Things started on a warmer than expected, partly cloudy Saturday morning in Seattle. We were about to open the doors for AngelHack Seattle, for our fifth hackathon in Seattle. The most immediate problem was that the two hundred boxes of cereal from our Costco order were nowhere to be found. What were we to feed the hungry developers, designers and entrepreneurs who were about to come in through our doors?
That crisis was averted by a trip to a nearby Safeway, and several family size boxes of cereal. By 8.50 am we already had 15 people waiting outside. We started scanning people in, pointing them at the cereal boxes, muffins and coffee and letting them settle in. By 10 am, we had more than 130 people packed into the main hall of the beautiful WeWork space, ready to go.
We were blessed with an amazing keynote speaker, Jane Park, founder of Julep, who gave an inspiring talk about what guided her in her path to growing a company to 200 employees, getting funding, and getting the nod for CEO of year among Seattle technology companies from Geekwire.
Another highlight from the opening was Curtis Fonger of Appetas. Team Appetas were the winners of the first AngelHack Seattle, and they went on to win the global Angelhack competition in Silicon Valley about 2 years ago. Curtis told us about their journey since then, and talked about how they made headlines in Tech Crunch, when Appetas recently joined Google. After the opening, our hackers got a chance to ask questions to both Jane and Curtis about various things on their minds, some of them even turning this into a chance for customer research for their startup idea.
The hackathon soon got underway, with pitches, team forming, and, of course, lunch. In the afternoon, we had yet another great founder in the house: Brent Frei of Seattle’s Smartsheet.com, who parted with words of wisdom based on his experience and contrasting how Box and Dropbox approached acquiring customers.
25 teams kept coding hard through the afternoon, evening, night, and Sunday morning, to arrive at the 1pm deadline for coding. After grabbing some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, with gourmet salads and desserts, they started to work on their pitches for our judges. After the first round, the judges picked the 6 teams that would present to everyone in the main hall, and soon the presentations kicked off.
In the end, team Vera, aiming to become the Uber of Beauty, was Seattle’s winner. Team Lemur was second, aiming to tweak your Google ads that would serve your company better. Git Env was third, with their idea to build git for databases. The judges awarded an honorable mention to Clippy for Android, where two high school students created something pretty amazing overnight.
Our judges, Tyler Carper, Katya Constantine, Bob Crimmins, George Huang, Rebecca Lovell, Tom Packer and John Sechrest, were great with their feedback and offered mentorship to our winners to take on the rest of the world in the global AngelHack showdown coming up.
And our amazing volunteers Michelle, Jamie, Olivia, Brian and Jeff made sure things happened in the correct order throughout the event helping out AngelHack Seattle ambassadors Maria Seredina, Umesh Unnikrishnan and Kerem Yuceturk.
Hope to see you all again for the next round!