Student Business Incubator and AppTruck Hosts Hack-a-thon

By Debbie Ann Shaw, Business Administration 12’ 

AppTruck, an online marketplace that helps users buy and sell programs, apps and software around the world, hosted a Hack-a-thon on Saturday February 16, 2013 at Florida Tech. This joint event was co-hosted by the Nathan M. Bisk Student Business Incubator to benefit The Master’s Workshop, a local charity. As a Florida Tech College of Business alumna and vice president for AppTruck, I thought that Florida Tech’s new Student Business Incubator would be the perfect place to collaborate on ways to help The Master’s Workshop.
The goal of the Florida Tech Student Business Incubator is to combine the experience of highly innovative engineering students with the knowledge of process-driven business students, highly qualified business mentors and venture capitalists to create outstanding revenue-producing businesses.

The Florida Tech Student Business Incubator was launched by Dr. Scott Benjamin in response to political discussions about creating jobs and stimulating new business growth. Dr. Benjamin, who serves as the director for the Center for New Business Development, has been a serial entrepreneur for 20 years. He started and owned a medical consulting company, a real estate development company and several successful restaurants. He returned to academia with a mission to change the way entrepreneurial education is taught at the university level.

Working inside the Student Business Incubator

I signed up for the Student Business Incubator and connected with Dr. Benjamin with my AppTruck partner, Dante. We meet every week to discuss how to start up a business and network with other student start-ups. The Master’s Workshop was the ideal non-profit to help through a collaborative Hackathon event because they are local and have a shared passion for furthering education.

The Master’s Workshop helps educate at-risk youth with after-school programs in Brevard County. Ms. Janet Marks, founder of The Master’s Workshop, needed help creating a website to build awareness for her charity and generate funding. That is where the Hackathon came in.

The Hackathon brought together coders from Florida Tech and the community to help The Master’s Workshop build an effective and aesthetically pleasing website. The day started with a presentation by Ms. Marks about her vision for the charity. After the presentation, the coders got into teams and started brainstorming the layout, content and design of the website. As the Hackathon came to an end, the coders finalized the design and received prizes for helping and attending the event.

The Master’s Workshop owner, Ms. Janet Marks, working her young students.

Ms. Marks was very pleased with the website and grateful to everyone who came out to support this event and her charity. Dante and myself hope to create more hackathon events for charities in the future and bring together technology and social good.

“AppTruck’s Hackathon was a great opportunity for the students and community to learn what our non-profit is, have fun, win prizes and create something great for a good cause.” said Ms. Marks.

If you are interested in learning more about my company, Apptruck, email me at

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