Los Angeles, June 9-10. Back for its second year, Hollywood Hack Day brought together over one hundred of the most talented designers and programmers in Los Angeles to gather at the io/LA space for a two-day intense fun code-a-thon. This is an event unique to Los Angeles and is deeply influenced by the global Music Hack Day movement. Unlike Music Hack Day, however, Hollywood Hack Day encompasses both music and video, and puts developers in the same room as representatives of forward-thinking music and video companies.
Here is the challenge: Come with a team and an idea, or form a team on the spot and create a project in 36 hours. At the end of the weekend you have the opportunity to pitch your project and get great feedback from renown entrepreneurs and angel investors and … maybe, get your project funded! If anything, you may win some cool prices from the sponsors, up to $2,000 in cash and network with many likeminded individuals.
Co-organizer Rahim Sonawalla started Hollywood Hack Day last year to fill a need in the Los Angeles tech community to connect with one another, “Having traveled all over the country for my tech work, I realized of what is needed for the booming LA tech community to really explode like other communities have. In addition to access to funding, which I could not bring to the table, something very important is having connecting events, which are designed to help the attendees to be productive together; and that I can do!
The weekend generated twenty four presented projects, from a video platform to connect actors with casting directors facilitating a first casting call online, to an integrating platform for all web and social media images, to a social media platform for dog owners. The judging was 60% Execution (how well you executed on your idea in a weekend), 30% concept (how interesting/cool the idea is), and 10% technical (basically if it comes down to a tie, how much work it was to put the project together). Among the judges were io//LA co-founder, CTO of SGN and former MySpace co-Founder Aber Whitcomb; Start Engine CEO Howard Marks; Amplify co-founder Jeff Solomon; and Shine America's head of technology, Eliot Sakhartov.
And the awards went to...
First place: ($2,000) Typing Karaoke -Karaoke meets Mavis Beacon! Quickly type synced lyrics to your favorite songs. The faster the lyricist, the harder the song. It's an unique and fun way to learn and improve your typing.
Second place: ($1,000) Social Jukebox -A SMS+Email controlled, HTML5 visualizing, Rdio+Spotify powered Jukebox.
Third place: ($500) Video List -Save videos using browser plugin to watch later. Import all of your videos you have shared on Facebook and all of your friends videos they have shared on Facebook and watch everything on a simple scrolling webpage that works on all devices.
Organizers Rahim Sonawalla, Ryan Chisholm, and Abe Burns went above and beyond, making sure the working environment was perfect, and everyone had what they needed, all the way to the strategic selection of sponsors, to help their purposes of bringing together the community of developers, designers, creators, engineers, existing companies, and funding sources “Some great ideas can turn into great businesses with the right support from experts and incubators.” Some great businesses may have started over these weekend; just check out all twenty four projects and be the judge! http://hackerleague.org/hackathons/hollywood-hack-day