October 14, 2011
Contact: Amy Hewes
Cal Poly Engineering
Planning a garden party? In the future, rain won't put a damper on your event, thanks to a little plugin called Weather Checker.
The program is the brain storm of Tony Casparro (B.S., Computer Engineering, 2005). Weather Checker was his winning entry in the TechCrunch Hackathon at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco last September.
Sponsored by companies such as Ford, IBM, and Weather Underground, the Hackathon gives contestants 18 hours to develop a small program idea. Winners receive prizes and get exposure to potential investors.
Casparro, a two-time Hackathon winner, said that the contest is a great way to meet other engineers and generate new ideas. "It spurs innovation; the purpose, ultimately, is to build awesome new companies," he said.
Innovation and entrepreneurship come naturally to Casparro - he's been launching companies ever since high school. He founded Formfonts (www.formfonts.com) with Fred Abler (B.S., Architecture, 1991) after graduating from Cal Poly. The site provides architects with 3D models they use in designs. WorthMonkey (www.worthmonkey.com/) is Casparro's newest venture - it helps buyers and sellers determine the value of used electronic devices.
"Even when I came to college as a freshman, I wasn't planning to work for other companies," Casparro noted. "Cal Poly gave me the knowledge and honed my Learn by Doing skills so that I can start my own companies and make jobs."Read more about Casparro in EE Tech News