Innovation will thrive virtually – Global Virtual Hackathon successfully hosted in Austin during quarantine.

Prior to COVID19, corporate innovation relied on iconic events. Think CES, SXSW and Money2020. These events were the meeting point for ideas, for partnerships and for progress. They drew other innovators from their peers to startups to service providers who all believe they have a better way to operate business. Through these physical meetings and discussions, we’ve reached new milestones, new products are built and ideas are crystalized.

Looking ahead, it’s hard to imagine we will return to these large scale events anytime soon. Many of our corporate partners are looking for alternative paths. We asked ourselves: Can we replicate the benefits of physical events virtually? What would that look like?

While many companies are still adjusting to the new normal, we’ve gone ahead and launched our first of many virtual events. We wanted to take advantage of the abundance of talent that now has extra time on the weekends to not only come share their ideas but to build it to solve real problems that our corporate partners are facing.

Quick Summary of our virtual hackathon themed Future of Work launched on 05/08~05/10:

$9,000 prizes were awarded to 3 winners. We had teams from Manila (Philippines), New Delhi (India), Oslo (Norway), and London (UK).

Over 400 participants signed-up across Linkedin, DevPost and Slack.

20 executive mentors from Intel, Walmart, BakerHughes, Maersk Drilling and more.

10 judges from Seton Ascension, Chevron, Indeed, St. Edwards and UT Texas Innovation including the CIO of Daimler.

Our generous sponsors included:

Bridge Purchasing Solutions, DLA PIPER, St.Edwards University Career & Development, University of Texas – Texas Innovation Center, Hedera Hashgraph, Hupbeat, Arcblock, Austin Young Chamber and AustinInno.

The Challenges:

Energy Challenge – Help get energy industry workers back to work faster. How can we leverage emerging technologies like Hedera Hashgraph, AR, IOT or other ideas to showcase expertise or verify work?

Healthcare Challenge – Help showcase verified/trusted testing results. How can we create a digital passport / ID using emerging technologies like ArcBlock’s blockchain identity layer, IOT or other ideas to safely allow workers and consumers to return to the public?

The Winners:

Lassio – 1st Place – $5,000 – Oslo, Norway + Austin, Texas

Enabling industrial machine learning through blockchain and crowdsourcing the energy industry’s data labelling jobs to independent subject matter experts.

Uncle John – 2nd Place – $3,000 – New Delhi, India

web-based automated security guard for acting as a gatekeeper for the company and their offices to monitor incoming visitors and check whether they are Coronavirus-free.

Fuel For Thought – 3rd Place – $1,000 – Austin, Texas

Fuel for Thought is an AI and hashgraph-based platform that allows energy workers to hone in on their technical skills while connecting them with other workers and large companies looking to hire.

This event not only showed us that we can convert physical experiences to virtual, but also there are many benefits from removing the confines of reaching only audiences that are in close physical proximity for ideas and talent.

We are beyond excited about our first of many virtual events and we will be hosting a virtual Executive Summit in June. If you are a corporate executive or an innovation leader at your firm, please apply to attend here: YGC Executive Summit