Publishing Hackathon

Announcing the First-Ever Book Publishing Hackathon

On May 18th, 200 developers, designers, and entrepreneurs came together
for 36 hours to experiment in an untapped vertical.

The six teams with the best projects were selected to advance to the finals where they presented their prototypes to leading VCs, top publishing executives, and tech experts at Book Expo America, the preeminent publishing event of 2013.

The winning team got $10,000 and a breakfast meeting to pitch an idea to Ari Emanuel, Co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor. The winner was selected at Book Expo America.

Why a Publishing Hackathon?

Book discovery needs innovation. It’s never been easier to get a book into a reader’s hands—just one click. But, with over 200,000 books published each year on every topic imaginable, how do people find out about them? There are fewer bookstores to help readers discover exciting new authors and ideas. There’s currently no digital experience that replicates the serendipity of browsing bookshelves. Recommendation engines are fairly primitive – they know what you bought, but they don’t know why. It’s a disruptive opportunity that hasn’t been explored.

Learn more about the challenges and see all the submissions on Challenge Post

Watch a video of the finale presentations.

View our press release

Have questions? Email us at: info@publishinghackathon.com

Brought to you by:


Congratulations to Our Grand Prize Winner: Evoke

Winners and Judges
Team Evoke poses with the judges.  Left to right: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh (judge), Douglas Rushkoff (judge), Stephen Evans (judge), Lisa Maione (Evoke), Jason Pearson (Evoke), Alexis Ohanian (judge), Jill Axline (Evoke), and David Steinberger (judge). Photo by Brad Balfour.
Learn more about Evoke.

Congratulations to Our Second Prize Winner: Captiv.

Christina Zou, Lucas Lemanowicz, Russell Huang, Dmitry Pyatin, Wei Yin, Kane Hsieh
The judges were so impressed with the level of innovation of all the finalists that they decided to 'hack the rules' because it was so difficult to choose just one winner. They spontaneously awarded a second place prize of $2,500—funded on the spot by William Morris Endeavor—to team Captiv's event-based solution of mining twitter posts to "bring you better book recommendations at the speed of life."

Congratulations to Our Finalists!

Click photo to view larger

Book City
(Vincent Trivett, Charlie Gaines, Nathan Gao)


A way to find books set in your travel destination.

Book City team

(Christina Zou, Lucas Lemanowicz, Russell Huang, Dmitry Pyatin, Wei Yin, Kane Hsieh)


An approach to mining events both global and personal to make better book recommendations.

Captiv team

(Dani Frankhauser and Chris Ciabarro)


A solution focused on the joy of browsing jackets.

Coverlist team

(Lisa Maione, Jason Pearson, Jill Axline)


A way to discover young adult literature through characters.

Evoke team

(Sage Wohns, Ahmed El Kholy, Marmina Abdelmalek, Tarek ElElaimy, Mohamed Altantawy)


An approach to making better book recommendations based on browsing history.

KooBrowser team

Library Atlas
(Michael del Castillo, Monica Katz, David Lau, Andrew Leung, Peter Rood, Aaron Siewert, Gabriel Troia)


A book discovery solution based on geolocation.

Library Atlas team

Congratulations to our API Winners!

Library Integration Challenge from NYPL - $1,000 was awarded to Visibrary (Sara Michener, Carrie Segal, Alessandra Nova, Iv Segal) for the best library discovery project or the best integration of library data.

Children's / Literacy Challenge from NYPL - $500 was awarded to the Evoke team (listed above) for the best project for children and adults that either (a) enables book discovery, (b) encourages a love of reading, or (c) facilitates literacy.

Moon & Rick Steves Travel Guides Discovery Challenge - $500 was awarded to BookCity (listed above) for the project that best promotes discovery books related to travel.

Manuscript to Metadata Challenge from PublicAffairs - $500 was awarded to Publy.io (Megha Gulati, Rajeev Gulati) for the best approach to improving metadata from the manuscript.

Pearson API Challenge - $250 was awarded to Evoke for the best use of either (or both) of Pearson’s APIs.


Cristina Alesci
Cristina Alesci
Owen Davis
Owen Davis
Managing Director, NYC Seed
Stephen Evans
Stephen Evans
Director, Silver Lake Partners
Joanna Stone Herman
Joanna Stone Herman
CEO, Librify
Rick Joyce
Rick Joyce
CMO, Perseus Books Group
Miwa Messer
Miwa Messer
Director of Discover Great New Writers, Barnes & Noble
Richard Nash
Richard Nash
VP of Community and Content, Small Demons
Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian
Co-founder, Reddit
Douglas Rushkoff
Douglas Rushkoff
Code Academy
David Steinberger
David Steinberger
CEO, Perseus Books Group
Ray Velez
Ray Velez
CTO, Razorfish
Ben Vershbow
Ben Vershbow
Manager, New York Public Library Labs
Jennifer Rudolph Walsh
Jennifer Rudolph Walsh
William Morris Endeavor
Randi Zuckerberg
Randi Zuckerberg
Founder & CEO, Zuckerberg Media

Cristina Alesci, Bloomberg

Cristina Alesci covers private equity and deal making for Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg News. Based in New York, she also contributes articles to Bloomberg Markets Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. Alesci broke news on the largest buyout deals of 2012 and interviewed some of the major dealmakers in private equity including Blackstone Group Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone Group President and COO Tony James, KKR co-Chairman and co-CEO Henry Kravis and Carlyle Group co-CEO David Rubenstein. Prior to joining Bloomberg L.P. in February 2009, Alesci worked at Pfizer Inc. in New York and at law firm Sidley Austin LLP.

Alesci is a graduate of the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism and earned her undergraduate degree from Pace University.

Stephen Evans, Director, Silver Lake Partners

Stephen Evans joined Silver Lake in 2008 and is a Director. Prior to joining Silver Lake, Mr. Evans was a Principal at Cognetas, a European mid-market private equity firm. At Cognetas, Mr. Evans focused on transactions across a variety of service sectors, including business services, information services, and construction and utility services. Previously, Mr. Evans spent five years at Bain & Company. In his time at Bain & Company, Mr. Evans advised clients in Europe and the US across a variety of industries and also spent two years in Bain's Private Equity group. Mr. Evans holds an M.A and an M.Phil from Cambridge University, and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.

Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder, Reddit

Alexis Ohanian is a startup founder and investor in Brooklyn, NY.

After graduating from UVA in 2005, Alexis and his co-founder Steve Huffman started reddit, now a top 100 website. Now a reddit board member, Alexis focuses on social enterprise Breadpig, publishing authors like xkcd and SMBC -- profits donated to worthy causes.

Alexis helped launch hipmunk and ran marketing/pr/community before becoming an advisor and joining the fight against SOPA & PIPA.

Alexis invests and advises over fifty tech startups. He's Y Combinator's Ambassador to the East, co-founder of the non-profit IHAS, and is writing a book, Without Your Permission.

Along the way, Alexis spoke at TED, volunteered in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow, and was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list two years in a row (and then turned 30). He proudly doodled the logos for all three of his startups and loves his cat, Karma.

David Steinberger, CEO, Perseus Books Group

David Steinberger is President and CEO of The Perseus Books Group whose mission is to enable independent publishers to reach their potential, whether those publishers are owned, joint ventures or clients served by the group.

During David Steinberger's tenure at Perseus, the company acquired four businesses, established multiple joint ventures with partners such as The Weinstein Company and The Daily Beast and launched numerous new business lines including Constellation which has developed into the industry's leading digital distribution and marketing service with more than 400 client publishers. When it was named Publisher of the Year, the Perseus Books Group was described by Publishers Weekly as “arguably the most important independent publishing company in the nation.”

Prior to joining Perseus, David Steinberger was part of the leadership team that transformed HarperCollins where he was President of the Adult Trade Group and President of Corporate Strategy and International. Prior to that, he was a management consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton where he specialized in assisting media and entertainment companies facing significant challenges. Prior to that, he held senior positions in New York City Government where he specialized in turning around organizations in trouble. As Deputy Commissioner for Bridges he played a major role in addressing the crisis facing New York City’s 848 bridges.

David Steinberger holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a BS from Columbia University.

Ray Velez, CTO, Razorfish

My passion for technology began when I wrote my first basic program on my Atari 800 — I’ve been hooked ever since. I studied computer science and philosophy at Boston University, looking to bring the answered and un-answered together, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to keep this mission alive through my work at Razorfish. The thing that keeps my job exciting is its fresh and ever-changing nature — a feature that I’ve always loved about the climate at Razorfish and the industry as a whole.

As the global chief technology officer for Razorfish, I manage the agency’s capabilities in Web technology strategy, architecture and development, overseeing all of the company’s technologists. A core part of this role involves looking to the community for collaboration, and I’m consistently amazed by technologies like good old message boards and wikis. (In fact, I was lucky enough to help Razorfish build our internal, award-winning Wiki.)

My professional experience has been in the application development lifecycle, from inception to rollout, working with clients ranging from Citibank, to Ford Motor Company, to the National Football League (NFL). Most recently, I was the startup CTO in Razorfish’s role as incubation partner for Bundle, a personal finance start-up. I also enjoy training and creating curriculums, and I recently led the development of the Razorfish Agile Process. I previously worked at Cambridge Technology Partners and Scient, and have been in the industry for close to 20 years.

Anything outdoors is my passion, whether it be biking, skiing or hiking with the family. Over the years I’ve enjoyed mountain bike and ski racing, and rode across Costa Rica in La Ruta de Los Conquistadores. I also find the DIY culture very inspiring — I’m looking forward to hacking some Arduino with my son someday soon.

Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, WME

WME Board Member Jennifer Rudolph Walsh sits at the helm of one of world’s leading entertainment and media companies. As Head of WME’s Worldwide Literary Department, Walsh steers the industry’s most prominent book business with the largest presence of any agency on the New York Times Best Seller List.

Throughout her years as an agent, Walsh has stewarded the careers of some of today’s most seminal literary lions. Walsh’s prestigious and best-selling client list includes authors Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle), Anita Shreve (The Pilot’s Wife), Kathy Reichs (the Bones series), Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café), Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In), Ken Burns (The National Parks), Marcus Buckingham (Now, Discover Your Strengths), Ethan Canin (America, America), Curtis Sittenfeld (American Wife), Amy Bloom (Away), Chris Matthews (Jack Kennedy), Sheila Bair (Bull By the Horns), Howard Schultz (Onward), Kathy Freston (Quantum Wellness), Jenny McCarthy (Bad Habits), Mark Danielewski (House of Leaves), Rich Cohen (Tough Jews), Rob Lowe (Stories I Only Tell My Friends), Ben Sherwood (The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud), Anne Rivers Siddons (Burnt Mountain), Portia de Rossi (Unbearable Lightness), Phil Jackson (The Last Season), Tom Clancy (Threat Vector) , and Phil Stutz & Barry Michels (The Tools). Recent signs include Oprah Winfrey, Brené Brown, Cameron Diaz, Dave Zinczenko, and Panache Desai.

The sole female member of WME’s board, Walsh is the chief architect behind the agency’s annual retreat and the creator of WME’s inaugural Women’s Summit. In addition to her company-wide responsibilities as a Board Member, Walsh also manages WME’s New York office, overseeing both the lecture and theater divisions.

Walsh joined the William Morris Agency in 2000 when it acquired The Writers Shop, of which she was Co-Owner and Co-President. In 2001, Walsh founded the prestigious New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award. She is also a board member of Room to Grow, a program that provides parenting support to impoverished families with young children. In 2012, Walsh was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from her alma mater Kenyon College, where she also sits on the Board of Directors. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three children.

Randi Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO, Zuckerberg Media

Randi Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, a newsletter and website helping us navigate and "untangle" our wired, wonderful lives. This fall, she will release her first books with HarperCollins, an adult non-fiction book also titled Dot Complicated, which addresses the multifaceted complications of our socially transparent world, and a children's picture book.

As an early executive at Facebook, Randi created and ran the social media pioneer's marketing programs. She led the company's U.S. election and international politics strategy and created Facebook's live streaming initiatives during the 2008 Presidential Inauguration.

Since starting Zuckerberg Media, Randi has produced shows and digital content for BeachMint, The Clinton Global Initiative, Cirque du Soleil, the United Nations, Conde Nast and Bravo.

Richard Nash, VP of Community and Content, Small Demons

Richard Nash is VP of Community and Content of Small Demons. He previously ran the iconic indie Soft Skull Press (for which work he was awarded the Association of American Publishers' Award for Creativity in Independent Publishing) and the insurgent publishing start-up Red Lemonade. Books he edited and published landed on bestseller lists from the Boston Globe to the Singapore Straits-Times; on Best of the Year lists from The Guardian to the Toronto Globe & Mail to the Los Angeles Times; Lydia Millet’s Love in Infant Monkeys was selected as a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist; and Vanessa Veselka's Zazen won the 2011 PEN Award for Best First Novel. In 2010 the Utne Reader named him one of Fifty Visionaries Changing Your World and Mashable.com picked him as the #1 Twitter User Changing the Shape of Publishing. He has spoken at universities, festivals, conferences and symposia around the world on the history and future of writing, reading and publishing.

Owen Davis, Managing Director, NYC Seed

Owen is currently Managing Director of NYC Seed, a seed stage venture capital fund in New York City. Owen has worked in all aspects of the online world, including work with early versions of AOL and MSN. He created one of the first 200 web sites on-line and founded Thinking Media in the summer of 1995, an online marketing firm which pioneered client-side tracking of pages and advertisements, which has become the standard method for online measurement. He co-founded Sonata in 1999, a wireless company that provided location-based services and marketing to cell phones. Owen also co-founded, Petal Computing, a firm that developed software which allowed large numbers of commodity PCs to act like a single unit, useful in industries ranging from image rendering to pharmaceuticals.

Owen is the author of various patents in Internet methods and technologies. He is also the author of the book Instant Java Applets, available from Ziff-Davis Press. He is an original member of the World Wide Web Artists Consortium, and served on that group's original board. He was also an original member of the Board setting online advertising and media specifications and has served as Managing Director of the Wireless Advertising Association. Owen was named various times as one of the 100 Top Internet Executives in New York by The Silicon Alley Reporter and most recently was named one of the 100 most influential people in Silicon Alley for 2008. He received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Douglas Rushkoff, Code Academy

Douglas Rushkoff is the author of the new book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now. He is a world renowned media theorist whose previous books, including Program or Be Programmed, Life Inc, and Media Virus, have won the Neil Postman Award, The Marshall McLuhan award, and international acclaim. He made the PBS Frontline documentaries Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and Digital Nation, and is a columnist for CNN.com. He also serves as digital literacy advocate for Codecademy.com

Miwa Messer, Director of Discover Great New Writers, Barnes & Noble

Miwa Messer is the Director of the Discover Great New Writers program at Barnes & Noble. She began her bookselling career with Waterstone’s in Boston and Chicago; stints as a publicist at Grove/Atlantic and as an event producer for B&N followed. She spends a lot of time reading on airplanes.

Rick Joyce, CMO, Perseus Books Group

Rick Joyce is the Chief Marketing Officer for the Perseus Books Group, and has been involved since 2004 in the growth and digital strategies for the company. Rick is one of the co-creators of Constellation, the one-stop digital solution for over 400 independent publishers, and serves on its Leadership Team. He was the force behind the BEA 2009 experiment known as Book: The Sequel crashing a book in all formats from the show floor, and the pioneering NY Times Bestseller and transmedia sensation Cathy’s Book: If Found, Call 650-266-8233. Rick has also been the producer of enhanced books and apps like JFK: 50 Days and Roots: The Enhanced Edition. He is a frequent speaker at industry events like BEA, Digital Book World, The Digital Minds Conference, Publishers Launch, and the London and Frankfurt book fairs.

Prior to Perseus, Rick was a strategy partner at Accenture, working in publishing, music, magazines and newspapers for clients like Simon & Schuster, Viacom, Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin, Tribune Corp, the AAP, Primedia, and Disney. Rick was VP of Strategy and Marketing at ASCAP, and a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton in their Media practice. Rick has a B.A. from Dartmouth College, and MBA from Columbia Business School and an MFA from the New School.

Ben Vershbow, Manager, New York Public Library Labs

Ben Vershbow is founder and manager of NYPL Labs, an in-house technology startup at The New York Public Library which has won awards for its inventive handling of archives and special collections online. Investigating what a public memory organization can be in the age of the network, Labs projects invite deep interaction with library materials, collaborating directly with users on the creation of new digital resources, data sets and tools. Before joining the library, Ben worked for four years with Bob Stein at the Institute for the Future of the Book, a Brooklyn-based think tank exploring the future of reading, writing and publishing.

Joanna Stone Herman, CEO, Librify

Matt Schaar, Founder, Brush Labs

Matt Schaar is the Founder of Brush Labs, a strategy consultancy working with startups and nonprofit organizations. Prior to its founding, Matt specialized in organizational strategy, topline revenue growth, strategic due diligence, and social impact while at the Boston Consulting Group, interacting with executive leadership across a multitude of industries. Matt also spent several years as an engineer at the Boeing Company and RollsRoyce plc, focusing on technical engineering services and new product development strategies. An avid traveler, Matt journeyed across all seven continents in an eighteenmonth span between 2009 and 2010. But whether running through Williamsburg, competing in triathlons, or secretly wishing he was at a Detroit Tigers game, he is excited to call New York City his adopted home.

Karl Pawlewicz, CEO, KPPR

Karl Pawlewicz is the current CEO of KPPR. He has more than 12 years of experience in tech PR and Marketing, having worked with companies from Verizon Wireless and Sharp to NYCbased startups. He's worked on both the agency side and inhouse and regularly counsels on media and brand strategy, as well as social media. Karl's a lifelong Detroit fan, plays soccer and kickball, and is happy to see the press release finally being put out to pasture.

Brett Mascavge, Eastmedia

Brett Mascavge is a Designer and frontend developer currently at Eastmedia. He specializes in mobile applications, websites and product design for a variety of clients large and small. He’s been a Space Apps Challenge 2013 local winner and global finalist for SpaceCalNYC, and developed an awardwinning platform for Bitcoin transactions, called Paywithbits, at TechCrunch Disrupt. He’s also an alumnus of the 2013 StartupBus.

Valerie Lisyansky, Queens College

Valerie Lisyansky channels her passion for team building and seamless user experience into her work in UX/UI design, product development, and digital strategy. A graduate of the Parsons School for Design, Valerie focuses her work on tech startup companies, working with key stakeholders and developers to bring an idea from product conception to rapid execution of a minimum viable product (MPV). Valerie is also an adjunct professor at Queens College, teaching multimedia design to aspiring undergraduates.

Jacek Grebski, Co-Founder, Exversion

Jacek Grebski is also a CoFounder of Exversion. Prior to Exversion, he was the Head of Marketing for CartoDB, an New Yorkbased company engaged in the cloud database and data visualization fields. He also created Spain's first global startup competition, and coFounded a seedstage funded company. In his free time he likes to write about entrepreneurship, processes, and company growth, and one day he'd like to drive from NYC to Tierra del Fuego in a yellow cab and film the entire thing.

Tal Flanchraych, Co-Founder, Exversion

Tal Flanchraych lives in New York City and is a cofounder of Exversion, a startup aggregating open data from around the web and making it accessible to developers. She also consults for startups in need of product and UX help. Previously, she founded Flywheel (formerly known as Cabulous), which is now one of the most popular taxi apps in the United States, and won the Grand Prize in the 2013 Foursquare Global Hackathon for fitness app GymShamer.

Aaron Holiday, Venture Capitalist & Startup Consultant

Aaron Holiday is a venture capitalist, startup consultant, and former programmer. Aaron is a Kauffman Fellowship Finalist, works part-time for a local NYC venture capital firm, and has worked with over 30 startup companies on business model formation, access to capital, and growth strategies. Aaron has an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Morehouse College, and an MBA from Cornell University. Aaron also spent 6 years on Wall Street building financial trading technology for Goldman Sachs and GFI Group.

Thor Ernstsson, Founder/CEO of Casual Corp

Thor Ernstsson, Founder/CEO of Casual Corp, a social product studio in NYC. He builds companies, either startups around domain experts or internal ventures with Fortune 100s. Previously CTO of Audax Health in DC and lead architect at Zynga.

Cody Musser, Vice President of Product, Librify

Cody Musser is Vice President of Product at Librify. Prior to Librify he was among the product team that created and launched Bookish, the book discovery destination and recommendation engine funded by leading publishers Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group (USA) and Simon & Schuster. He's also the founder of GrubSpy and Trivial Hirsute, providing social media management and events for local NYC restaurants.

Sponsors & API Partners


Sat, May 18
  9:00 AM | Breakfast + Registration
10:00 AM | Welcome, overview of day
10:15 AM | Publishing Panel                         Presentations
11:00 AM | API Presentations
11:30 AM | 60-second pitches from hackers
                       (team formation)
11:45 AM | Hacking begins
12:30 PM | Lunch
  6:30 PM | Dinner
Sun, May 19
  9:30 AM | Breakfast
11:00 AM | Submission Deadline
12:00 PM | Lunch
  1:30 PM | Demos
  4:15 PM | API Awards & Finalists Announced
  4:30 PM | Closing Remarks

2-week fine-tuning period, contact with publishing industry mentors.
Fri, May 31
@ Book Expo America, Javits Center
12:00 PM | Set up
12:30 PM | Hack Demo Stations & Mingling                         with BEA Attendees
  1:00 PM | Panel - Publishing Start-ups:
                        Navigating from early-stage
                        investing to successful exit
  3:00 PM | Hack Demos on Stage
  4:00 PM | Judging Begins
  4:30 PM | Judging Ends
  4:45 PM | Awards & Party
Thor Ernstsson
Thor Ernstsson
Founder/CEO, Casual Corp
Tal Flanchraych
Tal Flanchraych
Co-Founder, Exversion
Jacek Grebski
Jacek Grebski
Co-Founder, Exversion
Aaron Holiday
Aaron Holiday
Venture Capitalist & Startup Consultant
Valerie Lisyansky
Valerie Lisyansky
Queens College
Brett Mascavge
Brett Mascavge
Cody Musser
Cody Musser
Vice President of Product, Librify
Karl Pawlewicz
Karl Pawlewicz
Matt Schaar
Matt Schaar
Founder, Brush Labs

Evoke empowers readers and characters to find each other.
Let us introduce you.

Evoke logoEvoke was developed by a team of three – entrepreneur and social scientist Jill Axline, developer and entrepreneur Lisa Maione, and coder Jason Pearson.   “The way to a story’s heart is through its characters,” said team member Jill Axline in describing their solution, “and despite the importance of characters to our enjoyment of stories, they are not currently central to the way we discover books online.  So we created Evoke to be a platform that empowers characters and readers to find each other online.  Evoke is the first platform to humanize online discovery and allow readers to find new characters based on ones they already know and love.”

The members of Evoke actually met each other for the first time and formed up as a team at the Publishing Hackathon.  Said Evoke team member Lisa Maione “I came to the Publishing Hackathon and Jill happened to be sitting in front of me and we started chatting, and ended up spending two or three hours talking about books and our relationships with books—why we had read certain books, and what it is to love a book.”  Added Axline “We thought a lot of what it means to love a book has to do with your relationship with a character--that’s at the core of what you describe when recommending a book to a friend. When we talked about our favorite books, we really found that pattern repeating.  When we talked to Jason about our idea, he got it in two seconds flat and was ready to start building.”

You can follow their progress at  www.evoke.io  

Jill Axline is a Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University in the Department of Communication.  Jill’s academic work focuses on the emotional and cognitive processing of mediated characters in books and film. Off the clock…she’s a confirmed book addict, with a mighty penchant for brazenly immodest anti-heroes.

Lisa Maione is a designer, educator, and optimist based in Brooklyn. In her design practice, Lisa works with a variety of clients in the arts, architecture, media, and education, and strives to design engaging visuals, tools, environments, and interactions at all scales of communication. She received a BFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design.

Jason Pearson is an ultra-marathoner, volunteer teacher, and full stack developer.  When he finished undergrad, he started working as a developer while teaching senior undergrads at New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Jason moved to NYC two years ago and has been rocking it out at startups & hackathons ever since.  Inspired by Hackers, he’s made his commute rollerblading through Central Park.  He very strongly believes in life-long learning and wants to dedicate himself to bettering the human race through education.  He currently loves building Play! Scala + Angular.js apps.