HudsonAlpha hosts inaugural Tech Challenge

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- HudsonAlpha hosted their first ever Tech Challenge Saturday. The unique event introduces the coding community and students to genomics, genetics and the future of biotechnology.

Vice-President for Economic Development Carter Wells said they're excited about it because the work they do at HudsonAlpha in biology is heavily dependent on the tech-side of things.

"Here in this community of tremendous computer science know-how and technical expertise, we want to start making sure we marry those in even a stronger way than they have been before," he said.

Wells said the Tech Challenge was a natural fit to reach out to the high school crowd and bring them in. Of the other companies and non-profit side in HudsonAlpha, he said, "They need this type of talent, and so one of the goals from the HudsonAlpha side is to make sure that we're able to start generating more of a workforce locally and regionally."

One such rising star is 12th grader Georgiana Wright. She was interested in the design aspect of what HudsonAlpha's Tech Challenge offers.

"I like deadlines, deadlines push me to do stuff. When I don't have a deadline I just float around, so having the pressure of a hackathon just really drew me in," she explained.

Wright said she was surprised to see so many other students taking part, but she's excited for those new to it.

"A lot of students have a tendency to think that they're not skilled enough for a hackathon, and I'm really happy that others are going into it," Wright said.

There is an awards ceremony at 6 p.m. on Sunday, where a total of $5,000 is up for grabs. Winners will be presented with a check.