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Inspiring Innovation at the First Tech Data Hackathon

Posted by Lisa Kelly on Aug 14, 2017 12:00:00 PM

The first ever Tech Data Cloud Hackathon event, held in the heart of London’s Shoreditch hi-tech district, was filled with powerful ideas and innovation. 

What Is a Hackathon?

A hackathon is an event that brings together a wide range of people with different skill sets, backgrounds, and complementary expertise. We spend time in a creative environment, focused on generating and developing ideas that may be based on redesigning, developing, or combining aspects of services, products, and technology.

Tech Data asked participants to design and build an interactive user guide that would not only deliver content in a compelling way, but also create an engaging interface using striking visuals, as well as provide management and measurement mechanisms.

Winning Ideas and Fast Implementation

We were overwhelmed with the positive response to the event, as well as with the standard of the work that all teams completed over the two-day Hackathon. There were five teams fast at work, designing and building a cloud application powered by Microsoft Azure. With only 30 hours total, individuals had to form teams (many came as individuals and met at the event) and present a final concept and working prototype.

Choosing a winner was not easy for the judges, who included Sarah Drummond, founder of Snook; David Terrar, director and deputy chair of the Cloud Industry Forum; Tech Data’s VP of StreamOne Bob Kruger (live via videoconference from Florida); and David Newbould, Cloud Services Director Europe at Tech Data.

In the end, the judges awarded first place to Hivefy, a group of three people who met on the first day of the hack. They managed to create a website and a working prototype of a chat-bot running on Microsoft Azure, interacting with an open bank sandbox to help freelancers manage their expenses more effectively.

Hivefy won a trip to attend the Microsoft Inspire Worldwide Partner Conference, as well as the opportunity to showcase their prototype at the Tech Data booth.

We also would like to congratulate the runners-up, Re-draft. Their solution uses real-time sensors, fluid dynamics, and machine learning to optimize public spaces in the construction and architectural industries. 

Both teams are invited to our Cloud Summit in Venice, Italy, on October 3, 2017.Each team will give a five-minute pitch on what they built and the role that Microsoft Azure and Tech Data played in supporting them.

Why Host a Hackathon?

The results the teams produced at this first Tech Data Cloud Hackathon, even in such a short time, were exceptional. As more end-user organizations start to embrace the cloud, we are seeing acceleration in development and innovation only available through cloud computing.

The diversity of skills and capabilities of the people who took part in the Hackathon were incredible; this signals that there’s a good deal of willing and able talent out there. To cope with skill shortages, channel partners need to be open to onboarding and developing smart and energetic people from both inside and outside of traditional IT.

"It was a pleasure to participate in the Tech Data Cloud Hack in London and represent Microsoft. It was a great experience to meet talented and motivated people and get to work with them during the event. We are always excited to meet inspiring people from all backgrounds, from students to professionals, from developers to business leaders, all working together to develop solutions that help people and organizations achieve more. Hacks are a fantastic way to foster innovation and creativity and to bring out the power of community."

- Jose, Mentor from Microsoft

This event encouraged individuals outside their comfort zone to solve problems leveraging technology in ways not found in a traditional office. Tech Data will certainly host additional Hackathon events, with the intention of increasing awareness about Microsoft Azure and helping to align these smart individuals to our partner base. Our experience from this first event gives Tech Data and its partners every reason to be positive and optimistic about Azure and its suitability as a platform for ISVs and developers.

Special Thanks

The event was made possible with the support of Microsoft, design agency Snook, and most importantly the participants who made this event so inspiring and energizing. It was fantastic to see so many talented and enthusiastic people with original, innovative ideas and approaches.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege to host this event, showcasing the incredible talent that exists in our industry today, and witnessing a passion for innovation that is genuinely exciting,” said David Newbould. “We look forward to supporting our deserving winners in developing their application and can’t wait for the next Tech Data Cloud Hack.”

To understand more about the Tech Data Cloud Hackathon, watch this video.

Tech Data Cloud has a team of specialists that works with partners like you on a daily basis. Whether you’re new to the cloud or an expert, our team is dedicated to helping you succeed on your cloud journey. To speak with a cloud consultant today, visit us here.


Tags: Tech Data, Events, Hackathon