continents.

In all, 80 locations on seven continents in 42 countries including 19 in the United States will participate. hotDesks, a new co-working space in Salisbury, Md., will be the only Delmarva location, and one of only five locations in the Mid-Atlantic region. The 2012 challenge engaged more than 2,000 participants who collaborated on more than 100 open source solutions to 71 featured challenges.

hotDesks will host a weekend event from April 19-21, and is currently accepting registration. To register go to spaceappschallenge.org and click on “register” at the top right. The event is free and is open to individuals with a broad range of skills, including engineers, technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, students, and entrepreneurs.

The Salisbury event is presented by the Eastern Shore Entrepreneurship Center (ESEC), Salisbury University, and event partners the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Maryland Capital Enterprises (MCE), and Betamore.

“This event is a perfect launch for our co-working space,” says Mike Thielke, executive director of ESEC. “A co-working space taps into the impact community and teamwork creating new ideas and new businesses. The NASA Space Apps Challenge is also harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of citizen volunteers to solve problems, “ he adds.

“What sets apart the International Space Apps Challenge from other events is that this is a collaborative opportunity to engage people from all over the world to participate in space exploration and develop state-of-the-art technology to improve life on Earth and in space,” said Nick Skytland, program manager of NASA’s Open Innovation Program.

How it works

More than 50 challenges have been designed for this year’s event. Each event location will choose a subset of projects to help focus their teams. Challenges categories include: software; hardware’ citizen science; and data visualization. To view this year’s challenges visit: http://spaceappschallenge.org/challenges.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops, no computers will be provided. Wireless Internet with sufficient bandwidth and IP addresses will be available. We will be video/web streaming live online connection with other International Space Apps Challenge sites worldwide.

Winning project teams will be selected in areas such as best solution on a specific challenge, most creative solution, most social impact, etc. Two project teams will be selected for consideration in the NASA’s global judging process. Global awards will be announced two to three weeks after the event.

For more event information or to register, visit spaceappschallenge.org.

hotDesks, Tri-County Council Multi-Purpose Center, 31901 Tri-County Way, Salisbury, is Maryland Eastern Shore’s first co-working space. Co-working is a new style of working because it blends the flexibility of working from home with the social and professional benefits of being in a vibrant office. For hotDesks information call (410) 770-9330, info@hotDesks.org or twitter.com/hotDesksMD.