The rules are simple. You have 20 hours of straight hacking. Whatever you come up with in that time, you must present. That is the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. On Saturday, May 21st, 100+ teams sat together at Pier 94 in New York Harbor to collaborate on whatever hacks they could think of in less than a day.
At 10:30AM on Sunday, it was time to start the presentations. While you’d usually have 30-45 minutes to get your idea across, these teams were only given 60 SECONDS. After a minute’s time, your microphone and video were shutoff and the next team was up. (Props to the A/V team for being able to handle the crowded wifi network and managing team presentations.) Still doesn’t seem too hard? Imagine doing it after being up for 24 hours. It was impressive feat for everyone involved and watching these brilliant minds hack in real time was awe inspiring to say the least.

We were fortunate enough to talk to a couple of the participants at our booth inside the TechCrunch conference. The excitement that each one of them displayed was contagious. It was a pleasure to share with them the benefits of (mt) and hear that many actually utilized our own (ve) servers to showcase their hacks! If we could grab just 10% of these awesome teams to work with us at (mt), we could take over the world.

As for the winners, six were announced, and they were definitely the best of the best.

The Winners:

  • Gilt-ii. Love Gilt? Gilt-ii is a bookmarklet that lets you create auctions around Gilt sales. It was definitely our favorite hack of the weekend so it was great to see it win.
  • Docracy allows you to share and sign legal documents. Much better than faxing.
  • Doach is the a virtual dating coach. I wish there was a video of it because it was hilarious to behold. OH WAIT, there is a video here.
  • dispatch.io helps you tame the cloud. Who knew the cloud was tamable?

Honorable Mentions:

  • JoystiCC lets you control a human being via your iPhone in a real-life video game. The example given was Frogger and it made me want to play the old school classic.
    Check the Demo Video!
  • Venture Crapital definitely had the funniest presentation during the hackathon. If you like shooting capital into bubbles, then this is definitely the game for you.

Overall it was a great experience and we are glad we got to participate. If you like to hack and want a chance to stand on a big stage, we definitely recommend you attend the next Hackathon in San Francisco in September. We will be there.

Special thanks to Paul Scrivens for the live reporting!