Editor note: The following is a guest post, contributed by Grigorii Liubachev - originally from Russia now studying in Jönköping. Grigori and his team won 2nd place in the hackathon, and more importantly, we think it shows that a hackathon can be a great place to flesh out an idea, and improve your coding/design chops.
A few weeks ago my cousin and I went to the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, but this article is not exactly about this event. Before Disrupt takes off, TechCrunch organises a huge Hackathon, this year attended by more than 800 hackers! They release tickets on their website in batches and all it takes to participate is to grab this ticket on time and show up on time with your laptop. Then they provide you with a place to work, internet, food and most importantly, a great atmosphere.
We had just a raw idea of our, so called, hack. We wanted to combine several cloud storages into one huge and secure cloud. To make it secure, we decided to separate files into several parts, encrypt them and upload each of the parts to different cloud storages. That was it. We had enough skills to make a small prototype, I can do some design and my cousins’ hobby was coding. Ah and we gave that hack the name “Cloudiverse”.
As soon as we got there, at the entrance, before the hackathon had even started, we met Sam who was a developer. After we told him our concept he liked it, so we asked him to join our team. Later, during the hackathon, two other great developers Ben and James also decided to join us. Within 20 hours we had a working prototype. In total there were more than 250 hacks created and presented. We were lucky and got noticed by the judges, during 4 hour pitch marathon. As a result we got the 2nd place.
Let’s talk about results. Basically there was no cash price for 2nd place, but there was something better. The top 3 projects from the hackathon had a chance to present on a main stage for Marissa Mayer and Mark Zuckerberg. Right after the speech we had people registering on Cloudiverse homepage. During the next few weeks we got numerous emails form angels around the world asking us about our future plans. Some media wrote articles about our 60 second presentation and bloggers mentioned our project as one of the best ideas on the whole conference.
This hackathon is now a proof that we actually are capable of building something great.