The first one was Startup Weekend Mobile Sofia (Bulgaria), held in Vivacom HQ, April 5-7. Great event with more than 120 participants eager to brainstorm and prototype ideas about the next cool mobile apps. It was one of the best hackathons I’ve been at, not only in Bulgaria but worldwide. A lot of bright people and super productive engineers.
Something that made me extremely happy is that the most of the ideas were globally (and not locally) oriented – something that wasn’t typical in Bulgaria until recently. Let’s hope that this change in mentality will bring the Bulgarian startup community closer and closer to global success.
I took the last chance in Friday to pitch an idea and decided to pitch it as a spin-off project from Imagga, about building mobile app(s) based on our prototype for color search in fashion. How I pitched it is that we (Imagga) are ready to buy it after the hackathon and/or eventually hire the people Later on it turned out that some of the jury members have perceived this as a very smart move from Imagga (kind of “hacking the system”), but one that decreases the value of the whole project in the context of the event. I definitely don’t agree with that and I’d say our team was very motivated and passionate, because it really believes in the idea, and not because of eventual quick cash gains.
Here are we, working on ColorFit.me it two consecutive days, brainstorming and hacking like crazy:
We did an amazing job, pushing prototypes on all iPhone (native), Android (Adobe Air wrapper), and Windows Phone (native). Here is a video of them in action
The team also produced a wonderful presentation – http://colorfit.me/presentation/#/swsofia.
And we won! several prizes: 3rd place based on the jury vote, and 2nd-3rd place based on the audience vote. It’s still a nice performance though we think we should have won 1st place in both, and also the special prize from Microsoft for prototyping the app also in their platform in less than a day.
We are going to decide how to proceed with this in a few days and we do hope that you’ll be able to have access to the first versions of the apps in the app stores quite soon.
The second hackathon was Photo Hack Day 4, held in Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, April 6-7. The event went really good, and though we were partnering it remotely, it was quite busy for us -implementing several sugar features and tweaks based on customer demand
Happily, one of the teams that requested access to our APIs managed to integrate it in their hack ‘The Roll’, and it was featured as one of the eight honorable mentions in the The Next Web review of the event. Great job by the EyeEm team working on it!
There are a few more great hackathons coming in the next week(end)s – HackFMI and NASA International Space Apps Challenge 2013 – Sofia. What a month for startups and hackers!