Fun at the NYC Disrupt Hackday

May 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I went to the TechCrunch Hackday in NYC yesterday.  It was a great event.  Actually, I would call it “a must attend” if you are an entrepreneur, are passionate about entrepreneurship, an early stage investor or are looking to hire talented, aggressive developers.

For those of you who don’t know what a Hackday is, here is a basic description (as I understand it):

  • It is an open room where developers come and have 24 hours to put together a new product
  • At the end of the 24-hour period, you get 60 seconds on stage to pitch your new product to a room full of developers/investors
  • There is a panel of judges who vote for winners.
  • The one key rule is you have to start fresh, i.e. no coming with a mostly built product and finishing it.  You have 24 hours to go from zero to product
  • You can come with teammates, or you can get paired up.
  • Most new products leverage APIs of popular products.  In yesterday’s event, Foursquare was very a very popular API to leverage, as was facebook.  However, the winner leveraged Gilt’s

Here are my notes/thoughts:

  1. Very good turnout.  There were somewhere around 110 hacks put together.  When I started BYFAD in 2007 (just 4 short years ago) there was nothing like this going on in NYC.  It is awesome to see!  NYC has become a real entrepreneurial force.
  2. Excellent recruiting opportunity.  You get to see someone’s work product, energy and passion in its rawest form.  I grabbed a few people after their pitches and have a few interviews coming up.  Anyone looking for hungry, talented (albeit young) engineers needs to go to these events.
  3. Any company with an api, should have a presence here.  Groupme had people here and they did a hack.  It is a good branding opportunity to be in the trenches.  It also is a good opportunity to see creative minds work on your product.

In short, if you are an entrepreneur, or get excited by talented, energetic developers trying to change the web, then you should make a point to go to one of these events.   It…Is…AWESOME!

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