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The Destination Hack Review

July 25th was one fine morning with blue sky wrapped in silver lined clouds and fine breeze greeting the day. Members of Team Venturesity went to the Mygola office early to prepare for the hackathon ahead. It was a good thing too as the first passionate hackers began rolling in as early as 9:00 a.m. It eventually happened to be a fusion explosion of 90+ coders by 10:00 a.m.

Many of the crowd were new to Venturesity, and to welcome them to the hack, we held an icebreaker session. This session was headed by our very own Akansha Shirpa who also made the newcomers feel at ease. The session, designed to break the ice, was instrumental in, well, breaking the ice! Their task was simple: they had to build the tallest structure they could using spaghetti noodles. This exercise helped team members to gel as many members had only met each other online.

The hack also saw the first real test of our new platform. This platform enabled the hackers to form teams and submit their solutions more easily.  (We will write about our new product in another post later. 🙂 )

Finally, once the icebreaker session concluded, we were ready to start The Destination Hack! The first item on the agenda was the big reveal: announcement of the problem statements. The central theme of the day was to create “new and better ways to discover/explore places and experiences in a city.” This launched the teams into group discussions, drawing designs, scribbling algorithms and heated brainstorming.

Lunch time approached, and the famished coders tucked in. It was served on the terrace which gave hackers an opportunity to network and get some fresh air. The Mygola team interacted with coders to know more about their objectives in solving the problem and overcoming challenges. This analysis helped them to test the bandwidth of skills in the coders.

Post lunch, participants showcased their skills in ‘Foosball’, ‘darts’, and other refreshing games. As evening approached, teams figured out their strategies and began coding in earnest. Every team member pulled his or her own weight as they put their skill to the best use. And as is the case of every hackathon we have had in the past, night failed to deter hackers. Even though the MyGola team provided sleeping bags, almost all remained unoccupied. The zeal to build a robust app was equally fuelled by Redbull and the company of enthusiastic fellow coders.

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(Panoramic view  of Mygola Destination Hack)

Sunday morning brought lot of excitement as we witnessed those euphoric moments when hackers successfully executed their codes garnished with breakfast. You could observe the level of enthusiasm from the eyes of coders who wanted to go extra mile to add some more features in their apps. Mygola teams went around shortlisting the top 6 teams who had to present their solutions.

After the teams had presented, the time had come to give away Rs.70,000/- worth of prizes. The level of excitement got to fever pitch as teams eagerly waited for the results. Mercifully, the wait was not too long.

Here are the results:

Rs. 30,000/- goes to Alfa-Infinity who worked on radar + virtual assistant based solutions to recommend the best things to do in a city.

Rs. 20,000/- goes to Blissful Ways who wants you to “forget about shortest routes for custom walking/travel routes.”

Rs. 20,000/- was offered to Broado who used a form of sentiment analysis to rate pictures taken at various places to increase the accuracy of recommendations.

Congratulations to all the winners, participants and organizers for their commendable efforts in making this Mygola Destination Hack a great success. We hope that this experience was memorable for the newcomers (as well as our old timers.) We have quite a few challenges and hackathons coming up to whet your appetite for more. This upcoming weekend will see the Morgan Stanley Women in tech Codeathon. This is for women coders only. We hope to see ladies there!

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