Local Challenges Inspire Student Teams at Interdisciplinary Hackathon

Innovation through Collaboration

Student teams aim to solve local challenges in transportation.

DCR was proud to sponsor, mentor and judge the 5th Annual Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Camp PolyHacks hackathon – which took place January 21-22, 2023 at the CIE Hothouse in Downtown SLO.

One of the event organizers goes over the agenda of the day.

Camp PolyHacks is a student-run, multidisciplinary hackathon dedicated to social entrepreneurship and human-centered design. (source)

Teams are allotted 24 hours to design a creative solution to one of several themed prompts. This year, one of the themes was all about local transportation and infrastructure!

During a pre-Hackathon orientation, DCR Partner David Figueroa collaborated with Cal Poly Professor Dr. Anurag Pande and SLOCOG Regional Transportation Planner John DiNunzio to present and describe the state of local and global transit – asking teams to focus on the challenges and opportunities related to transportation and mobility in the SLO region.

David also had the opportunity to serve as a mentor for participants and a judge on the panel. After the event, he shared his thoughts on what he experienced:

Over half of the teams chose to focus on transportation solutions, several specifically addressing public transit – which was great to see.
In all, there were some overlapping solutions, but I don’t see this as a lack of creativity – I think this reveals real issues and gaps that students want to see solved.


Fun fact: Our very own Linnéa Landgren (Graphic Designer at DCR) competed in Camp PolyHacks 2019 and received first place honors with her team, Quokka. They pitched an app that helps people with limited mobility request support as they navigate public spaces and retail environments. We think that’s pretty cool!