AT&T Hackathon at TechVenture App-etite for Creativity

Hackathon PhotoOn Monday, December 7, 2011, AT&T Hackathon was hosted at TechVenture 2011 at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando, FL. As part of the planning team for TechVenture 2011, I wanted to check out what the hackathon was all about and the creative apps-in-a-day concept developed at this event.

About 75+ developers came together to build apps on the Apple iOS, Andriod, and Window Mobile platforms in less than a day. It was great seeing such a diverse group of people coming together to learn, network, and be creative in the Central Florida tech community.  There were 16 high quality apps that were developed over the course of the day by various teams. The mix between the different platforms are as follows: 6 Windows Phone, 2 RIM, 2 Appcelerator, 5 Platform A and 6 Android.

Hackathon Overall

  • 1st Place – SkyMinders: Don’t you hate it when you forget something? Add a SkyMinder for yourself. Add a SkyMinder for your Facebook friends. Live Tile notifications. Notify when you get a new SkyMinder. List of open SkyMinders.
  • 2nd Place – Wordstar: Wordstar is a fun and addictive game that challenges your ability to see word “constellations” in a universe letters. Compete by forming words as fast as you can racing against time. Be careful not to get the lines of your constellations to cross, or father Zeus will send bolts of lightning your way.”
  • MerchSnap3rd Place – Merchsnap (Valencia College students were part of this team!): MerchSnap provides independent music artists and their fans with a no/low cost way to connect and buy branded merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers, posters and more. Directly from a venue, show or comfort of their own phone, users can get the merch they want and support bands that otherwise don’t have the capital to buy wholesale or the resources to set up their own sites and e-commerce solutions. Through the app, users can instantly order their favorite items and have them shipped at their leisure, providing bands with needed support and revenue and fans with the merch they love!

A variety of other teams won various prizes from other sponsors, including cash and gadgets!

Two additional apps I personally liked:

RocketHack – Uses custom gesture recognizer to access or launch commonly used programs on your Android phone. It comes with a Launchpad that can be accessed from the notification menu at any time. It can also send Text Messages. The recognizer is scale, rotation, and translation invariant, with multi-stroke recognition abilities!

FoundIt – Businesses and Cities can make scavenger hunts for users to complete for points. Users are given a set of clues that lead them to a location. When they are at that location, they “FindIt!”. If their location is correct, they receive points. Contests can be run for daily, weekly, or monthly prizes. Target market is city chamber of commerces and large companies like Universal Studios.

Another great experience was to getting to chat with Hashable‘s founder & CEO Mike Yavonditte while waiting for the developers to create their apps. Mike has great insight in the tech scence, investing in several tech companies. Has a wide knowledge of what the market is looking for and is someone who gives back through mentoring up and coming tech startups. Mike was very personable guy who has been through the ups and downs of the tech industry and understands what it takes to be successful. A startup usually looks like it’s going to fail in the first two years, because it’s still developing itself and correcting to meet its customers needs. Usually you don’t have a winning company right out of the gate, it takes time to develop. Unless you happen to hit the lottery but how many people hit the lottery? Be prepared to give up a lot when it comes to starting your own company.

For a full recap of all the apps developed check out:

Find out more about TechVenture on Facebook or Twitter.

Next Central Florida Tech Event hosted by the same team will be iSummit in Sept 2012

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