At Synacor, we've run employee-hosted hackathons, and we thought they were pretty fun. So on January 14th and 15th, we hosted our inaugural public hackathon at SUNY Buffalo State.
Buffalo is filled with curious, intelligent people who are passionate about solving challenging problems. This event – by developers, for developers – was focused on fostering creativity and innovation and building connections with the tech community.
With this mind, we took a unique approach when we set up the hackathon:
- No restrictions on projects
- No cost to participate
- Teams retained ownership of their projects!
Over 24 hours, whip-smart teams from Buffalo and as far as Pittsburgh and Toronto matched wits bringing their ideas to life. Recognizing that one can’t hack on an empty stomach or an uncaffeinated brain, snacks (Buffalo-themed, of course), soda and energy drinks were well stocked.
Once the smoke cleared on the activity, ALL participants voted on each other’s projects. The top three projects, chosen by the community are:
- A website that lets users annotate and share videos with bubbles like “Pop-Up Video” from the 90s. A creative way to express yourself and collaborate with friends.
- An app that lets users find each other with a swipe left based on their meme preferences.
- An augmented reality app that helps datacenter technicians quickly find and diagnose problematic hardware by providing flowing information near the server (in their virtual reality headset).
There’s nothing like starting the New Year with some friendly competition. Congratulations to everyone who stepped into the ring at our public hackathon!