Econofy. Before you buy, econofy.

January 27, 2012 in Efficiency

Econofy is a web application that helps online shoppers find efficient products and determine how much the shoppers would save by replacing an existing product with a more efficient one.

Econofy displays popular Amazon products and pulls the EnergyStar ratings data for the items (using the APIs from both sites) and then provides a “comparison ROI calculator”.

Ok, let’s be honest.  The website is in beta and the concept is great but the functionality and design of the application are not particularly impressive.

What IS exciting is that Econofy was created in one single weekend – at the second official Cleanweb Hackathon held in New York City last weekend (Jan 20-22).

A hack-a-what?  A hackathon is a competition targeted towards developers and designers to come up with new applications/software/websites in a limited amount of time.  And generally pizza and beer is involved.  Hackathons are extremely efficient in producing a plethora of ideas in a short amount of time.  A major win-win situation.  The hackers get to do what they love best – program – in a collaborative and funky environment with other like-minded geeks.  The sponsors, with little investment, get access to a wide variety of ideas.  And potential new hires.

The Cleanweb Hackathon was a gathering of about 100 developers dedicated to creating apps that address “resource constraints”.  with an impressive panel of judges including venture capitalists, the NYC Chief Digital Officer, and the US Chief Technology Officer.  The event went from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon with a loaded schedule (and plenty of food breaks).  The prizes are not entirely clear but it seems that the best team received at minima one week of training, workshops, and consultations from Greenstart, an energy and IT startup accelerator, to turn the hack into a real company.

By the way, Econofy was the overall winner.  Right on.

Which means we’ll hopefully be seeing some improvements on the website in upcoming weeks.  Especially if the Econofy folks do the Greenstart Accelerator Week.