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Appalled by the food waste and shortage crisis caused by the Northern California wildfires, Abhijit Basu, founder of the Silicon Valley-based communications startup Smartex, decided to answer the Call for Code and find a way to mitigate these issues that occur during natural disasters. Using a chatbot application, he hopes to make information sharing easier during natural disasters as well as figure out ways to locate where goods and services are most needed in disaster-affected areas to better support non-profit organizations.

Smartex is working on an AI-powered chat service that can initiate dialogue and gather information from users. Ideally, the service will be available across mobile messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, and Slack. Realizing the limitations of a startup, Smartex sponsored students at a San Jose State University hackathon to help develop applications for the chat platform.

What is Call for Code?

The Call for Code 2018 challenge asks developers to build solutions that help communities and first responders prepare for natural disasters and reduce the disruptive impact on human lives, health and well-being.

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