[Guest blog post by our own EDU Community Manager, Matt Wright (@mateo_wsep)]
Anheuser-Busch has always been at the epicenter of St. Louis, MO. From the airport we saw AB products showcased along buildings, on tap in every restaurant that we dined in, and showcased as the center of the city, Busch Stadium. This brand is more than just a name, they are the soul of this city.
Anheuser-Busch opened their first brewery in St. Louis, which makes it a perfect place to throw their hackathon, and we just couldn't let the challenge pass us by. Anheuser-Busch set out to with a mission to inspire innovation that would connect millennials with the Bud Light product, through tech. That’s our speciality ;)
What we witnessed this weekend surprised us. Since we throw hackathons globally, you would think that we’ve seen it all. That was tested this weekend as some amazing St. Louis programmers, designers, and entrepreneurs started hacking for beer. Attendees had plenty of Red Bulls, snacks and refreshments available, but often found time to kick back with a Bud Light (it was a 21 and over event) after solving a numbing issue with their code.
After spending an entire weekend hacking away, our attendees were now standing in front of a panel of judges as the projector flashed their web apps across their tired, yet inspired faces. As they were asked a handful of questions about the functionality of their products, you could practically see the code flashing before their eyes. After what seemed like a few minutes, demos were done, and it was time for judging.
So, who won this thing? Let’s get to it!
The first place prize of an all-expense paid trip to Whatever, USA on Catalina Island was given to GOFER. Their team sought out to build an experience application that would allow Bud Light consumers the unique opportunity to build a spontaneous itinerary for their evening through witty questionnaires and the utilization of AB’s API.
The second place prize, tickets to an NFL game (St. Louis Rams) with a tailgate experience provided by Bud Light, was given to Whatever, USA, a team who has never attended a hackathon prior to The Anheuser-Busch hackathon. Their web app that operated on Android, was a new-age approach on social networks in a bar environment. With their app, and a QR code strategically placed on a Bud Light bottle, one could read this code, and enter a secret chat room only available to others who went through the same process.
The third place prize, tickets to the one and only Lou Fest in St.Louis, was given to Broulette, a father-son team that created an app, randomizing the bar-hopping experience. This team found the best way to utilize the AB API by systematically sending customers to locations that only sold AB product.
In all, this event was a refreshing approach on the world’s first social network, the bar environment and social drinking. To see a brand so ingrained in our culture, now at the starting line of innovation, was exciting.
Now, time for a beer.