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Three teams earn top prizes in inaugural {OpenBracket coding competition

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Photo by Ron Dubick.

WILMINGTON — More than 150 people answered the challenge at the inaugural {OpenBracket coding competition at the Grand Opera House last weekend, and the winners took home more than $20,000 in prize money.

The problem sets or challenges were unveiled Friday night, and competitors met face-to-face and formed teams.

According to event partner Technical.ly Delaware, Target Marketing Group won the first-place prize of $15,000. Group members included Demi Guo from Harvard University, Tiancheng Lou from Google, and Calvin Lee and Yan Liu from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

They were challenged to create a tool to help small retail businesses choose expansion locations with the help of open data, according to Technical.ly officials.

The second-place prize of $3,000 went to the team tasked creating a tool to recommend nearby events for community members. Team members included Scott Wu of Harvard University, and Andrew He, Steven Hao and Akshat Bubna, all from MIT.

The third and final prize of $2,000 went to team members Yinzhan Xu, Haoran Xu, Richard Peng and Mark Gordon, who tackled the same challenge as Target Marketing Group.

The weekend event was the second phase of a coding competition that launched in October on HackerRank.com, the global leader in online code assessments. More than 7,000 people attempted the assessment, only 3,000 qualified to continue and only 150 competitors competed in the finals.

Barclaycard won the sponsor competition at OpenBracket.

“We’re using new technologies and new approaches of interaction toward customers that require high-end development and engineering talent,” said Stewart Holmes, head of change and technology at Barclaycard. “We’ve chosen to do that here in Wilmington, and finding and encouraging that talent here is something we’re committed to and interested in.”

Other event sponsors included Chatham Financial, JPMorgan Chase, Christiana Care Health System, Capital One, and others. The event was organized by local stakeholders, chaired by local investor Ben duPont and included representatives of Zip Code Wilmington, The Kitchen and Technical.ly.

{OpenBracket is a part of a growing effort to celebrate Wilmington, Delaware and its thriving tech community.

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