The 2019 Fargo Hackathon brought together professionals, students, and everyone in between to the Prairie Den on October 5th and 6th to create something special. In just 24 hours, 7 teams of developers, designers and data scientists spent the weekend digging into data sets to create a technology-based solution to help solve an issue surrounding this year’s theme, “Behavioral and Mental Health”. 


First Lady Kathryn Burgum, joined by North Dakota’s Governor, Doug Burgum, kicked off the event with a keynote presentation. The First Lady spoke about her journey and how she’s currently working to increase awareness of mental health. Her work with her initiative, Recovery Reinvented, was the inspiration for this year’s theme. 

First Lady Kathryn Burgum and Governor Burgum speak to 2019 Fargo Hackathon participants.

The weekend was productive by all accounts and at the end of the 24 hours, four teams presented their software projects to 3 judges. The first-place team worked the entire weekend to create something unique using technology released only weeks ago. The team consisting of Daniel Dantus, Jordan Nelson, Matthew Zent, and Colton Lathrop, created an app called My Hero. 


Their idea focused on connecting people and putting a smile on their faces. The app has two sides of users; a volunteer that is willing to be a Hero, and someone who wants to meet a Hero. These Heroes can be anyone from firefighters, construction workers, or simply someone who wants to help. Those looking for a Hero simply sign up for the app, select the specifications they’d like their Hero to match, and the app connects the Heroes that meet those wants. 


The team deployed its website and database to Azure, a cloud computing software created by Microsoft for building, testing, and managing applications and services. This allowed them the flexibility to host their app as locally or remotely as they wished. It also allowed the site to be mobile adaptable. 

First Place Team ‘My Hero’ stands with the judges (three on the left) and 2019 host Blaine Booher (far right).

Second place – Anel Drocic and Adrian Aleixandre


Third Place – Noah Case, Trevor Schmidt, and Noah Shottler 


Thanks to all the teams who participated in the 2019 Fargo Hackathon! You can check out this link to learn more about the competition itself, and this link to take a look at the photos from the weekend! The event was sponsored by AT&T, 702 Communications, Emerging Prairie, and the Emerging Academy.

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Andrew Parsons

Andrew is the Marketing Manager at Emerging Prairie. He has a heavy focus on social media, email marketing, and content creation.