Leading brands including Amazon, General Motors, Hailo, Betfair, Zeebox, FilmOn and Civolution have pledged their support for the Hackfest series of hackathons to be held at London’s Earls Court 2, October 22-23, as part of Apps World Europe.
The hackfests will include a TV Hackathon, Auto Hackathon,and an Apps Hackathon designed to bring together creatives and developers alike to come up with innovative new solutions for industry in a fun, learning environment. TV App Market caught up with the companies to find out a little more about what they are planning.
Nick Pudar, director of developer ecosystems, global connected consumer at General Motors is a judge on the Auto Hackathon. He will be providing hackers with access to the company’s Developer Portal, allowing developers a way to bring Infotainment and OnStar services to General Motors’ customers in a new way. The company is throwing down the gauntlet to developers and hackers to come up with revolutionary new ideas around responsible connectivity, informed driving, location services and telematics convenience at the two day hackfest.
Pudar said it was important for the company to keep pushing the boundaries and that the hackathon would help it do that.
“We’re excited to be involved with Apps World Hackfest this year as part of our efforts to reach developers who can help us explore what’s possible with in-vehicle apps,” said Pudar. “This offers us a great opportunity to work with developers to explore new applications that leverage unique information from the vehicle to create a new category of apps that enhance the overall driving experience.”
Meanwhile the TV Hackfest, which was also held at Apps World North America in February, is being supported by mobile social networking and social television platform zeebox; Civolution, a leading solutions provider for monetising media content, UK's leading Pay TV service Sky and FilmOn, the world’s largest OTT IPTV content library and platform.
FilmOn.TV’s founder and CEO Alkiviades David said:
“Having recently released a new API and White Label solution, the timing of TV Hackfest 2013 in London is perfect for us to introduce our new offerings to the app developer community at large. We look forward to seeing what some of London's finest can do with our kit."
Anthony Rose, founder and CTO of Zeebox, said he was looking forward to supporting the winners of the TV Hackfest.
“We’re going to be there with prizes for the best use of our APIs, and our team will be there to help developers realise their amazing ideas,” he said.
Ian Merricks, managing partner at White Horse Capital and a principal and founder of London’s Accelerator Academy, said his company will be offering a bursary to the next semester of the Accelerator Academy as one of the many prizes up for grabs at the event.
“With London now seen as the best place in Europe to launch a business, and the UK famed for its creation of the most advanced digital media landscape in the world, it’s exciting to see hundreds of very early stage entrepreneurs converge for the TV HackFest,” he said.
Mike Hines, android evangelist for Amazon Appstore, said the hackfest was an important part of the company’s ongoing strategy to support developers and creatives.
“Amazon loves to help entrepreneurs and customers, and hackathons like Hackfest are one opportunity for us to help developers manifest their vision for new apps and games. Personally, as a founder of two companies, I can identify with the aspirations of the participants, and the level of creative energy is something you've just go to feel to believe,” he said.
Hailo's CTO Rorie Devine agreed:
“As a fast growing, entrepreneur based business we fully support anything that encourages innovation and new ideas,” he said. “The Hackfest provides a great opportunity to further push the boundaries of what is possible with apps, delivering the must have services of tomorrow – a status Hailo hopes to enjoy.”
Betfair said it also hoped to see some new innovations resulting from the hackathons.
“This provides us with a great opportunity to showcase our new API (API-NG) and challenge developers to come up with innovative sports betting ideas,” said Neil Thomas, Betfair Developer Program platform API product specialist.
All of the hackathons will offer a series of prizes for the developers who are judged to have the best solutions by the industry figurehead judges.