Live from NY: TechCrunch Disprupt’s Hackathon

This was a NYC-class hack gathering: a big stage set up in the large Pier 94 hangar, enormous video screens, an enthused audience, and more demos than there were lights on Broadway.

With a long line of hackers waiting to be guided to the appropriate demo computer on the crowded dais, TechCrunch staffers I think must have consulted the New York Department of Transportation for traffic management tips.

I had my own traffic problems of a more traditional kind: a massive jam up on the West Side highway prevented me from seeing two of the eventual winners—Gilt-ii and Docracy. Continue reading

NYC Startup Weekend Finale: 2 Hours, 20+ Presentations

Did I really hear 20 or so presentations in a little over 2 hours at the conclusion of NYC Startup Weekend?

According to my barely legible notes, scribbled while standing up in the very crowded kitchen area in General Assembly’s co-working space, I had a few insightful comments on each one of them.

My quick, emotional assessments differed from the judges: I didn’t quite ‘get’ PlayMob, the first place winner; dismissed too quickly the second place winner,, the on-line group vacation piggy bank, and perhaps let my group conference calling prejudices get in the way of appreciating third-place

No matter, I was impressed with many of the pitches, amazed at what Red-Bull fueled developers could accomplish in 48 hours, and learned that even cold NYC falafels still taste really good.Continue reading

Sunday Afternoon at a NJ Hackathon

There were all the signs of a long weekend of coding at the Converge Coworking space on the Kean University campus (Union, NJ). Stacks of empty pizza boxes, coffee cups, wireframe sketches scattered on desks, and developers staring at screen emulators on their MacBooks.

New Jersey Mobile Meetup was concluding its first hackathon, and I had arrived just as the iPhone and Android warriors were chowing down on one last hot meal before the final presentations.

The winners of this contest would gain serious boasting rights, and some Twilio and Odesk credits to be used on future projects.Continue reading