Home Companies GoFish! KnowFish Wins Hack & Up for Global Prize

GoFish! KnowFish Wins Hack & Up for Global Prize

by Carey Tucker

The State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships threw a Fishackathon the weekend before World Oceans Day (June 8) to address Illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. The event was held in 12 cities around the world, and took place locally at the Georgia Aquarium.

After spending several hours reading and discussing the problem statements provided (fisheries management, conservation, aquaculture and traceability), a group of Atlanta-based developers created KnowFish, an app that focuses on fisheries management and ocean conservation. “It’s difficult for fishers and inspectors to know every location’s fish species, laws and regulations,” say the KnowFish team. “It can also be difficult to quickly and accurately report catches or illegal fishing activity. The KnowFish mobile app displays fish species, laws and regulations based on the user’s detected location. We hope to improve compliance and regulatory efforts by providing easier access to this valuable information.”

The KnowFish team, led by Liz King, J.R. Rickerson, Gene Chorba, and Greg Phillips, won the Atlanta competition and are now competing against 11 other winners for the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Award. “Right now, our team is focused on encouraging our families, friends and fellow Georgians to support us by voting for our Fishackathon submission on our ChallengePost page,” assert the team. “Winning the Fishackathon Grand Prize or People’s Choice Award will give our team the opportunity to meet with sponsors and partners that support sustainable fishing efforts. With guidance from industry experts and proper funding, our team is confident that our app can make a difference in the fight against illegal fishing.”

Meet the team


Liz M. King

What is your current role? (Your day job)
I handle digital communications strategy and implementation at The Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants. I create and curate content for the Society’s 10 Interest Community e-newsletters and web pages. I also serve as a web editor and manage the Society’s social media presence on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Plus.

What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
Recently, I worked on a site development team to redesign the Society’s website. In my role, I assisted with site structure, content analysis, and edited master page files in HTML and CSS.

For the past nine years, I’ve worked as a freelancer on various websites for privately owned, small businesses. Last fall, I completed Emory University’s Web Design and Web Development certificate programs. For my capstone, I created a website for Antiques and Clocks of Sandy Springs. I’m looking forward to getting more involved in Atlanta’s tech scene. I’m passionate about technology and how it can be used to improve people’s lives and the environment. The 2015 Fishackathon was the first hackathon I’ve attended, and it’s been an incredible experience.

What are your best technical or creative skills?
I’ve found that my best strengths lie in my ability to transform information into engaging content through the use of digital tools. I enjoy combining my front-end development skills with my background in journalism to help people communicate their stories digitally.

For the past year, I’ve been working on a new video interview series for the accounting industry. The series impelled me to learn more about Premiere Pro and After Effects, and in turn, I was able to use my new knowledge to create our KnowFish app video.

JR Rickerson

What is your current role? (Your day job)
I run my own software development and consulting shop, Red Rivet Studios, Inc. I’ve been in business for about 5 years now. I do the majority of the software development for my customers, and subcontract designers, operations staff, and additional developers as needed per project.

What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
Before I started my own company, I worked mainly for startup companies. As a consultant, I’ve gotten the chance to work with more as well. Here are a few that I’ve worked with:

Multicast Media (acquired by KIT Digital Media / Piksel) / Atlanta, GA / Software Developer
Nexidia, Inc. / Atlanta, GA / Software Developer
Rover Apps (acquired by Kaseya, Inc) / Atlanta, GA / Software Consultant
GoBotany (NSF funded grant project) / Framingham, MA / Software Consultant
Outstanding Guides (education startup) / Douglasville, GA / Software Consultant

In each of these opportunities, I’ve enjoyed taking on the role of both actually writing code and assisting these startups and projects with choosing a technical architecture and direction for future work. With Outstanding Guides, I especially enjoyed being able to provide a brand new startup company, made up of a group of middle school and high school teachers, with a software platform within their budget that would allow them to sell their educational products.

What are your best technical or creative skills?
Actually, developing software is my passion. I’ve always enjoyed building useful things for people. I enjoy using a variety of tools, and have written software in many languages, including C++, C#, and more recently, Python. I’ve also been told I have a knack for explaining technical concepts to people less familiar with technology, so I definitely find that skill very useful in my career. These skills also serve me well in my role as one of the organizers of the Python Atlanta Meetup, and as the founder and organizer of the Smyrna Technology Initiative.

Gene Chorba

What is your current role? (Your day job)
Senior computer science major at Georgia State University.

What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
I’ve won the following hackathons:

WhatSnap?: Summer Jam 2015, (Atlanta, GA), Developer/Designer
Team Gesture: AT&T Hackathon Atlanta, (Atlanta, GA), Developer/Designer
Bull Run: Goodie Hack 2015, (Atlanta, GA), Developer/Designer
Emergency Delivery Service: The Weather Channel & Google Maps “Storm the Road: Hackathon for Safety,” (Atlanta, GA), Developer/Designer
HealthyFit: VandyHacks 2015, (Nashville, TN), Developer/Designer
Be the DJ: Bitcamp 2015, (College Park, Maryland), Developer/Designer
Crowd Playsports: Sports Illustrated Data Hackathon, (New York, NY), Developer/Designer
Nickels and Dimes: HopHacks 2015, (Baltimore, MD), Developer/Designer
GSA Reporting: U.S. General Services Administration Digital Innovation Hack-a-thon, (Washington, DC), Developer/Designer

What are your best technical or creative skills?
Rapid prototyping of a project. Pivoting during a project to take a different direction. Developing winning ideas.

Greg F. Phillips

What is your current role? (Your day job)
Art of FITZ: Freelance graphic design and digital consulting for print, and a little web development here and there. I use my pseudonym from when I was working more in the visual arts. Fitzgerald is my middle name, and I wanted to use it more. So this is what the FITZ stands for, and it’s my artist signature.

What startup/tech projects have you worked on? (Include Co. Name / City / Role )
I worked for AT&T doing quality assurance and testing with Integrated Unit Testing teams. Side project was working on AT&T’s internal Wiki pages for onshore and offshore folks. Cleaned them up and gave some small UI effects for better.

I’m a greenhorn, looking forward to working with others and collaborating. The 2015 Fishackathon was my first hackathon experience.

What are your best technical or creative skills?
I come from a studio/gallery visual arts past working on drawings and painting and really anything else I could create artwork with. I also worked with a close friend for the last 12 years on large mural projects nationally, and we started a program for underprivileged youth that took us all the way to Amman, Jordan in 2011. During this trip, I found that technology was more powerful then I experienced in the U.S.

On my return, I started to learn code languages for the web: HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript. My pursuits over the last 5 years now working with frameworks, MVC, Full-Stack, and Task Runners is wanting to work as a front-end developer, or most recently I have been really enjoying working with UI and UX, I have been delving into material design and having a ton of fun. There is such a close relationship between code/technology and the visual arts, and I want to explore more of this relationship and share this with others in both communities. I’m a great fit working for with others in teams or just consulting. I can talk the tech stuff and communicate this to the visual design folks and vis-à-vis.

[Photo Credit]

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