RZRblock Hackathon

November 8-9, 2019

A huge congratulations to all who participated in the 2019 RZRblock Hackathon!

And especially to the winning teams listed below. Thank you to all the corporate sponsors, mentors, judges, faculty, staff, and volunteers who made this weekend possible.

1st Place: Beta Alpha Psi 
2nd Place: The Consensuses
3rd Place: 404-Not Found

2019 Sponsors

Meet the Judges

David Ferguson

David Ferguson

Sr. Director Risk Intelligence, Global Security at Walmart

He leads the development and implementation of global systems and technology solutions, as well as initiatives for data infrastructure, data trust and advanced analytics to support risk reduction and improved program effectiveness.

Phu Styles

Phu Styles

Founder of Women in Blockchain Foundation, CEO of Blockchain PR, Co-Founder of Startup Villas, and a Venture Partner

She is currently listed on the 2019 Top 100 Blockchain Influencers list and sought after Speaker. She is also an Advisor for several companies including Serve, Vezt, Snowball, HK EOS, & Blockchain at the University of California, Irvine.

Bjorn Simmons

Bjorn Simmons

Chief Strategy Officer at Wyzerr

He is a venture catalyst, serial entrepreneur, and champion for inclusive innovation. He currently serves as the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Venture Noire, a venture studio working across the country to build ecosystems for entrepreneurs of color providing the tools, community, and access to the capital they need to succeed in today’s digital economy.

Jeff McDonald

Jeff McDonald

Co-founder of the NEM Foundation

He has been a blockchain enthusiast since 2013 and an advocate for blockchains to be used not only as a ledger for financial transactions but also as a security solution for all valuable data. As the inventor of the Apostille protocol on NEM and the Co-founder of LuxTag, a company that has delivered advanced document notarization, supply chain, and non-fungible tokenization solutions, he further champions expanding the boundaries of the blockchain beyond its original incarnation and limits.

Shannon Gordon

Shannon Gordon

Audit Staff at Ernst and Young

She completed her undergraduate degrees at the University of Arkansas in Accounting, Finance, and Information System. She then completed her graduate degree in MIS with a Blockchain Concentration and was also a member of the 2018 Blockchain Hackathon winning team.

Brett Amerine

Brett Amerine

Chairman & Founder at Startup Junkie Foundation, Managing Director at Startup Junkie Consulting, and Co-Founder & General Partner, Cadron Capital Partners

Entrepreneurial support organization leader, venture investor, cryptocurrency investor, and investor in a variety of assets.

Meet the Mentors

Sokear Manithong

Sokear is an Application Support Analyst II at USA Truck. She is a Professional MIS graduate, Class of 2018. Her interests include Data and Analytics. 

Lane Black

A UofA MIS Graduate and Inaugural Blockchain Hackathon team winner, Lane currently leads initiatives related to continuous user feedback, analytics, & insights across enterprise applications & services at Walmart.

Marla Johnson

As CEO and Co-Founder of Aristotle, Inc., Marla Johnson spent over 20 years deploying pioneering and award-winning work in Internet marketing, application development, data design, and digital media. In 2017, Marla funneled her passion for transformative technology into Smart Media, LLC, her Bentonville, Arkansas marketing and media consulting firm, and two tech start-ups of which she is Co-Founder: Blockchain Ready Studio and Cobbler Technologies. She is a member of the national Blockchain of Foodservice 2020 Advisory Board and an Adjunct Professor of Marketing in the College of Business at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Jordan Carlisle

Jordan Carlisle was born in Little Rock, Arkansas and graduated from University of Missouri with a Dual Degree in International Business Management and Chinese. He founded Arkansas startup weekends, as well as helped start the Arkansas Venture Center and 1 Million Cups before starting his own software company, Strengthen. He began investing in cryptocurrencies in 2013, founded a decentralized application called Patreos and grew his knowledge in blockchain by studying companies building emerging technologies. Jordan is currently the Vice President of Economic Development at the Bentonville Chamber of Commerce, leading up Northwest Arkansas Tech Summit and studying data science at Lamba School.

Manivannan Murugesan

Manivannan participated in 2018 Blockchain Hackathon and that was a super fun day. He got very good exposure, hands on and training on Blockchain. As a team, we learnt a lot and was able to create working solutions for Digital Identity solution using Ethereum and Hyperledger Composer for State Govt of Arkansas. He is an alumni of the U of A and super excited to be part of the Hackathon. He is a software engineer with 10 plus years of IT experience and graduated from the MIS program in Walton School of Business in May 2019. He currently works for Walmart as an Integration Technical lead.

Dr. Justin Zhan

Justin Zhan is an ARA Scholar and professor of data science at the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He is also a professor at the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. His research interests include data science, biomedical informatics, artificial intelligence, information assurance, and social computing. He was a steering chair of the IEEE International Conference on Social Computing (SocialCom), IEEE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust (PASSAT), and IEEE International Conference on BioMedical Computing (BioMedCom).

Kaleb Futch

Kaleb graduated from the University of Arkansas with a master’s degree in Information Systems with a concentration in blockchain technology and enterprise development in 2018. Since, he has worked as a developer for the university’s Global Campus unit. His focus includes developing applications to aid in the delivery and improvement of higher education materials ranging from student-centric initiatives to non-credit and certification offerings. Kaleb participated in the first-ever Blockchain Hackathon at the UofA in 2017 and considers blockchain technology to be an area of strong potential growth for higher education and business worldwide.

Ken Hubbell

For over 20 years as Founder and President of Ken Hubbell & Associates and ActionCraft Company, Ken has worked with various entities to (1) visualize ecosystems, (2) build strategic consensus around emerging business models, and (3) accelerate system-wide impact and sustainability. In 2018, after helping produce the Blockchain for Arkansas Summit, he co-founded Blockchain Ready Studio. Blockchain Ready Studio successfully led the effort to get Smart Contract legislation passed into law in Arkansas in 2019. He is a member of the national Blockchain of Foodservice 2020 Advisory Board.

Jennifer Bitando

Jennifer is a 2019 UofA Graduate of Information Systems. She is currently working at Walmart as a Product Manager for International Technology. She loves to travel and has been to the 7 wonders of the world and all 50 states.

Colin Shaw

Colin does a lot of work in data science, statistics, machine learning and deep learning across a wide range of problems in a diverse range of fields. My key area of interest is deep learning applied to metric-based image analysis. He leads teams and develops strategies to achieve success with data science and machine learning in organizations.

Karen Watts DiCicco

Karen is the Digital & IT Innovation Manager for Division of Agriculture. Karen is responsible for the identification and development of new and emerging technologies and how to integrate them into existing applications. Karen also travels and participates in Hackathons across the United States.

Karen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Science and Data Science Graduate Certificate from University of Arkansas at Little Rock and will graduate with Master of Science in Information Science in December.

Dr. Daniel Conway

Professor Conway is Associate Director for the Blockchain Center of Excellence. He previously served on faculty at Notre Dame, Indiana University, Northwestern, Iowa, Virginia Tech, Florida and South Florida teaching topics from Analytics, Data Science, and Digital Transformation. He was the first professor in residence at Cisco Systems and has decades of consulting experience in analytics and artificial intelligence. He currently focuses on blockchain and digital transformation.

Satoko Kato

Satoko Kato is General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of NewRoad Capital Partners, an early-stage growth equity firm located in Rogers, Arkansas. Prior to joining NewRoad, Satoko was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law where she taught international business transactions and corporate drafting in the J.D. program, and federal regulations of food labeling and food safety in the Masters of Law (LL.M.) program in Agricultural and Food Law. Satoko graduated from Georgetown University Law Center (J.D.) and Sophia University (LL.B.) in Tokyo, Japan.

Dr. Zach Steelman

He is currently teaching blockchain technologies in graduate courses focusing on developing, integrating, and managing blockchains in the organization with collaboration from IBM and utilizing the University hosted IBM z13 mainframe. He is serving as an Associate Editor for the “Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and Distributed Business Models” track at ICIS 2018. In April 2018, he provided blockchain workshops at the University of Arkansas Blockchain Conference which is supported by the Blockchain Center of Excellence. He is currently working on multiple blockchain projects and initiatives with colleagues and PhD students utilizing design science, econometrics, case-studies, and survey-based research.

Francis Hwang

Blockchain and Crypto Entrepreneur

Corey Breeding

Corey is a recent UofA MIS Graduate and 2018 Blockchain Hackathon participant. Professionally, he serves as a District Manager for Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Storage Division.

Jay Davidson

As a founding member of the U of A Blockchain Center of Excellence Jay has been with use since our first hackathon severing as both mentor and judge. Jay is currently the CTO at Orion Global and a technology evangelist with a passion for collaboration across disciplines to translate technology into business value.

Karthik Selvaraj

Merchandising Analytics & Process Optimization at Walmart