Tech Talk: Student hackathons are the new rage

In small groups of up to five people, more than 250 of Israel’s most talented young coding and design enthusiasts created Web, mobile and hardware products.

By
May 26, 2016 13:45
3 minute read.
THE HACKATHON has given us a glimpse of what might be created by the next generation of hi-tech entr

THE HACKATHON has given us a glimpse of what might be created by the next generation of hi-tech entrepreneurs, who strive to create complete projects from scratch in specific domains and within a specific time frame.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

On May 6 and 7, Israeli college students from around the country participated in HackIDC , a 36-hour programming hackathon that took place on the IDC Herzliya campus. In small groups of up to five people, more than 250 of Israel’s most talented young coding and design enthusiasts created Web, mobile and hardware products. They stayed up all night brainstorming and trying out new ideas, ate together (including extra meals at midnight and 3:00 a.m.), did some yoga, continued working and then listened to hear what all the other groups had come up with.

The panel of judges included some of Israel’s most renowned entrepreneurs: Checkpoint founder and CEO Gil Shwed; Mobileye cofounder, CTO and chairman Amnon Shashua; leading seed investor Plus Ventures chairman Yossi Moldawsky; Efi Arazi School of Computer Science Dean Tami Tamir; Israel Growth Partners cofounder Moshe Lichtman.

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The hackathon has given us a glimpse of what might be created by the next generation of hi-tech entrepreneurs, who strive to create complete projects from scratch in specific domains and within a specific time frame.

Once the 36 hours was over, the teams presented their work, and the competition took place. The winning criteria were the complexity of the project, including creativity, technological challenge, aesthetics and functionality. Mentors from Amadeus were on site to assist participants as they worked on their projects and aimed to win one of the prizes being offered.

First place (NIS 15,000 prize) went to the BetYOUR - wish project, which set out to change the way Internet shopping works. It allows users to win products from the “wish list” at an affordable price by providing a variety of eBay products and Amadeus flights at discounted prices by participating in raffles.

Second place (NIS 7,000 prize) went to the H-Ball project, an interactive catch game for children. With every pass of a smart ball, the player gets to answer a question by rattling the ball in different directions. The pool of questions can be altered by the parents and is meant to encourage an outdoor game with an intellectual challenge.

Third place (NIS 3,000 prize) went to the FeelMyBrand project, which predicts the success of Internet products by analyzing a user’s different physiological measures. The analysis is done by identifying micro-movements that are caught in the laptop webcam and then processed by an algorithm.

In addition, prizes were awarded to contestants in the travel-tech field, and decisions were made by judges from the relevant fields.

Amadeus is a leading international provider of advanced technological solutions in the global travel industry. The company employs 12,000 people in more than 200 countries. It offers an array of travel-related products and services, including flights, hotels and car rentals.

TechCrunch pitch-off in Tel Aviv TechCrunch , which offers breaking tech news and pro- files of startups, is joining LeumiTech to produce Israel’s first formal pitch-off in Tel Aviv. At the event, which will take place on June 22 at Trask at the Tel Aviv Port, hundreds of angel investors, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and startups will come together to discover the next big thing in the Israeli hi-tech scene.

On the morning of the event, 10 startups will present their ideas to a team of TechCrunch editors, who are com- ing to Israel especially for this occasion. The TechCrunch team will answer the Israeli startup owners’ questions and offer them tips on how best to win the competition. At the pitch-off, which will take place in the evening, each startup will have two minutes to present their technology to a panel of judges made up of venture capitalists and TechCrunch editors.

The winner of the pitch-off will be invited to present their technology at TechCrunch’s prestigious Disrupt London 2016, which will take place on December 5 and 6. The runner-up will receive two free tickets to the London event, and the third-place finisher will receive one free ticket.

If you run a young startup, have developed an interesting app or have a question, please feel free to contact [email protected]

Translated by Hannah Hochner.


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