Alex Levashov – eCommerce Consultant (Melbourne, Australia)

Taking part in AngelHack hackathon

Taking part in AngelHack hackathon

Taking part in AngelHack hackathon

Last weekend I took park in Angelhack hackathon event in Melbourne. This post is reflection of my experience.

The event

This hackathon was a part of joint series where Angelhack cooperated with BlueChilli CityConnect program. Angelhack uses hackathons to select teams who’ll take part in their accelerator. This is the only way to get into the program – win a hackathon.

CityConnect is also an accelerator program themed around the future of cities.

So entry to these programs plus $1,500 in cash were the major prises.

The crowd

There were around 40-50 people who decided to take part in the hackathon. Probably roughly 60% of them were developers, 20-30% – entrepreneurs and the rest – designers. So there was quite a good chance for entrepreneur to team with a programmer and develop something. I have to admit that I missed that chance and couldn’t sell my idea (more about it below) to developers.

At the end of team forming 13 teams were created. One team hasn’t managed to complete the project, so there were 12 teams pitching.

Meeting new interesting people is one of the main reason to participate in that events (at least for me) and it worked quite well in this case.

The organisers were very supportive and friendly as well, special thanks to Johanna from Blue Chilli who helped me with polishing the pitch. It is quite challenging to fit both the product demo and the pitch in just 2 minutes.

The space

The hackathon was hosted by Dream Factory in Footscray. I liked the space – it is an industrial building transformed to pretty good co-working space. The only thing that I missed there was a decent coffee machine, but they plan to open a big cafe soon.

Dream Factory inside

Dream Factory

The most amazing thing there is a rooftop space with a great view on Melbourne city and port.

View from Dream Factory rooftop

Projects

You may find full list of the projects here. Several observations:

  • Two projects were about plants – grow and take care of them
  • 3 projects were related with job market
  • 3 projects were marketplaces – 2 of them in job, one in real estate
  • 2 projects were related with transportation

My project – Permit Bot

My own project was a Facebook Messenger chatbot that provides an additional interface for people to interact with local councils. The prototype I’ve build shows the process of parking permit renewal. You can check it through Facebook Messenger or as a web-version.

It is a simple prototype, which I’ve managed to build myself using Motion.ai

Pitching and winners

The pitching rules were quite strict – 2 mins for a pitch and 1 min for QA.

Judging criteria Angelhack Hackathon Melbourne

Judging criteria

Most teams managed to fit in and in overall pitches quality was quite decent.

The winners of 2 main prizes were:

  1. Sicky for Angelhack prize
  2. ReadyTeacher for CityConnect prize

My personal thoughts about the winning projects: Sicky is a very interesting idea, if there are no regulation problems to implement it, it may work quite well. With ReadyTeacher I am a bit more sceptical – being a graduate student not so long time ago and having academic friends I know that at least at university level it is hardly possible to replace a lecturer to unknown external person. He/she should be very familiar with particular class program, which takes time. It may be more practical for schools, but quick search shows at least several businesses already serving or trying to serve this market.

Anyway, my congratulations to winners and kudos to organisers, I enjoyed taking part in the event!