UC Riverside Victorious in GEICO’s First Hacktivates Hackathon

CHEVY CHASE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#IT--A team from the University of California, Riverside won the inaugural GEICO Hacktivates Hackathon after competing against teams from three other schools—Indiana University (IU), University of Maryland and Rochester Institute of Technology—in a bracket-based contest of tech skills and ingenuity.

Over the course of two weekends, the teams fostered a spirit of intercollegiate competition as they were tasked with creating chatbots able to provide users with personalized entertainment recommendations. After the first-round, UC Riverside and IU advanced to the finals, where judges gave the edge to the UC Riverside team of William Shiao, Aditya Acharya, Eric Ong and John Shin. Each member of the winning team received a monetary prize of $850.

“The judges were very impressed with the way the teams approached the challenge and the technologies they used. It was a close competition,” said Ted Robey, GEICO Director of IT Talent and Leadership Development.

From its award-winning mobile app to its innovative Center of Excellence, GEICO is being recognized for the groundbreaking tech it is developing to better serve its customers. With initiatives like the Hacktivates Hackathon, GEICO aims to support student technologists while also exposing them to the many IT career options at the company.

“Every day at GEICO, we are developing and improving technologies that are redefining insurance,” Robey said. “GEICO is a place where quick-thinking, creative technologists like the Hackathon competitors can grow and thrive.”

To learn more about IT career opportunities at GEICO, go to


GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles. For more than 80 years, the company has worked to make people’s lives better by protecting policyholders against unexpected events. As GEICO has grown, it has delivered money-saving coverage and outstanding customer service to policyholders through its investment in human resources and technology. GEICO is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies.

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