Access Code Demo Day

December 8, 2015

This past Tuesday marked two important milestones for the iOS developers in our Access Code cohort.

First, they proudly shipped their first apps to the App Store.

🙌 🙌 🙌

Six weeks ago, our 29 students began the journey to build their own apps — features and design determined by their teams. Having committed tremendous time and energy over 6-months of technical and entrepreneurial training, these final projects represent the innovation and personalities of our diverse and talented developers.

Second, the developers showcased their apps at the Access Code Demo Day, hosted at the Google NYC headquarters in Chelsea, New York City. In front of a crowd of over 200 technologists, colleagues, family, and mentors, our developers spoke to their individual backgrounds, their pathways to falling in love with coding, and how C4Q empowered them to become part of the tech community.

Here’s a recap of the evening:

Introductions & Welcome

The evening kicked off with a warm welcome from Jonathan Rochelle — Director of Product Management at Google — who spoke to his experiences launching Google Spreadsheets, Docs, and other tools in the Google Apps suite.

C4Q founder Jukay Hsu spoke to our mission to empower people from every community and every background to learn to code, gain jobs in tech, and pursue entrepreneurship. The Access Code cohort demographics are representative of the inclusive tech community we aim to foster and the potential of NYC’s tech ecosystem.

Access Code Director Aliya Merali then explained the details of the program, its rigor, and its intensity. We had close to 600 applications for the Access Code iOS cohort, and selected 29 from them to go through the 9-month curriculum. Through lectures, projects, pair-programming and individual exercises, the developers gain hands-on experience in the fundamentals of object oriented programming and mobile app development.

The Apps

Eight teams presented their apps:

Zetron is a bluetooth connected multiplayer game, the next evolution of the childhood game of tag. The premise: the evil Zetron virus has landed on Earth, and one of your friends is infected! Run, jump, and join the chase in this awesome active game. Only the swift survive! Team members: Kaira, Natalia, Jamaal, and Dan. Mentor: Michael Vilabrera.

Uncharted helps you discover new music based on surroundings and location. Up to 80% of songs played across radio channels nationwide overlap — so Uncharted suggests new artists and songs depending on where you are and where you want to go. Innovative features include a “Shake to discover” option and the ability to create a personalized roadtrip playlist. Team members: Artur, Shena, Zoufishan, and Henna. Mentor: Jiaqi Liu.

Frame is a newsreader that provides users with analysis on the articles they read to prevent them from internalizing implicit bias. People want to be informed about the information they consume. With the help of Indico’s and Datumbox’s machine learning API, Frame visualizes the tone, objectivity, keywords, and political leanings of the articles users read. Team members: Lauren, Jovanny, and Bereket. Mentor: Sarah Scott.

SeekNYC is a fun way to discover places you haven’t visited in New York City’s five boroughs. Rather than focusing on places we already know like most geolocation based apps, SeekNYC helps disrupt our same old routines and uncover more of what the 5 boroughs have to offer. The app tracks where the user has been to uncover a map grid overlay, calculates the area of land the user has uncovered in each borough, and uses that information to suggest new places to visit! Team members: Christella, Felicia, and Justine. Mentor: Cameron Spickert.

Pencraft is a method of interactive, magnet based gameplay that revolutionizes the video game controller for smartphones. The magnetic controls are far superior to the traditional touch screen controls, are more responsive, and make you feel more immersed in the gameplay. Team members: Derek, Xiulan, Christian, and Chris. Mentor: Tanner Welsh.

BrainBit combines cutting edge augmented reality technology with tower defense game paradigm to create a fully immersive and interactive strategy game. Augmented reality uses computer vision algorithms and your phone camera to scan the world outside the phone and render a three-­dimensional computer image before your eyes on top of your existing environment. Protect your base by building defense towers to fight off the onslaught of zombies in the augmented reality gameboard! Team members: Jackie, Brian, Umar, and Elber. Mentor: Tom Elliott.

Neverlate lets you make a bet with a friend to be on time, and if you are late, you gotta pay your buddy! Create goals to be on time for events — also seeing how much it cost you to be late and putting money at stake will help motivate users to be on time. Team members: Charles, Ayuna, and Eric. Mentor: Dave Grandinetti.

Shoutout allows you to create shareable collaborative videos between you and your friends. You can use Shoutout to capture multiple perspectives for concerts, birthday wishes, and other situations where you want to combine experiences. Make an event, invite some friends, and then share! Team members: Diana, Mesfin, Jason, and Varindra. Mentors: James Chiang, Joshua Vickery, and Gabe Heafitz.


As part of the event we asked an esteemed group of leaders in tech to join us and share their real world industry expertise. Our panelists represented the audience as they asked questions following the team demos, providing valuable feedback and insight on the apps. Panelists included:

  • Cate Huston, Director of Mobile Engineering at Ride
  • Chris Hazlett, Senior Engineering Manager at LinkedIn
  • Charlie O’Donnell, Partner and Founder at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures
  • Marcos Torres, Managing Director of RBC Capital Markets
  • James Turnbull, CTO at Kickstarter

A few highlights from the panel:

I am absolutely blown away by the level of diversity in terms of your background, your dreams, your aspirations, but also just the way you all present and the intellectual firepower behind it, and the thoughtfulness. Hopefully, Charlie [O’Donnell] will give you some money.
— Marcos Torres

I‘ll be honest. I was a little let’s say nervous to see the presentations because I know what my first applications, the firs things that I made [were like]. I feel a little sheepish because they weren’t this nice.
— Chris Hazlett

The thing that I really loved about what I saw tonight was people composing different things in new ways… It’s really heartwarming to me to see people taking a very different perspective and coming up with wildly new ideas.
— Cate Huston

Thank you and congrats.

Congrats again to the 29 developers who committed tremendous time and energy to build the beautiful iOS apps presented at Demo Day.

Special thanks to the many hundreds of engineers, technologists, and entrepreneurs who volunteer their time to teach, mentor, and inspire our students.

Check out the full video of the evening:

Get involved

In addition to our amazing iOS cohort, we have talented 27 Android developers who are excited to join the tech community. Get in touch if your company is looking to hire a mobile developer.

We are a community-driven nonprofit that is powered by the efforts of hundreds of volunteers from the tech industry. If you are interested in volunteering your time, knowledge, and expertise, there are many ways to help us grow an inclusive tech community. From mentoring to teaching to giving a guest lecture on your area of expertise,