For 24 hours this weekend, teams of designers, coders, makers, and entrepreneurs competed for over $1,500 in prizes and the pride of winning the first ever hackathon for the Men’s Final Four. Some mind blowing projects came together in this flurry of coding and creating with three teams each going home with the a trophy and the thrill of victory.
The winning teams were:
- Most Viable: Four Volunteers
- Best Pitch: Taunt
- Best in Show: Peter Jim with EZTXTR
Four Volunteers: This responsive website helps keep track of your volunteers, let them now when the next shuttle is coming, and alert them of an emergency. This two-man team took on the first sponsored challenge of the hackathon and used a website, instead of a mobile app to give volunteers information about the event and update them of changes.
Taunt: An iOS app that is all about fan interaction. Fans can taunt other fans and cheer one their teams from wherever they are whenever teams are playing. This team took on the second challenge of the hackathon, filling seats and engaging fans. They took an interactive approach that involved creating an experience for the fans and allowing those at home to really get involved in the game. This massive team utilized the MIC Maker Space the best to create all kinds of props and memorabilia for their app. Very entertaining.
EZTXTR: An easy and simple web application, this allows organizers to communicate with its volunteers in real time via text messaging. This one man army put together some hardcore coding and came with one of the stronger pitches/demos which included sending mass text messages to all the judges and some attendees as part of his presentation. Having the most complete package of code, UX, and demo/pitch, he took home the Best in Show title.
Play-By-Play and Color Commentary
Starting on Friday night at 5:30pm, the ATL Hoops Hackathon kicked off with the Turner Sports showcase of their NCAA March Madness apps and their awesome challenge (the Kevin Bacon laynard). Following them, Marlena Reed, co-chair of volunteers for the local Final Four organizing committee, talked about what their needs and answered questions about their two sponsored challenges (Mass Mobile Messaging and Fill Philips Arena). And then things got interesting.
People begin to pitch and teams formed. Two teams had very similar ideas and formed a large group we dubbed Megatron. After teams were formed and pitches were over, we all headed over to the MIC maker space, which boasts a lot of space (a lot). The teams worked through the night on their projects thanks to the well-stocked caffeinated drinks from Coca-Cola and Batdorf-Bronson.
When morning came, the teams were treated to a special breakfast surprise from our own Scott Henderson and his son, Ethan, as they cooked french toast and pancakes for the teams. The flurry of coding, printing, videography/photography, and rapid prototyping carried on through the morning and afternoon.
After Daddy Dz’s barbecue for lunch, the teams sprinted to the end and created some great projects. There were four teams total: Four Volunteers, Taunt, Party Drone and Peter (the one man wonder). And at 5pm the dust settled and the teams finished their work.
Then the fun part came when we journied back over to Hypepotamus for judging. We had three esteemed judges: Blake Patton from ATDC, Brad Morris from Turner and Sharon Goldmacher from the local NCAA organizing committee. The teams pitched and the judges made up their minds.
With the confetti guns firing and the pyrotechnics booming, the winners collected their prizes, hoisted cold beverages in celebration, and then made their way home to collapse from the exhaustion that comes from leaving it all out on the court.
Were you part of this historic event? Let us know what you thought with a comment.