Beasley At CES: A Media Innovation ‘Hackathon’


LAS VEGAS — Entercom Communications and iHeartMedia weren’t the only radio broadcasting companies to gain the world’s attention at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, which began Wednesday.

Beasley Media Group, in collaboration with the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), successfully held a Media Innovation Hackathon initiative at CES 2019.

Awards were handed out at a special ceremo ny Thursday afternoon (1/10) at the booth hosted by the UNLV Office of Economic Development, located inside the Sands Expo.

Why did Beasley execs travel to CES for a Media Hackathon?

The initiative, officially launched in October 2018, was to generate potential commercial products and services utilizing existing media technology, data, and infrastructure, as well as to conceptualize the kinds of transformative, disruptive technologies that will become mainstream in the next 20 years.

UNLV student teams spent the Fall 2018 semester detailing their visions of media innovation with guidance from university faculty mentors. A panel of experts from Beasley, which owns and operates a group of radio stations in Las Vegas, and UNLV faculty reviewed the proposals.

The winners received the following cash prizes provide by Beasley Media Group:

  • 1st place:   $5,000
  • 2nd place:   $2,500
  • 3rd place:   $1,000

1st Place Winner: Using AM/FM Frequencies to Charge Devices

Team members: Erick Serrano, Kristine Monsada, Matias Allietti, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Yuria Mann

UNLV faculty mentor: Natalierose Pennington (Communication Studies)

2nd Place Winner: Augmented Intelligence in Smart Cities

Team members: Edison Smith, Peter Hernandez, and Aldair Callejas

UNLV faculty mentor: Si “SJ” Kim (Entertainment Engineering and Design)

3rd Place Winner: Fernwell App for Tourism Using Social Media

Team members: Ricardo Guzman, Ashtin Hofert, Joshua Padilla, Francisco Reyes, Allie Ryerson, and Fausto Vega

UNLV faculty mentor: Bryan Blankfield (Communication Studies)

“We love the idea of smart and logical innovations to ignite our thinking as a media company preparing for the future,” said Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley. “Many thanks to UNLV and their next generation of brilliant minds for collaborating with us on the Hackathon initiative.”

Beasley EVP of Strategy and Innovation Buzz Knight added, “The spirit of smart and innovative ideas being showcased at the most influential tech event in the world fits perfect with our core values at Beasley Media Group.”

Part of UNLV’s mission, says Associate VP for Economic Development Zach Miles, is to increase its community engagement, which is advanced through beneficial collaborations with industry partners. “This collaboration with Beasley is one of these beneficial relationships, providing real-world opportunities for students, helping to solve industry problems, and potentially generating life-changing products and services for the general public.”