My takeaway from helping organize a TedX Hackathon.
Prelude: I wanted to volunteer for TedxUlsoor that was due to happen in Bangalore 2017. I reached out to a friend who managed to pull some strings and have me on a group with a bunch of other volunteers.
This hackathon took place at Goodworkslabs, Whitefield on April 16th 2017.
The participants were required to pay a fee of 400 Rupees to take part in the hackathon which would then be utilized towards funding for the actual TedxUlsoor event on 30th of April 2017. Winners of the Hackathon would receive an Internship from the hosting workspace, Goodworkslabs. Each team would be required to work on solving an individual problem assigned to them addressed in a previous Ted talk and would then present their solution at the end of the day.
Topics spanned all around from Identity, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Media Regulation and personalization.
I spent my day at hackathon helping participants understand their topics and how their product could cater to the problem faced. I spent a considerable amount of time of time helping a team formulate their business model in case they decided to go ahead and pursue their idea. I had a great time explaining how bitcoin worked and enjoyed answering questions posed.
Among the teams I worked with, there were two teams that had my dedicated attention.
One of the teams worked on using Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies to make government usage of public funds transparant in a bid to curb corruption. This team made use of Unocoin and Blockchain.info’s APIs to facilitate this.
The second team I decided to work with had a grand idea of building a non profit organization which would connect people looking for jobs and those looking for employees through an SMS based service. After due formulating, they decided to go ahead to implement IBM Watson’s services to facilitate an SMS based Chatbot that would assist you in finding a job, assign you to a trainer that would equip you with the skills for the job and then have an employer that matches your portfolio employ you. This later proceeded to become a “Profit for a cause” Initiative.
They made use of IBM Watson’s conversations and Twillio’s API apart from the much needed clients.
I had the opportunity of sitting on board for their pitch which I believe could’ve been better for such a great idea.
As Gary Vaynerchuck says
“Ideas are worthless, until someone puts in the work.”
I decided to work on this idea along with two other participants from this hackathon towards making this a reality.
In pursuit of something great, one must also know when the journey ends, which is why we decided that we shall drop the idea if no progress has been made in the time span of a month until the end of May.
It would be a sign signifying that we just didn’t want it enough.
We had another team work on building personalized investment portfolios for VCs investing in the media industry.
I believe that they could’ve brought genuine value to investors,but given my scope of expertise was not media related, I failed to grasp the concept and elucidate more on that note.
At the end of the day, the hackathon was quite fruitful for I was able to design, work, develop solutions and have a glimpse of impact that an idea may produce. That was most certainly worth the time spent.
I write this story as a personal endeavour to being able to communicate and draft my journey better in a life where moments are etched as time passes by.
For those interested: The above mentioned Hackathon was part of a fundraiser for TedXUlsoor