Library Blog

BVP Hackathon Helps Solve a Bay Area Problem Dana Oshiro

On Oct 23-24th Heavybit hosted the BVP Hackathon – an event where more than 50 developers, community partners and tech companies came together to attempt to solve a Bay Area problem. To kick off the event, Bessemer Ventures Partners’ Operating Partner Mark Bercow welcomed attendees and introduced the rules of engagement and the partners involved in the event.

Identifying the Problem

In order to set the stage for attendees, community partners offered high level problem statements on topics such as homelessness, housing, pedestrian safety, jobs, citizen engagement and food security. Attendees enjoyed presentations from Natalie Burdick of Walk SF and the Vision Zero Initiative, Mallory Hassick of Episcopal Community Services, Andrew Hyder of Code for America and Peter Masiak of the San Francisco Mid-Market Citizen’s Advisory Committee. From there, platform partners from Auth0, Intercom, Keen IO, Nitrous.io, NPM, Particle.io, Sendgrid and Twilio presented useful resources and documentation.

Community Partner: Andrew Hyder, Code for America

Community Partner: Mallory Hasek, Episcopal Community Church

Community Partner: Natalie Burdick, Walk San Francisco

Community Partner: Peter Masiak, Midmarket Citizens Advisory Committee

Building Through the Night

At around 9pm, attendees then formed teams and spent the rest of the night doing field research, identifying the scope of their app, and developing it. Many teams worked through the night to complete their applications. Some went as far as to visit the local shelter and do onsite user experience research prior to building their projects.

Judging the Apps

The next day at 5pm, teams presented their apps to other attendees and to a panel of tech experts. Judges included Heavybit and Heroku founder James Lindenbaum, Bessemer Venture Partners’ Sunil Nagaraj, Github’s VP of Product Management Kakul Srivastava, npm Founder Isaac Shlueter and Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson. Judging criteria was based on the ability to solve a problem and technical execution of the app itself.

And the Winners Were…

First Place: Snap Map, Find Nearby EBT Locations

Second Place: Waste Not, Easily Donate Extra Food

Third Place: Text2Help, Deliver Help, One Text at a Time

In total there were twelve amazing teams and they each came out with some really great projects. Check out the rest of these awesome presentations in this YouTube album.

Thanks to Everyone

On behalf of Heavybit and Bessemer Venture Partners, we want to thank everyone involved in this event. For photos from the event, check our Flickr page. If you’d like to stay connected to BVP, subscribe to their blog or consider applying to their portfolio company jobs at jobs.bvp.com. If you’d like to stay connected to Heavybit, subscribe to event updates, check out the Heavybit Library, and apply to member company jobs at devcojobs.com.

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