Jul 28, 2011

Hackathon Winners Announced

As the dust settled from the weekend’s work, six teams participating in Hot Studio’s first-ever Hackathon gathered on Monday to present their projects to our esteemed panel of judges: Hot’s Chris Jones, Principal of Strategy and Engineering, Foodspotting cofounder Alexa Andrzejewski, author and designer Clement Mok, entrepreneur/engineer Tony Stubblebine, and entrepreneur and executive coach Marcy Swenson.

Each team had five minutes to present their idea, during which time they were asked to show market viability and customer demand for their project, and showcase a prototype of the app. Presentations included the Truth Index, a product that would promote transparency in the political process; Platypus, an app designed to help facilitate design workshops; Pocket Monsters, a gamified approach to time management; and GreenRoom, a concept born from the team’s desire to reduce e-waste.

The top three teams were awarded prizes including Peet’s gift cards and memberships to SFMOMA. Members of The Deciders, who took the top prize for GreenRoom, are also entitled to enjoy an extra day off this year, and perhaps the best prize of all: bragging rights.

Here’s how the final rankings shook out:

  • First place: The Deciders – Bill Fisher, Marsha Plat, Laurel Tripp, and Rachel Elkington
  • First runner-up: Hot Pockets – Holly Hagen, Paul Smith, Adam Chromicz, and Ed Salvana
  • Second runner-up: Seahorses Forever – Christie McAllister, Elysa Soffer, Eric Grant, and Victor Brunetti

Rachel Elkington from The Deciders was really appreciative of the judges’ questions and comments. “Getting external validation from the judges who have experience in the start-up space and whose opinions I really respect got me excited to take our idea to the next level,” she said.

And of course, we’d be remiss in not mentioning the other teams, each of which made impressive and highly creative presentations:

  • Platypus – Zach Gibson, Francisco Franco, and Kristi Teplitz
  • VizBox – Kim Heilman, Max Batt, Dave Shih, Gabe Wasserman and John Gallant
  • Greater Good – Julie Kim, Lara Manzanares, and Lucy Lindkvist

"The judges were blown away by the innovation the teams produced," says Chris Jones. "Getting designers, engineers and strategists to collaborate for a concentrated amount of time really paid off in developing truly compelling product pitches. Once again Hot has exceeded expectations."

We’ll be touching base with each team to discuss their projects, the processes they used in their hacks, and what they learned from the experience. Be sure to check back for more insights and outcomes from our first-and-definitely-not-last Hackathon.

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