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IBM Calls for Code and Relief for Puerto Rico

By Chrissie Cluney

IBM has a new program offering relief efforts to aide Puerto Rico. The company is calling the initiative, “Call for Code.”  It is a global initiative created by David Clark Cause, who is IBM’s founding partner. The program addresses the devastation caused by fires, floods, hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. It benefits its charitable partners, which are the United Nations Human Rights and the American Red Cross.

The initiative aims to unite developers of technology to solve the world’s most pressing problems. The initiative was announced on May 24 and submissions opened in June. The Puerto Rico hackathon was August 3 and 4, when IBM executives traveled to Puerto Rico and to its largest co-working space, Engine-4.

New Enterprises Associates (NEA) is a partner affiliate with IBM. NEA was the official founding venture capital partner to this cause. The company has committed over $20 billion in capital. They hold a track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and innovations that have truly changed the world. NEA will extend the “Call for Code” into the startup and venture capital ecosystem. The global prizewinners will have the opportunity to pitch their solution to NEA for evaluation and feedback.

A call for the world's developers to use IBM's AI, cloud, blockchain and IoT to build solutions that mitigate the impact of natural disasters. The company is currently holding a hackathon challenge called, “Call for Code Challenge”. Interested developers can register for the challenge, which runs through September 28. After the hackathons are completed, IBM, along with a team of technology luminaries will judge the developers' ideas and choose semi-finalists. After the semi-finalists have been chosen, the judges will pick five finalists. The winner will be announced during an October benefit concert event in San Francisco.

“Typically in a two-day hackathon, regardless of geographic region, it is quite rare for individuals or teams to develop working products, but not in Puerto Rico! I was pleasantly surprised to see first-hand almost 100 percent of our participants construct working solutions in less than 48 hours. I can’t wait to see which projects will be submitted,” said Dr. Angel Diaz, VP, Developer Technology, Open Source & Advocacy, IBM.

The award winners will receive IP protection, the opportunity to present their solution to leading VCs and financial rewards. In addition, winning solutions will be deployed on the ground by IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, which supports communities most in need around the world. 


Chrissie Cluney has been a correspondent for IoT Evolution World since 2015. She holds a degree in English with a concentration in writing from the College of Saint Elizabeth.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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