Tony Delgado always wanted to use his coding knowledge for good. After graduating from Rutgers Coding Bootcamp in 2017, he started participating in hackathons, pitching ideas for philanthropic coding projects.
But he wasn’t content with just attending. Passionate for disruption, Tony launched his own hackathons. In June 2017, he hosted a Global AI Hackathon that brought together over 4,000 coders.
Then in September, everything changed with Hurricane Maria. The destruction of Puerto Rico was swift and absolute. And as Tony points out, it wasn’t just physical turmoil—it also devastated their economy which relied on tourism and leisure.
Tony refused to be a bystander. After the disaster, Tony went to Puerto Rico to volunteer, delivering solar panel lights, food, and water to cities throughout the island. But he wanted to do more and fix the infrastructure of the economy.
So he decided to build a school through his start-up, Disrupt. “By teaching coding, we can create an additional economy and create upwards mobility,” he said. “Coding is the canvas that developers can use to innovate, solve problems, and create a new future for the world.”
In October, he organized a Disrupt Puerto Rico conference and hackathon in San Juan that encouraged participants to use tech to solve the island’s trickiest problems. Combined with the school he’s launching, Caribbean Institute of Technology, Tony is using technology to enhance the lives of countless Puerto Ricans.
“We believe that all you need to succeed in this new economy is WiFi and a dream,” he said. “We are living proof that technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship can transform people’s lives for the better. We are planting seeds for our future generations here on the island.”